Merlin Blackwell has thrown his hat in the ring for another term as mayor.
Blackwell announced his decision in a social media post, saying while it wasn’t an easy decision, he is “confident it is the right one,” noting it’s important to have a stable and predictable local government in place.
Merlin was elected mayor in 2018.
“I’ve spent much of the last few months thinking about the last term, about all the challenges,” he wrote. “I think we as a council fought well for Clearwater. We weren’t always successful, but we always gave it our best. And – on many things that may seem settled – we still intend to keep pushing, to keep advocating.”
Blackwell said he will fight for the hospital and the health care system. The emergency department at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital Emergency Department has been closed at least a dozen times this year because of limited staffing. It is now closed for five nights, from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“I also want to keep the pressure on for better internet/cell service, safer highways, and things like the stationing of BC Wildfire crews in the North Thompson,” Blackwell said. “Although some of these issues aren’t in the traditional ‘realm’ of a mayor’s duties, they are all things that I know the majority of you want fought for.”
Blackwell said he will also maintain the good relationships he has built with other levels of government, Interior Health Authority, community partners like YCS and the Community Forest, and local First Nations. He has also been nominated for a seat on the board of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, “a place where I hope to share the successes of Clearwater and to use them to advocate for us and for sister communities facing similar challenges.”
He noted the biggest reason he is running is for the people of Clearwater and the North Thompson.
You have made my often very hard job easy,” he said. “The willingness of this community to roll up its sleeves and get things done is truly inspiring. Clearwater punches well above its weight out there in the world. This inspires me to keep believing that all the things we still need to work on can be accomplished.”