With Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor announcing that he will not seek re-election in October, a city councillor says he will seek the job.

Everett Baker was elected to council in a December 2020 byelection. He ran for mayor against Taylor in 2018 but lost by 56 votes. He also sought the job on a previous occasion.

“I don’t think it will come as any surprise to the citizens of Grand Forks [that I am running],” he said in an interview.

Baker says he has enjoyed his time on council so far.

“I’m a busy councillor. I’ve taken on some liaison roles over some tough issues. I enjoy the work. Prior to being elected to council, I worked with past MLA Linda Larson for almost 10 years provincially, so I understand the process.”

As for key issues facing the city, Baker pointed to social housing, adding that he hopes his work with provincial minister David Eby “will bear some good fruit this year.”

“We do have a lack of housing stock. We have had some success this year with building permits and I suspect it will continue throughout the year. We are working with the [Osoyoos Indian Band] on a housing project here and some other things.”

He also pointed to the ongoing work around diking to prevent a repeat of the sort of devastating floods the city experienced in 2018 as another civic priority.

Baker is the only person so far to publicly declare interest in the job.

“I decided to call it early because it gives citizens an opportunity to test me or see what I’m able to accomplish, compared to [an election campaign of] 28 days where you’re judging someone on a very short period of time,” he says.

“I think citizens will have an opportunity to see I’m the right person for the position. I love living in Grand Forks and look forward to what the future holds for us.”