Two women leaders in local government have confirmed they will seek re-election this fall. (Trail Times file photo)

Civic election draws early interest in Warfield, Area B

General voting day for the B.C. Local Government Election is Oct. 20

The campaign trail has been quiet on the homefront so far. But two women leaders in local government have confirmed they will seek re-election this fall.

“Yes, I’m running again,” Warfield Mayor Diane Langman told the Trail Times. “There are so many reasons why, but mainly because I love Warfield and I love my job,” she added.

“And I love being able to think beyond Warfield at a regional level as an RDKB director, helping to shape and plan the future of our community. There’s so much more I want to say, but I truly do just love this role.”

Area B Director Linda Worley also confirmed she will seek to keep her position with the RDKB (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary).

“Yes, I will be running again,” Worley said. “As I am in the middle of a lot of work in, and for, Area B.”

Montrose is the first local municipality to officially get into the civic election game in advance of B.C.’s general voting day on Oct. 20.

Village council appointed staff members to Chief and Deputy Chief Election Officer in January, and Trail will do the same during the governance meeting on Tuesday.

While the election period for mayoral or councillor positions launched Jan. 1, the nomination period is still months away, so aside from Langman and Worley, politicians are remaining mum on potential runs.

“Although we are already planning for the October election,” noted Trail Corporate Administrator Michelle McIsaac. “It is way too early for anyone to submit papers, although they can be campaigning.”

The nomination period begins Sept. 4th at 9 a.m. and closes on Sept. 14 at 4 p.m.

In a typical general local election, there are approximately 3,300 candidates who run for 1,650 positions across British Columbia, according to the website CivicInfoBC.

Province-wide, voter turnout for B.C.’s 2014 municipal elections, not including regional district electoral areas or school districts, was approximately 33 per cent. For regional district electoral areas, voter turnout neared 23 per cent.

Looking back at the 2014 civic election, local mayoral races appeared to up the voter turnout. In Trail, almost 50 per cent of electors came out to vote in Mike Martin, the city’s first new mayor since 2001. Interestingly, another new face to politics, Coun. Lisa Pasin, garnered 2,233 votes, the most of all eight councillor and two mayoral candidates.

That year, hot topics at the Trail forum were problems with “regional collaboration,” the skate park being at a years-long standstill, and little economic growth and development especially in the downtown core.

Voter turnout in Warfield heated up with the 2014 four-way mayor’s race. For more than a decade the position was held by acclamation, so the community forum was standing room only while candidates, including six councillor hopefuls, were grilled about everything from property taxes to the abrupt halt of a library/recreation agreement with Trail. Newcomer Ted Pahl was elected mayor and newcomer Diane Langman was voted in as one of four councillors. Pahl resigned two years later due to a job transfer, and Langman was voted in as mayor in a February 2017 byelection.

“I have learned so much in this past year as mayor,” Langman shared. “There have been hard and difficult times, but I feel those are the times where the most growth, education and development are made because you have to look past the obstacles and figure out the big picture, and how you see this ending.

“At the end of the day, you just remind yourself that you’re there to do the best possible job that you can.”

In Beaver Valley, 39 per cent of Montrose electors voted in incumbent Joe Danchuk for a second term. Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini retained her position by acclamation, with about 22 per cent of voters casting ballots to elect four village councillors.

For the first time in Rossland’s history, a recount was demanded after two councillor candidates tied with 788 votes each during the first round of ballot counting.

The next step was a judicial recount, but election officials counted one more time and found that John Greene had beat Tim Thatcher by just two votes.

Thatcher was given the chance to request a judicial recount, but declined and the seat went to Greene.

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