He didn’t even officially let local media know until Tuesday night.

But make no mistake, Irwin says he is in it for the long haul. He recently left his position as Principal at Christian Life School to “hopefully” enter full-time public service.

Why mayor over council? Irwin says he’ll be able to take a more proactive approach when it comes to community issues.

His platform is centered around promoting the city. He plans to act as a headhunter and start by contacting the head offices of companies with businesses here and encourage them to consider relocating to Fort St. John.

Once more, he sees his open schedule as an advantage.

“Again, a full-time mayor could do that, when somebody who has other businesses or other jobs couldn’t.”

Irwin advertises himself as a good listener, and says that could be what gives him an edge over Ackerman and any other candidate. In the coming weeks he plans to survey “every business and every resident” to meet people and get their ideas. For people he can’t reach in person, he’s also set up a survey on his website.

Like Ms. Ackerman, Irwin has had two terms as a councillor in Fort St. John, but he has also worked with the Federal Conservative Party at a local, provincial and national level, which he believes gives him an advantage.

“It gives me a much better picture than I had before of what the issues are in the area, as well as who is on the regional councils, because it’s important for the mayor to be able to work well with those groups.”

There are still eight more days for potential mayor and councillor candidates to decide to run. The last day for nominations is October 14, 2011.