A Rossland city councillor running for mayor says he hopes to bring some consistency to the next council, which will largely be made up of newcomers no matter who is elected.
Andy Morel, who has served since 2014, is one of only two incumbents seeking another term. He and former councillor Kim Lafond are vying to replace Kathy Moore, who is not seeking re-election.
“I’m excited about the slate of people who’ve put forward [their names] for council,” Morel says. “Lots of youth, lots of energy, lots of ideas.”
However, among them, only present councillor Stewart Spooner and former councillor Tim Thatcher have elected experience.
“It’s going to be a fairly clean slate,” Morel said. “That’s a reason I decided to put my name forward for mayor. I thought consistency was important.”
He said it could take a new council longer to get up and running without someone to offer background and experience.
Morel said he has had a “great experience” as a councillor over the last eight years and has been entertaining the idea of running for a mayor for a while.
“Rossland is booming on many fronts right now. It’s been a challenge to keep up with that growth and development. We’ve had a substantial influx, one of the larger percentages among growing communities in the Kootenays.”
(Rossland’s headcount was 4,140 on the 2021 census, up from 3,729 in 2016.)
Morel points to upgrades to the city’s arena and the new city hall under construction as examples of key projects undertaken in recent years.
He’s also served as the city’s regional district representative for the last four years and has been involved in planning for a new regional curbside composting collection, expected to roll out in 2023.
“We anticipate doing some Rossland tweaks to it just because we have a challenging situation with bear and wildlife concerns,” he said.
Morel has lived in Rossland since 1998 and ran provincially and federally for the Green Party prior to being elected to council.
The self-employed carpenter runs a Nordic skiing business and has served on the boards of the Black Jack Ski Club and Rossland Council for Arts and Culture.