Bart Hansen says he will seek re-election to the Vancouver City Council.
Hansen, who also serves as mayor pro tem, said he isn’t ready to leave the dais just yet. He announced his re-election campaign last week.
“We’ve accomplished a lot in the last four years, and we’re going to continue to accomplish a lot,” Hansen said.
Hansen was first elected in 2010 after being appointed to fill the remainder of former Mayor Tim Leavitt’s position.
Pointing toward development taking place across the city — including the waterfront, Uptown Village, Fourth Plain Corridor, the Heights District and the east side — Hansen said the council needs to keep its focus on local issues rather than getting distracted by the Interstate 5 Bridge project. However, the bridge does need to be replaced, he said.
“Vancouver Strong should be the No. 1 issue that this council is dealing with this year,” Hansen said. “The priority of the council is one document, and it’s the budget.”
Further, thanks to the success of development projects such as Vancouver Waterfront Park, the city has expectations for growth and prosperity, he said.
On a more personal level, Hansen said he wants to continue making progress on a few pet projects if he’s re-elected to Position 4. The Youth Opportunity Pass, for example, is in the middle of Phase 2: Communicating to youth about opportunities for jobs or training available to them.
The Youth Opportunity Pass, also known as the Apple Pass, was launched in 2016 and provides Vancouver students with free entry to community centers and C-Tran buses. The program started by providing a limited number of low-income students with passes and has continuously expanded.
Hansen said he also has hopes for the fire department. He said he wants to see how the city can enhance the department’s services.
“We’ve done that with the police service,” he said. “Now let’s look at how we can enhance our fire response.”
Those enhancements include staffing fire engines with four firefighters and reducing the response time by at least two minutes.
“We’re doing a fabulous job right now,” he said. “But we can do better with more firefighters on staff.”
Speaking more broadly, Hansen said the community needs to work together to continue improving Vancouver. His objective, as stated in a press release announcing his candidacy, is “One community, safe and prosperous.”
“This is my pledge to all the citizens of Vancouver,” Hansen said.