On Saturday, Nov. 19, eligible voters will cast their ballots to elect the first full term mayor of the Mountain Resort Municipality of Sun Peaks. While municipal status was granted on June 28, 2010, this year we fall in line with all municipal elections in B.C. and will, going forth, vote every three years for our mayor and council.
The Sun Peaks election is different from other municipalities in B.C. this year, as all three of the Sun Peaks elected councillors were re-elected by acclamation with no one challenging their positions. Furthermore, the one provincially appointed councillor (a first in B.C., if not Canada) will be named by the Province after the election. The same cannot be said for the mayor’s race, as Sun Peaks’ first incumbent mayor, Al Raine, is being challenged by local resident Ms. Renate Kals.
Ms. Kals, a long-time resident of the community, has been a very outspoken opponent of the new mayor and council and other community leaders over the past years and currently uses her own web blog to further her “Save Sun Peaks” cause. On the other side of the race is incumbent Mayor Al Raine whose first 18 month term as mayor has been full of new and sometimes bumpy territory in guiding the community through the municipal transition process of bylaws, taxes and legal challenges.
While the democratic system of Canadian politics allows anyone eligible for public office to run in an election, sometimes one has to question the true rationale of political candidates. The job of being a mayor in B.C. is truly a thankless one in the end, and the annual salary, simply put, is less than my truck’s fuel bill per annum.
So the question begs, why would someone run for mayor? There are only two reasons that come to mind. One: they have lots of excess time on their hands and want to do something positive for their community. Or two: they feel that the leadership is lacking and their goal is to smooth out the rocky road of community governance as it stands.
I think it can be safely said that while both may very well be valid reasons to throw your name in the political ring, does the latter really do any good for community well-being as a whole? Is the new municipality of Sun Peaks already broken after only 18 months in existence?
That’s a question you’ll have to ask of or answer yourself once you step to the polls on Nov. 19. All politics aside, just make sure get out and vote as that’s your Canadian right.