Winds of change in Rossland

Rossland’s new council is split down the middle between newcomers and returning favourites, according to the city’s preliminary results.

Rossland’s new council is split down the middle between newcomers and returning favourites, according to the city’s preliminary results.

Incumbent councillors Kathy Moore, Jill Spearn and Kathy Wallace settle into a new term with Tim Thatcher, Cary Fisher and Jody Blomme, who edged out incumbent Laurie Charlton, David Klein, Sharon Wieder, and Bob Chamut.

“I was really pleased with (the results) because I took it as the community saying that they really appreciate the work that we’ve done and really like the direction that we’re going,” said Moore, pointing to the returning councillors as top runners.

“I think between the three of us there was a big focus on implementing our sustainability strategic plan that the community put together in 2008, keeping community schools in Rossland and working toward regional cooperation.”

Moore was glad to see a diverse group of people throw their hats into the election race. After completing her first term as a councillor, she can appreciate the time it takes to learn the inner workings of municipal politics.

“After three years, I think it’s a good time for renewal in any organization but I’m not a big fan with throwing out the baby with the bath water,” she said.

That said, she’s not surprised Charlton almost received the least amount of votes, securing only 278 ballots in his favour.

“You know there was quite the discussion in the press about things that had gone on at council and I think that a lot of people had felt that he wasn’t being effective because he was being too contrarian about things,” she said.

“Laurie definitely had lots to say on lots of things that the rest of us didn’t necessary want to discuss in that great of depth. But I mean, he served the community really well . . .”

Voter turnout dropped to under 40 per cent in Rossland from nearly 50 per cent in 2008, which was no surprise to Moore.

“There was no huge issue dividing the community this time,” she said, noting the discussion around whether Rossland should be putting a golf course and housing development in its community water shed during the last election.

The Times could not reach Fisher or Blomme for comment by press time Sunday.