Sekora runs for mayor of Coquitlam

The Coquitlam city councillor known as "Loud Lou" when he was mayor two decades ago wants the big job back.

Last Friday, Lou Sekora told The Tri-City News he will go for the mayor's seat in the Nov. 15 civic election.

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The 82-year-old former Liberal MP made no bones in his feelings toward Mayor Richard Stewart, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy for the next term.

"I can't sit with Richard for another four years because there's no leadership," he said.

Sekora also took aim at Stewart and council on budgeting, saying, "I know I can cut $5- to $10-million out of that budget very easy." That comment is similar to statements he made in the last election campaign and during the most recent council term; he did not offer specific ideas how those cuts would be made.

Sekora said when he was considering whether to run again, his options were to run for mayor or not at all.

If elected, Sekora said he wants to lower taxes by reining in municipal spending. But he also wants to build more sports facilities, hire more Mounties and rebuild Place Maillardville community centre.

Asked whether, at the age of 82, he could handle the time and work required of the mayor, Sekora said, "You know what? That was the way it was. I was working 80 hours a week. Can I still do it? Of course. I'm doing it now, trying to clean up the mess [Stewart] is leaving behind."

Sekora didn't say who is backing his mayoralty campaign but said he hoped to gain support from "contractors, builders, private people, business people - an awful lot of business people." He also claimed "unions and the volunteer firefighters are 100% behind me."

Asked who is getting donations from, Sekora said, "To me, frankly, if I get funding, it's fine. If I don't, it's fine, too."

First elected to Coquitlam council in 1972, Sekora was mayor from 1983 to 1997, when he resigned to run for the MP's position for the Liberals after then Reform MP Sharon Hayes quit. Sekora lost his federal job in 2000 to Conservative MP James Moore but was soon appointed a part-time citizenship judge by prime minister Jean Chretien.

In the November 2011 general election, Sekora placed fourth in council voting after Selina Robinson, Craig Hodge and Linda Reimer. For the mayor's race that year, Stewart won with 10,050 votes, well ahead of then councillor Barrie Lynch, who collected 7,591.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

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