Incumbent Brian Taylor has announced that he will once again be running for mayor of Grand Forks. Taylor has served as mayor in Grand Forks for three terms: 1997-99, 2008-11 and 2011-2014.
“I have made my intentions to run clear for the past two years,” he said. “The city has initiated a number of important initiatives and I am asking citizens to allow me to lead council through the next four years. I believe the city is moving forward with many positive changes and has turned a corner. I give credit to our employees and this council for this positive momentum.”
Taylor is proud of the work he has done in his three terms as mayor. He is particularly pleased with the first term when the city celebrated its 100th anniversary.
“I look back on that centennial year with fondness,” he said. “We re-enacted scenes from our early days, the miners, the loggers, and all the colourful characters that helped create this community. It made history come alive and was an inspiration experience for all who participated.”
The biggest challenge the mayor has faced in office is in 2008 when he had to heal the rift in the community that developed over archives, artifacts and the use of buildings when the art gallery, instead of the Boundary Museum, took over the courthouse building.
“The conflict has taken us years to resolve and there are still some remaining sensitivities,” he said. “The outcome, however, has given us a world-class museum at Fructova School site and gallery 2, the arts and cultural heart of Grand Forks.”
Taylor started his political career by running against then-premier Bill Bennett for MLA in Central Okanagan in 1984. He was the executive director of the Okanagan Neurological Association for 10 years. He moved to Grand Forks in the early 1990s after being hired to close the old Broadacres institution.
Taylor has two daughters, a grandson and a granddaughter. One daughter, Teresa, and her son live in Grand Forks on the family farm, while the other daughter, Christina, and her daughter live near Seattle.
As far as election issues go, Taylor says that the big ones are already on the table. He anticipates many discussions about water, roads, pipes, business development, taxation and jobs.
“For me the bottom line is: are we running a sustainable business? Are we making the kind of decisions that will make sure that my grandkids and yours can float down the river, drink the water, or move to Grand Forks knowing that taxes are predictable and services are available?” he said.
When asked how businesses are doing in Grand Forks, Taylor said it depends on the type of business.
“If your business is responsive to what the community needs now—you make money,” he said. “The obvious businesses are the ones in my mind that take into consideration the large number of seniors in our town.”