Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dan Davidson

CALLING IT A CAREER – Dawson City Mayor Wayne Potoroka speaks at the Robert Service School commencement ceremony in June of this year.

Mayor won’t run again

After three consecutive terms as mayor of Dawson and three earlier terms on town council, Wayne Potoroka has decided not to run in the Oct. 21 municipal elections.

By Dan Davidson on September 8, 2021

DAWSON CITY – After three consecutive terms as mayor of Dawson and three earlier terms on town council, Wayne Potoroka has decided not to run in the Oct. 21 municipal elections.

He made the announcement last Friday in a post on his Mayor’s Facebook page.

“Serving this community on council has been the privilege of my life,” he wrote.

“I have loved every moment spent building the town we want to live in and am still energized by the work and helping others, but I am ready to step back and encourage the next generation of leaders (to) meet the challenge of municipal leadership.

“It is a very different Dawson than when I first let my name stand,” Potoroka added.

“Much has been accomplished, and there are many successes and changes I’m proud to have been part of.

“But when I first ran for mayor, I made a list of things I wanted to get done and told myself when I was mostly through with that list I’d be ready to leave. Mostly.

“I don’t think anyone ever gets through their list, but I’ve ticked off most of the items on mine. It’s time.”

Accomplishments include the new water treatment plant on Fifth Avenue, another try at setting up a water metering program, the decision on the location of a new recreation centre, and co-operation with the Yukon government in the provision of new residential building lots.

He would probably include the establishment of cricket as a popular seasonal activity in Minto Park.

Controversies have included the disappointing failure of the territorial government-built and run wastewater treatment plan on Fifth Avenue.

There have also been the various conflicts related to the Slinky West and East mining operations just off the Dome Road, the former of which has been resolved, while the latter remains an issue.

During the last 14 months, there has been much public debate over the future of the Goldrush Campground RV park, which has been operating by three owners under that name for half a century, on land leased from the town.

Council was divided on the issue of terminating the lease and creating building lots. Further debate on this issue will now be closed until the current lease ends in 2027.

“There is still the mountain of issues to tackle,” Potoroka wrote.

“The role has been demanding, but it has given me a sense of achievement and reward unlike anything I’ve experienced. From helping set the town’s high-level direction to assisting residents with whatever they needed a hand with, I will cherish all of it forever.”

He was a member of town council in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In addition to his political career, Potoroka serves as communications and policy director for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in government.

Comments (11)

Up 0 Down 0

Too Bad on Sep 14, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Sorry to see you go Wayne. I think you did a great job. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Up 9 Down 2

Nathan Living on Sep 9, 2021 at 7:16 pm

Dan Curtis will not be running again in Whitehorse.

Up 32 Down 1

Double dipping eh? on Sep 9, 2021 at 11:36 am

hey "My opinion ..."

Two minutes on the Dawson City website tells me that the mayor makes 15K a year.
So I don't think it unreasonable that he has another job. In fact, I would say that the citizens of Dawson are getting a lot of bang for their buck at whatever hourly rate the mayor's 15K per year equates to. (Mayor is also entitled to per diems, but still, he is hardly 'raking it in').
Now the Mayor of Whitehorse is another story entirely ...

Up 13 Down 3

to JSM on Sep 9, 2021 at 10:35 am

Dan Curtis isn't running for mayor in October - old news (March). So I guess he will be stepping down in a month or so

Up 12 Down 1

Need Land on Sep 9, 2021 at 9:42 am

A shame as Potoroka has pushed back against the anti-developers on Council and in the community repeatedly seeking to stop new land being made available and stifle new housing.

Our Dawson is on the Whitehorse path as no land = spiralling house prices and we will soon lose our special character when only the government job incomes can afford a home here.

Up 10 Down 2

Irving on Sep 9, 2021 at 6:43 am

@JSM
The Whitehorse Mayor had announced a good deal previously that he would not run for Mayor again. What other sooth-saying tid-bits have you confused?
Try and keep up if your going to blog.

Up 21 Down 3

Dave on Sep 9, 2021 at 4:46 am

A very respectable run in the Dawson Mayors chair, doing the job without any real controversy. I say that especially in comparison to the debacle that Glen Everett left behind in his wake, speaking of which did Glen ever pay off his court ordered repayment to the town once he’d left Dawson?

Up 9 Down 1

Olav on Sep 8, 2021 at 5:06 pm

@JSM- Really?
Perhaps try to keep up with the local current affairs.

Up 11 Down 24

My Opinion on Sep 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Double Dipping. Working for both governments at once. Is that even OK?

Up 9 Down 2

Dan Davidson on Sep 8, 2021 at 3:53 pm

“Dishes” should have been “issues”. Auto-corrupt strikes again. While the same meaning is conveyed, I apologize for not catching the typo.

Up 27 Down 10

JSM on Sep 8, 2021 at 2:20 pm

Now if only Whitehorse's Liberal leading Mayor would step down too we may actually get somewhere. Sad to see Potoroka go as he was a good leader. Not many of those left.

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