From now and until general voting day on Oct. 15, local politics in Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley will certainly be at the forefront of news as a very long list of candidates have thrown their hats into the mayoral and councillor ring.
In the Golden City, two candidates are vying for mayor: Kim LaFond, a former councillor; and Andy Morel, a current Rossland councillor.
Running for one of the six councillor seats open in Rossland are a dozen candidates: Eliza Boyce; Paul Evans; Richard Horney; Craig Humpherys; Richard Kemick; Lisa Kwiatkowski; Brian Pistak; Maya Provencal; Stewart Spooner (incumbent); Tim Thatcher, served prior to 2018; Sam Troy; and Jeff Weaver.
Next up, Warfield.
After eight years on council, six as Warfield mayor, Diane Langman announced a few weeks ago that she would not be seeking re-election. Instead, Langman is moving on with a full-time career and devoting more time to family, including two teenagers active in sports.
Now, two new faces to the village’s political field are vying for the mayoral role; Erika Krest and Frank Marino.
In the running for one of four councillor seats open are seven candidates: Carolyn Amantea; Jaimie Gage; Jim Hill (incumbent); Raymond Masleck (incumbent); Fran Noone; Arlene Parkinson (incumbent); and Deb Penner (served other).
Next up is the City of Trail, where there will be a mayor’s race and plenty of names in play for one of six councillor seats, including 11 first-time candidates and two incumbents.
As far as the mayoral role, Colleen Jones, a councillor currently finishing her first term is challenging current Trail mayor, Lisa Pasin (incumbent).
The 13 candidates seeking a councillor seat are: Bev Benson; Donovan Brown; Paul Butler (incumbent); Glen Byle; Nick Cashol; Bryan DeFerro; Carol Dobie (incumbent); Ravi Gandha; Thea Hanson; Jeff Jones; Terry Martin; Rebecca Richards; and Doug Wilson.
Looking east to Montrose, mayoral candidate Lynda Bouthillier is challenging current Montrose mayor Mike Walsh (incumbent).
There will also be a councillor race with five candidates in the running: Don Berriault (incumbent); Paul Caron (incumbent); Cindy Cook (incumbent); Joyce Logan; and Rory Steep (incumbent).
Fruitvale will not have a mayor’s race.
Incumbent Mayor Steve Morissette has gone unchallenged, thereby retaining a second mayoral term by acclamation.
There are, however, eight candidates, five new names and three incumbents, vying for one of four seats on Fruitvale council: Catherine Ellison; Carrie Farnum; Vickie Fitzpatrick (incumbent); Lindsay Kenny (incumbent); Jennifer Krause; Julia Mason; Wes Startup; and Bill Wenman (incumbent).
Locally in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) electoral areas, there won’t be an election.
Incumbent Ali Grieve, Director, Area A (Beaver Valley), has gone unchallenged and will retain her seat by acclamation.
Incumbent Linda Worley, Director, Area B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory has also gone unchallenged and will retain her seat by acclamation.
Incumbent Grace McGregor, Director, Area C (Christina Lake) is being challenged by Andreas Tomaszewski.
In the Grand Forks area, incumbent Area D Director Danna O’Donnell is being challenged by two candidates; Peter Demski; and Linda Wiese.
Incumbent Vicki Gee, Director, Area E (Boundary Country and Big White) is being challenged by two candidates; Sharen Gibbs and Oliver Glaser.
As part of municipal elections held every four years are the elections of nine trustees to the board of School District 20-Kootenay Columbia.
For the City of Trail, incumbents Terry Hanik and Mark Wilson will retain their seats by acclamation. As well, Gordon Smith, trustee representing the City of Rossland, has retained his seat by acclamation. As the sole candidate for Area 3, the Village of Warfield, Darilyn Simister will take on the role by acclamation.
There will, however, be a trustee election in Area A (Fruitvale, Montrose) as incumbents Darrel Ganzert and Stephen Piccolo are being challenged by Sean McFarlane. Incumbent Catherine Zaitsoff, current trustee chair representing Castlegar/Area 2, and newcomer Gavin Fox will have their seats by acclamation as will incumbent Kristin Ali, Area 1/Castlegar.
School Trustees act as a corporate board to establish policies which govern a school district. Each year the board must adopt a final budget for that fiscal year and a preliminary for the next fiscal year.
The nomination period for the local election closed Friday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. The deadline for candidate withdrawal is Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.
The number of eligible voters, according to LocalElections.ca, are: Rossland (3,075); Warfield (1,353); Trail (6,481); Montrose (791); Fruitvale (1,611); five electoral areas of the RDKB (9,045).