Tanya Shannon and Dianne Bodnar have both been re-elected to their seats on the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board of directors.
Shannon and Bodnar were elected to represent Areas B (Beaufort) and F (Cherry Creek) respectively last fall, but were required to give up their seats with a court-ordered byelection after the results from October’s civic election were declared “invalid.” A review of the votes showed that 13 voters in the Beaufort Area had erroneously voted in Cherry Creek.
In the October 2018 election, Shannon was elected over Ted McGill by a margin of 11 votes, while Bodnar won against her opponent, Darren DeLuca, by a margin of only seven votes. McGill once again challenged Shannon in the byelection, while Aaron Brevick stepped up as a contender in Cherry Creek. DeLuca did not submit nomination papers, but supported Brevick by signing his nomination papers.
Preliminary results show that 154 electors took part in the byelection in the Beaufort Area, and 89 votes went to Shannon. Shannon said she learned about the results after receiving a “congratulations” text from ACRD board chair John Jack.
“I’m excited that I got the position back and I’m excited to get back at it,” she said.
She admitted that campaigning again was “a little stressful,” but she has been attending ACRD board meetings as a member of the public to keep herself up to date.
“It’s unfortunate that there were two vacant seats during the whole budget process, but I know ACRD staff tried their best to be fair,” she said. “It was hard for them, too.”
Shannon replaces long-time director Mike Kokura, who stepped down from municipal politics last year after serving as Beaufort director for 40 years.
In Cherry Creek this time around, there were 189 total voters; 145 of them voted for Bodnar.
“I’m feeling quite good,” said Bodnar after the results were announced. “I actually got more votes this time than last time. It’s very important that that many voters came out. I want to thank everybody who came out on a stormy day to vote.”
Bodnar, who knocked on more than 300 doors during her campaign, said that this is her very first foray into politics.
“I feel that this is a time to learn more about my role as a director,” she said. “I want to listen to what Cherry Creek people have to say and try to be a voice for them on the ACRD board.”
According to Wendy Thomson, chief election officer for the ACRD, the regional district tried to avoid the errors of the October election by using a computer system to look up where each elector lived and to make sure they weren’t voting in the wrong area.
“That’s a practice that we’ll use going forward,” Thomson added.