His wife, Anita, told Chris Pieper he enjoys being mayor and he “might as well do something with your time.”
Pieper listened to his longtime bride, announcing Thursday he’ll seek a fourth-straight term as mayor of the City of Armstrong.
Even with the encouragement of his wife, Pieper admitted thinking long and hard about whether or not he wanted to serve another four-year term.
“The last year, I struggled with ‘do I want to do it, do I not want to do it,’” said Pieper, first elected mayor in 2008, defeating Ernie Haller. He was voted in by acclamation in 2011 and again in 2014. He has served the city as councillor and mayor for 26 of the last 29 years.
“I really struggled with the four-year commitment. When you commit, you’re in. It’s something you can’t take lightly, and you can’t coast through it. You’ve got to be involved and go in all the way,” said Pieper, adding, with a grin, “I really enjoy being the mayor. Well, 90 per cent of the time, anyway.”
One of the things that helped him make up his mind about serving another term was the team he works with.
“We’re a close-knit group, a strong team, they’re all problem-solvers,” said Pieper of his six current councillors. “We work together to solve problems, and it’s been that way since Eric Hornby and Jerry Oglow were mayors.”
None of the six current councillors — Steven Drapala, Gary Froats, Shirley Fowler, Paul Britton, Lance McGregor and Linda Fisher — have publicly declared their intentions for the Oct. 20 ballot.
Topping Pieper’s priority list, if re-elected, is finding a solution to the flood problems with Meighan and Deep creeks.
“They have to be addressed,” he said. “We’ve struggled over the last year-and-a-half to get things done, especially with Meighan Creek, but Deep Creek is just as bad. But so far, we haven’t received any (government) permission to do anything to fix the problems.”
Asked if he’d be OK with a challenge for his chair, Pieper said “absolutely.”