There’ll be new faces on Rossland city council after this fall’s municipal elections, no matter the outcome of the vote.
That’s because at least four incumbent councillors have decided not to run again.
“If I did run again, I’d have to submit my divorce papers as well,” jokes Aaron Cosbey, a first-term councillor. He says the pressures of having two young kids, and an environmental consulting business to run, have prompted him not to run again.
“Every hour I spend on council work is an hour of work not going towards paying the mortgage,” he told Rossland News. “I don’t regret the hours I have spent over the last four years, but I just can’t afford to do it anymore.”
Cosbey says he has lots of regret over the decision not to run again, as he found council work rewarding and is interested in many upcoming issues, like development of the Emcon lot.
But he’s not the only councillor calling it quits.
“I am absolutely not running again,” Marten Kruysse said emphatically. But it’s not because his experience with City Hall.
“We have had a good group of councillors who have worked together, and we have a good staff complement who have the city’s best interests at heart,” he says. But he also says looming issues like recreation policy and asset management are on the horizon, and he’s just not as interested in applying his energy to those.
“When I ran there were a number of issues at City Hall and I had some background that would perhaps help resolve some of those issues,” he told Rossland News. “Council collectively achieved those solutions in a few years. Since then, well, I am more of a hands-on, project-oriented guy, rather than a governance-type person.”
Kruysse says he’d recommend others run for council.
“If people are thoughtful, prepared to read the material, the staff and consultant reports, and think about the recommendations and won’t be shy about discussing the options with their fellow citizens, then yes, it’s good,” he says.
Lloyd McLellan won’t be returning to council after first being voted in over 20 years ago. He’s spent 14 years of his retirement in public service on council.
“I took a six-year sabbatical, but ran again because I felt some staff changes were needed,” he says. “We made those changes and I think we have an excellent staff moving ahead in Rossland. I think that was a big accomplishment.
“Now I’m 80,” he says. “I think another four-year commitment would be too much at this point in life.”
Andrew Zwicker is the fourth councillor who’s hanging up his political hat.
“I’m going to sit this one out,” says the one-term councillor. “At the end of the day I had to ask where can I put my time to the best use. And at this time it’s elsewhere.”
Zwicker declined to say what is pulling him away from council, but says it’s not his experience the last four years.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time,” he says. “At times it’s stressful, at times it’s frustrating, but at the end of the day it’s been a really enjoyable, satisfying experience.”
The entrepreneur and podcaster says the good part of the job has been working with his fellow councillors and the staff.
At least one councillor is sitting on the fence.
“I haven’t decided yet,” John Greene says when asked if he’s going to run. “I am just waiting to see what else is happening.”
“I am a Libran,” he added. “And like all Librans I like to collect all the information I need before making a decision, and then I usually make the right one.”
The News was unable to reach councillor Andy Morel.
Mayor hoping for race
As far as the mayor’s chair, Kathy Moore says she’s seeking re-election.
“There are a lot of things left to do, and I’ve been really happy with the progress we’ve made,” she says. If re-elected, she says she’s looking forward to working on issues like the workforce housing project on the Emcon lot, getting water conservation pricing in place, and the asset management project.
“It’s also good to give back to the community,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot and it’s a good use of my time.”
No one’s declared yet whether they’ll challenge Moore for the top job. But she’s hoping for a real race.
“I hope someone does run against me, it’s different when you’re acclaimed, or when you’re chosen by voters in a race,” she said. “Being acclaimed is sort of like being asked to the dance because you’re the only girl left.”
Papers to run for council can be picked up at City Hall. Nomination papers can be filed between Sept. 4 and 14.