There will definitely be a council seat up for grabs in at least two municipalities in the Oct. 20 civic election.
Trail will have one vacant councillor seat at month-end when Coun. Kevin Jolly resigns from his position.
Because he is leaving the table with only months to the local election, a byelection is not mandated to fill the chair.
The Local Government Act (Act) requires that a by-election be held to fill a vacancy if the person holding office resigns. However, the Act states that council may decide a by-election is not warranted if that vacancy occurs after January 1 in the year of a general local election. The matter will officially be on Trail’s table April 9.
Jolly advised his peers on March 26 that a job change was at the center of his departure, and his resignation from Trail council would take effect April 30.
“Although I will be working remotely from Trail some of the time, I will no longer be able to dedicate the required amount of time to council duties that would allow me to be effective in the role of councillor,” Jolly said.
“I believe that all of the great works and accomplishments that have been achieved during the last two council terms by our collective team (council, staff, employees and citizens), has changed the course of the direction of our city – in a significant and very positive way. I am proud to have played even a small part in this renewal and revitalization of our community and civic pride, and grateful to have had that opportunity.”
As far as the five other Trail councillors, they are holding any upcoming decisions close to the vest – most simply replied, “no comment.”
However, Coun. Lisa Pasin said, “The past 3.5 years on council has been a positive experience and I have been very blessed to be part of such a proactive and effective team.”
Progress has occurred within the City of Trail due to completion of historical initiatives as well as advancement of new projects, she added.
“I intend to formally reveal my intentions for next year’s election cycle, once an appropriate level of reflection and consultation has occurred with stakeholders.”
So that’s Trail. But what about the surrounding villages?
The Trail Times confirmed there will be at least one new face at Warfield council table after Oct. 20.
Coun. Shane Ferraro has said he will not seek re-election.
“I am not running,” he told the Times. “I did my turn and it was a good experience, now it’s time for somebody else to step up.”
Ferraro was elected into the role after running for the first time in 2014. Notably, he is the only Warfield councillor who stayed in the position for the full four-year term.
After Coun. Tom Milne resigned in early 2016, the village held a byelection and Coun. Arlene Parkinson was voted in. At the end of that year, former mayor Ted Pahl resigned due to job relocation and two councillors, Diane Langman and Brent Rakuson, resigned from their seats to run for the head job. Since March 2017, council has consisted of Mayor Diane Langman, Coun. Shane Ferraro, Coun. Arlene Parkinson and first-time councillors Raymond Masleck and Brad Jansen.
“If you are passionate about your community and politics, you should definitely get involved and see how everything works,” Ferraro said.
Parkinson is the only Warfield councillor confirming a bid for re-election at this point, although she said it with caution.
“I have enjoyed being back at the council table and would like to think I am contributing positively to our decision-making process,” Parkinson told the Times. “I would like to run for council again. So for now, my answer is yes, barring unforeseen circumstances.”
After serving his first four-year term, Fruitvale Coun. Steve Morissette has confirmed he is again throwing his hat in the ring – and he encourages others to consider the role.
“Yes, I am for sure running again, it has been a positive learning experience,” Morissette said. “I would encourage anyone, young or old, that has any thought of running to Google ‘thinking of running for local office’ and read up on what’s involved,” he added.
“And don’t be afraid, there’s lots of help/courses after the election.”
Another Fruitvale councillor, Tabatha Webber, has also confirmed she will be running again.
“Yes, I will be seeking re-election this year,” Webber said. “There are a lot of positive things going on in the village and I am eager to still be part of it. The village is just starting to plan the old middle school site, which was one of the major topics discussed back when I first sought election three terms ago, and I am excited to move this project forward.”
She is also involved with the Municipal Insurance Associated of British Columbia, and as a board member, working on bringing sustainable and stable insurance pricing to all municipalities in B.C.
“A valuable program for Fruitvale is the insurance for service providers on behalf of local governments,” Webber explained. “This brings better insurance coverage and lower costs directly to our community’s non-profits groups and organizations like the BV May Days and the Beaver Valley Blooming Society, to name a few.”
Next door in Montrose, the council table is remaining fairly mum, though one long term councillor has this to offer.
“I’m going to say I’m not sure,” long-time Coun. Cindy Cook shared. “The rec deal was the issue I struggled with most.”
Cook was referring to the 2014 election when Montrose residents were paying double to access Trail facilities because a recreation deal was not in place between the Beaver Valley communities and the city.
“BV rec worked hard to make it happen and I can honestly say, all the hard work payed off,” Cook said. “With the deal in place, it may be time for me to go. However, I love being on council and my community is amazing and walking away just might prove hard.”
For anyone interested in running for local office, the province has a detailed online resource at www2.gov.bc.ca.