People living in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District had a chance to meet their candidates for the upcoming election during a meet and greet at Beaver Creek Community Hall last week.
The event on Wednesday, Oct. 10 drew 17 candidates from the ACRD and School District 70, allowing community members to meet personally with their future board directors and trustees.
“I think it’s been good, and very positive,” said organizer Karlene McMahon of the Beaver Creek Community Hall on Wednesday. “It would be nice to see the younger generation coming out and taking part.”
Common concerns voiced by ACRD candidates included water quality, keeping taxes low for rural areas and providing a “voice” for their respective areas. At least two Alberni Valley electoral areas will have a new representative, with directors Mike Kokura (Beaufort) and Lucas Banton (Cherry Creek) not seeking re-election.
Beaufort has three new faces running for the area. Tanya Shannon, who has been Kokura’s alternate on the board, says she would like to see the area’s “simple and quiet” lifestyle maintained.
“I believe in our area it’s really important how things are taxed when it comes to new projects,” she added.
Her opponent, Ted McGill, says he offers “strong leadership” and “transparency,” as well as an ability to listen to his area.
“I want to be the voice of the community,” he said during the meeting.
The third candidate for Beaufort is John Adams, who has lived in the Beaufort Area for 28 years. He is running because he says he has the ability to deal with “senior governments” in order to stand up for the people of the Beaufort area.
Although her opponent Darren DeLuca was not able to attend the meet and greet, Cherry Creek area candidate Dianne Bodnar said she wants to be a “support” for the Cherry Creek District.
“Even though I don’t have any experience, at least I could put my name in and learn and hear what the people’s concerns are,” she said.
A few ACRD directors are seeking re-election. Penny Cote, who has been a Sproat Lake representative for 13 years, is one of them.
“I’m as committed today as I was at my first election to represent Sproat Lake residents through valued partnerships,” she said on Wednesday.
Her opponent, Don Anderson, was not able to attend the meeting.
John McNabb will also be seeking re-election for the Beaver Creek area because he wants to “finish off” some of the things he has started.
“I think I’m a valuable part of the regional district board and I’d like to be there again,” he added.
His opponent this year, Celia Stocker, said she wants to be a pair of “steady hands” on the regional district board. She is promoting water preservation, a new regional aquatic centre and a free shop at the local landfill as her top three priorities.
Last week’s meet and greet event came about after a general meeting of the Beaver Creek Community Hall last month, where Beaufort candidates Shannon and McGill had expressed a concern that local meet and greets didn’t offer anything for regional district candidates.
“I thought, we should do one here,” said McMahon. “It’s the same thing for the school district, they’re not always invited to all the events. This was a way to bring everyone to one spot.”