With municipal election nominations set to open on Aug. 30, we asked local politicians about their plans. The deadline to make their intentions known is Sept. 9. Voting day is Oct. 15.
Council is poised for another major turnover, with five out of seven incumbents not seeking re-election and another still thinking about it.
Mayor Kathy Moore and councillors Janice Nightingale, Dirk Lewis, Chris Bowman, and Terry Miller all say they won’t be back.
“Although the experience has been amazing I am not seeking another term,” Bowman said. “I’m just too busy in my work and personal life to commit to another four years at this time. Perhaps once retirement is in play I will consider again down the road.”
Only councillor Stewart Spooner confirmed he will seek re-election. Councillor Andy Morel says he’s undecided.
Moore and Morel are the only holdovers from the council elected in 2014. Everyone else is serving their first term.
Lisa Pasin is running for re-election as mayor, but veteran councillors Robert Cacchioni and Sandy Santori are both retiring from council.
“Twenty-five years in public office is enough,” said Santori, who served as Trail’s mayor from 1990-96 and 1999-2001 and West Kootenay-Boundary MLA from 2001-05 before returning as a councillor in 2014.
“My intention from the beginning of this last term was that it would be my last. It’s time to inject some youth that will bring new ideas and a renewed vision for our community. It’s time for a unified council that will focus their energies for the public good.”
Councillor Carol Dobie says she will be running again while councillor Colleen Jones says she’s not ready to make her decision official.
We’re still waiting to hear from councillors Paul Butler and Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson.
Florio Vassilakakis, who finished as runner-up to Duff in last year’s byelection, says he has not decided whether to run again.
Former mayor Lawrence Chernoff, who was third in the by-election, says he’s still thinking about it as well. But Deb McIntosh, who ran for mayor in the last general election in 2018, says she will not be seeking office this time.
Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff says she will seek a fourth term, but is undecided whether to run for councillor or mayor.
Councillors Brian Bogle and Cherryl MacLeod both confirm they will be running for re-election. Councillors Dan Rye and Bergen Price will not be back.
“When I started in 2018 my first child was only three months old,” Price said. “Now we are having our third child in October. I will be changing my title from city councillor to full-time dad.”
At least six incumbent rural directors for the Regional District of Central Kootenay will be seeking another term, including the longest-serving politician in West Kootenay.
Hans Cunningham, who has represented Area G (Salmo Valley) continuously since 1986, said he is “running with great joy.” But he will be challenged by Farrell Segall, who is presently a Salmo village councillor.
Tom Newell, director for Area F (Rural Nelson), Walter Popoff, director for Area H (Slocan Valley); Andy Davidoff, director for Area I (Rural Castlegar); Garry Jackman, director for Area A (East Shore); and Tanya Wall, director for Area B (Rural Creston) also indicated they will run again.
However, after two terms, Rick Smith, director for Area J (Lower Arrow-Columbia) will not be seeking re-election. Kimberley Tassone is seeking to replace him.
Also retiring is Paul Peterson, director for Area K (Arrow Lakes), who is the board’s second-longest serving director at 20 years. Peterson says he will instead campaign for his alternate, Teresa Weatherhead, and if she is elected, he expects to serve as her alternate for at least a year.
Ramona Faust, director for Area E (Rural Nelson) will not run either, after 14 years. In a letter to constituents posted on Facebook, she announced her retirement from politics “with sadness and appreciation.”
“It has been my honour and pleasure to inform the region and the province about the unique self determination and beauty of Area E,” she wrote.
We have not yet heard from Adam Casemore, director for Area C (Rural Creston), or Aimee Watson, director for Area D (Rural Kaslo).
All five rural directors in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will stand for re-election: Ali Grieve, director for Area A (Beaver Valley); Linda Worley, director for Area B (Genelle-Rivervale-Oasis); Grace McGregor, director for Area C (Christina Lake), Danna O’Donnell, director for Area D (Rural Grand Forks); and Vicki Gee, director for Area E (West Boundary).
O’Donnell will also run simultaneously for mayor of Grand Forks, which is unusual but not unprecedented locally.
Salmo mayor Diana Lockwood, Fruitvale mayor Steve Morissette, Nakusp mayor Tom Zeleznik and Slocan mayor Jessica Lunn all say they will seek re-election.
“There are so many projects in process — some pretty critical conversations and future planning to engage with community,” Lunn says. “I still very much have the passion, love and enthusiasm to support Slocan as we move through this pivotal time.”
However, Warfield mayor Diane Langman will not seek another term. She was elected a councillor in 2014, became mayor in a 2017 by-election, and was re-elected in 2018. She was the first woman to hold the position.
We haven’t heard yet from Montrose mayor Mike Walsh.
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