Langford Coun. Lillian Szpak does not plan to run for mayor in the upcoming municipal election.
While Spzak acknowledged rumours circulating that she might consider a campaign – in part fuelled by the divided nature of the current council – she told Black Press Media she has no plans to run for the top job.
“If I wanted to run for mayor, I would have run for mayor a long time ago,” she said, noting she has interest in the position. “I have thoroughly enjoyed and valued my position as a councillor for the City of Langford and it’s been a real privilege to serve in that capacity.”
Szpak has yet to decide whether she will run for council again, she added.
Mayor Stew Young, in the position since 1993, said in a previous interview he plans to wait until the summer to make his decision on running for re-election.
Langford’s seven councillors have a combined 163 years of experience on council between them. Three were elected before the new millennium – Young, Coun. Denise Blackwell who was elected to council in 1992, and Coun. Lanny Seaton, who was elected in 1996. Szpak was elected in 2002, the same year as Coun. Matt Sahlstrom. Coun. Roger Wade was elected in 2008.
The most junior member of council, Norma Stewart, was elected in 2018.
Szpak hopes other community members will consider running and said she would be happy to mentor anyone who does want to run.
“We need to refresh ourselves. This is a long serving council,” she said. “Diversity is a very good thing. It strengthens decision making. It builds confidence in the community when you can draw from the community with fresh voices and fresh perspectives. So I think it’s healthy to have that outreach.”