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Election 2014: Former Surrey city councillor to re-enter politics

Gary Tymoschuk - Leader file photo
Gary Tymoschuk
— image credit: Leader file photo

Former Surrey city councillor Gary Tymoschuk, who also served a term on school board in the late ’90s, will be vying for a spot at the Surrey Board of Education table in this November’s civic election.

Tymoschuk confirmed Wednesday he will be running as part of the Surrey First Education team, which includes current school trustees Shawn Wilson, Laurie Larsen, Terry Allen and Reni Masi.

Bob Holmes, president of the Surrey DPAC (District Parent Advisory Committee), has also been recruited as part of the six-person Surrey First team.

Tymoschuk was a Surrey school board member from 1996 to 1999 and then served two terms on Surrey council between 1999 and 2005. He said he decided to re-enter politics because he wants to be further involved in the community.

“It’s important for those of us that have that interest to be able to do what you can to shape the community for a better place for all,” said Tymoschuk, who is currently on the Surrey Crime Prevention Society’s board of directors.

He said he chose to run for school trustee as opposed to city councillor due to the time commitment and his ability to balance the part-time education role with his full-time job. (City councillor is considered a full-time position).

“I’m not one of those people who’s going to take on something as a resumé filler or be a seat warmer,” Tymoschuk said. “Do I have an interest in council? Sure, but I don’t want to take on that kind of responsibility and then have to compromise by not fulfilling to the best of my ability.”

Holmes has lived in Surrey and White Rock for 30 years and has been active on the PACs (Parent Advisory Councils) at his childrens’ schools for a decade, as well as being on several school district committees.

His kids are in Grades 6 and 9, and he feels it’s time to have a parent of current Surrey students on the board.

Holmes says while he has a lot to learn, his involvement has made him "very familiar with the school system."

The Surrey First Education slate was selected at a meeting April 6.

Longtime Trustee Pam Glass, who was part of the Surrey First team, is currently on a medical leave of absence from the board and has indicated she will be retiring at the end of the current term and therefore not run in the next election.

Trustee Laurae McNally, who is the board’s White Rock representative, says she hasn’t yet given any thought as to whether she’ll run in November. Trustee Charlene Dobie confirmed Wednesday she will be seeking re-election.

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