Like the pastoral country that abounds it, the 2011 election in the rural areas of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was a quiet affair, with referendum questions dominating more of the ‘X’s’ than the candidates.
Overall, the lack of any real slate of candidates in the areas — and two acclamations — was a deterrent as only 14 per cent of voters came out region-wide, with 1,459 eligible voters out of 10,200 casting their votes.
Just outside of Trail in Area A, Ali Grieve held on to the seat with a deciding 202-vote to 40 victory over challenger Scott Cohen.
It was nearly the same margin of victory as Grieve’s for the ‘No’ vote in the Trail Library referendum in Area B, with rural residents voting 178 to 39 against establishing the service in conjunction with the City.
If it had passed, the bylaw would have increased the annual requisition limit (taxation) from $270,000 to $355,000 per year.
Linda Worley was acclaimed as the director, following up on Marie Christiansen’s acclamation in the area three years ago.
Although Grace McGregor was acclaimed in the area for the second year in a row, there was an issue that brought people out to the polls.
The questions of whether the area residents could support the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary in adopting Bylaw No. 1476 — a bylaw to establish a cemetery service in Area C — was pitched to the electorate.
The bylaw came with a maximum requisition limit of $70,000 per year from taxpayers, and the amount was deemed too much as 305 people voted against establishing the service, while 77 voted for it.
The area had the biggest field of all regional districts with five candidates vying for the directorship. When the smoke cleared late on Saturday night incumbent director Irene Perepolkin came out with a sizable margin in votes with 325, 207 more than her nearest challenger.
Both Brian Johnson and Teresa Taylor tied for second in the voting with 118 votes apiece, while Dave Johnson had 68 and Ken Johnston rounded out the field with 30 votes.
Voters in Area D had an ulterior motive for coming out on Saturday as the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre referendum was also on the ballot sheet, but it was narrowly defeated, 1,045 to 969.
If it had passed, the bylaw would have authorized the borrowing of funds in the amount of $1.5 million, increasing the requisition limit (taxation) from $500,000 to $650,000 per year.
Incumbent director Bill Baird fended off a challenge from Christopher Stevenson and retained his seat with a 354- to 204-vote victory.
Like the other three referendums in the RDKB, the Rock Creek fire protection referendum did not pass, falling by 12 votes, 140 to 128. Establishing a fire protection service in Area E (Rock Creek) meant a maximum requisition limit of $160,000 per year and the borrowing of funds in the amount of $500,000.