SD 70 board acclaimed as is most of ACRD

Two of Alberni's civic bodies are all but acclaimed and officials don't know why more candidates didn't run for office.

At School District 70 it’s almost status quo while at the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District someone’s going to go, in this November’s civic election.

At SD70, five of six trustees were acclaimed to their seats: John Bennie, Rosemarie Buchanan, Glenn Wong, Larry Ransom and Pat Dahlquist.

Barb Mayor replaces Elanor Gee as trustee for the West Coast.

Former trustee Rodney Rogers didn’t run again. His vacancy was filled with the only other person who ran for office—Pam Craig, who makes a return to the school board after more than a decade away.

“I’m excited to be back — I missed it,” Craig said. “I feel like I have more to contribute.”

Craig served as a trustee from 1991–2000. Despite her time away she never lost interest in the district and tried to keep up with developments and meetings.

The district needs to do a better job of informing the public about both the business it does and the programs and services which go largely unnoticed, she said.

“We need to communicate with the broader community about what we do.”

The acclamations are anticlimactic, trustee chair Larry Ransom said.

“I thought that this would be a great opportunity to raise and debate the issues that are facing School District 70 but now we’re not going to do that,” Ransom said.

The move is a tepid vote of confidence because there is still a period in which nominations can be either challenged or withdrawn. If everything stands “then we’ll continue to be strong advocates for students across our district,” Ransom said.

Why there were not more candidates who ran for trustee is a mystery. “I don’t know why more people didn’t run and I was surprised at that,” Ransom said. “It’s an opportunity to make a difference so I thought there’d be more candidates.”

In 2008, more than a dozen people put their names forward for school trustee; many running on a single-issue platform, that being the controversial new Alberni District Secondary School.

Meanwhile at the ACRD, Glenn Wong, Stefan Ochman, Mike Kokura, Tony Bennett have all returned for another term of office by acclamation.

In the Sproat Lake region, incumbent director Penny Cote is facing a challenge from Derek Appleton. And in Beaver Creek, current director Patty Edwards is vying for the seat with Colin McLeman and John McNabb.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com