Alberni Valley News

Cherry Creek elects new ACRD director

Good old fashioned campaigning and being vested in the community resulted in being elected to the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, new director Lucas Banton said.

Banton won Saturday's byelection with 134 votes. Mike McDowall took the next highest number of votes with 77.

"It's only been a day and it's a bit early yet. But the responsibility to the people of Cherry Creek is going to be my focus," Banton said. "And I take that responsibility very seriously."

Bob Vandermolen, Wade Nicklin, Derek Wong and Graham Hughes also were runners up.

Banton replaces former director Glenn Wong, who died suddenly last September.

Going door to door in Cherry Creek and just listening went a long way in helping clinch the win, Banton said. "I told people what I thought about issues such as the fire department and water, and I asked them what their issues were," he said. "I think people appreciated the personal touch. It was a good investment of time."

Banton is no stranger to the workings of the ACRD. He's already involved with the water board. "People want to know that you'r vested in the community. That really helped credibility-wise," he said.

Water is going to be a critical issue in the district, Banton said. "People want to continue having their own water system and I think this is going to be a big issue," he said. Property use bylaws are another important issue on the horizon, he added.

A business analyst by trade, Banton works with governments and businesses, he said. And he pours over facts and figures, so his work at the ACRD is cut out for him. The budget process and strategic planning will soon be underway. And there's reading to familiarize himself with issues. "I've got a lot to get up to speed on," he said.

"It feels great knowing that I was supported by the people who live around me," Banton said. "It was a tight race and everyone worked hard so the margin was a surprise."

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

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