One incumbent Richmond city councillor said he’s “uneasy” running for a third term after pledging in 2014 to sit as a city councillor for a maximum of two terms.
Chak Au is running for a third term in the Oct. 15 election, but when he first ran two terms ago, his slate, Richmond Community Coalition, and some independent candidates publicly made the two-term pledge.
Municipal elections, however, are under the jurisdiction of the provincial legislation, under the Local Government Act, and this doesn’t specify any term limits.
Au said he’s running for a third term, despite his pledge, because he feels he has a “duty” to help the next generation get into politics, noting many of his slate’s candidates are ethnic minorities and might need some guidance.
But, he added, he does like the idea of “building in a system of change” into municipal government so as not to always have the “same old, same old” people making decisions in council chambers.
This, however, should come from the provincial government.
Au noted, after speaking to members of the public, term limits aren’t a top priority for voters, rather they value people who have a good track record on council.
But having made the pledge in 2014, Au said he “struggles” and feels “uneasy” about running for third term.
“I hope voters can accept me and see the reason why I’m running again,” Au said.
The idea was initiated by then-independent council candidate Jerome Dickey, who is now running with the RITE Richmond slate. He was joined by RCC candidates for both city council and school trustee.
Two incumbent councillors, Harold Steves and Linda McPhail, are not running for re-election.