With nobody to oppose him, longtime Inuvik councillor Clarence Wood has been formally acclaimed as the town’s next mayor, replacing Natasha Kulikowski.
Returning officer Chidi Amobi confirmed Wood’s acclamation on Wednesday. Wood – who has served on Inuvik’s council for the past 23 years – said he found out about the news on Facebook.
“I have sort-of mixed emotions,” he admitted.
“It’s good that I get to be mayor. However … I wish there had been more interest, to be quite honest.
“When you’re acclaimed, you really don’t know if you’re representing what people want. When people vote for a candidate, they’re picking the one that has the best platform for them.”
Regardless, Wood said, he is excited to get to work and has been ready to take on the position “for 15 years.”
His priorities include getting the public pool up and running again and acquiring more spaces for shelter services.
“It’s making it more open to people,” Wood said. “There’s not enough space, for one thing, and I understand the warming shelter, when it opened just recently, doesn’t open until midnight.
“That’s just unacceptable.”
Inuvik isn’t the only town to have experienced small candidate pools this year. The incumbent mayors of Norman Wells, Hay River, and Fort Simpson were each acclaimed on Monday, all running unopposed.
The nomination period for councillor candidates in Inuvik has been extended until 3pm on September 27 as the number currently running is “less than the number required to be elected.”