Now that Mission’s mayoral by-election is over and Paul Horn has taken the oath of office, city hall can get back to business.
However, before Horn dives completely into his duties, he took a few minutes to speak with the Mission Record to let the public know more about who he is and why he ran for office.
Horn, 54, is a fifth generation Missionite. He and his wife, Tracy, have a 16-year-old son, David, and live in the Silverdale area.
Horn has been a college instructor since 1995 and has taught at Riverside College since 2001.
He is also a management consultant and runs his own business, Bootstrap Consulting.
However, now that he has been elected mayor, he said changes are coming.
“I’m going to transition out of my job. The specifics of whether it will be a leave or I will be retiring is yet to be determined, but I’m going to transition out of my job over the coming weeks and I will be a full-time mayor,” explained Horn.
While the election wrapped up more than two weeks ago, Horn said it feels more like 48 hours due to the non-stop action.
“It’s been incredibly busy. The very first Monday I went in and started meeting with staff.”
He’s also met with the other six council members, adding he’s been on the go from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“It’s been tiring but also exhilarating and it’s made (the election victory) sink in.”
While the past weeks have been chaotic times, Horn said he expected it to be that way.
“I’m used to the idea that things are sometimes messy at the beginning and they start to settle into a new normal … chaos is just being good with change.”
Horn sees his new position as mayor as another way to serve his community, a role he is familiar with.
Horn has been involved in many community organizations including the Mission District Historical Society, Mission Minor Lacrosse, Grape Vine Food Sharing Initiative and more.
He was a driving force in the creation of the Stone Soup Initiative, which began in 2014. It brings together community leaders to help tackle issues of poverty and homelessness.
“I really don’t do well if I sit at home and watch TV. I have to be engaged or I just don’t feel like I have a very rich life … Reality is, it’s what I’m passionate about and what keeps me feeling alive,” Horn said regarding his community involvement.
Becoming mayor marks Horn’s return to the council chamber. He was a councillor before, but in 2011 decided not to seek re-election.
“I left because I wanted to spend more time parenting David.”
As a councillor, Horn said he was working all day, then performing his civic duties at night, leaving him almost no time for his family.
Now that his son is older, it was the right time to return to local politics
“This is a family pursuit. It really does take a tremendous amount of commitment and sacrifice from them and support from them.”
While his term as mayor will only last 18 months, before the next municipal election, Horn said he has two main goals – establishing “really solid planning for the community and essentially an 18 month job interview.”
“It’s a probationary period for the community to get to know me,” he said. Then he plans to run for mayor again in 2022.
“When I look around and I see people living in ravines and getting hit by trains because there is not a proper place for them to live. And our community, our country is supposed to be one of the most progressive countries in the world, I find it difficult to do nothing. Everybody has a way of contributing and genuinely speaking this is mine. I don’t know a better way that I can go and contribute. I just can’t stand by and do nothing.
“My community needs me.”