Gervais won’t run, Perras still on fence

Sept. 9, 2009 – Chelsea’s municipal council could be reduced to one returning member – or none at all – after the first of November’s election, as more members of the current council announce they won’t be returning while others remain undecided.

With about a week remaining before the Sept. 18 deadline to submit campaign papers, Ward 1 councillor Luc Poulin is the only sitting member who has confirmed that he’ll be seeking re-election.

Mayor Jean Perras told the Low Down in June that he would take the summer to make his decision about running for a third term. When asked this week, Perras said he still wasn’t ready to make an announcement regarding his candidacy.

After being acclaimed in 2001 and 2005, Perras will face at least one challenger this year in Doozy Candle’s Bruce Langer, should he decide to run.

Deputy Mayor Claude Gervais, who has served Ward 5 for 14 years, is the most recent councillor to announce that he won’t be returning. Josh Moon (Ward 4) and Jim Connolly (Ward 6) had already said they wouldn’t run again this fall.

Gervais said he wants to travel more, for extended periods, which the council meetings prevent him from doing. He said he’s ready to pass the torch to a younger generation and he’s currently looking for someone to run in his place.

“After so many years, you have enough of it. It’s always on your mind,” Gervais said, adding that he took the job very personally, which takes its toll.

Gervais said with the sewer system, fire hall and improving roads, things are in order in Farm Point.

“I had a good time but I think it’s time to leave,” he said.

Poulin first won his seat in a 2004 by-election before being acclaimed in 2005. He may have an opponent this year, as Preservation Chelsea’s Geoff Bleich has said he’s considering running in Ward 1.

Poulin, who is on the centre village revisioning committee, said he wants to see the Meredith Centre and Chelsea Creek developments through, as well as improvements to his ward’s transportation and infrastructure.

Neither Luce Gilbert (Ward 2) nor Peter Griffin (Ward 3) could be reached for comment.