With two candidates for mayor and six candidates for council, Sun Peaks’ first municipal election is set to go for June 12. The election runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Salon B at the Delta Sun Peaks. SPIN Newsmagazine is holding a candidates’ forum on May 25, 6 p.m. at the Delta Sun Peaks. You can also watch it live online via Ustream on the SPIN website at www.sunpeaksnews.com.
Al Raine and Gerald Allgaier are both running for mayor. Whoever wins the position will lead what will be British Columbia’s first mountain resort municipality.
Candidates for council include Doug Avery, Mike Forster, Deb Frolek, Ines Popig, John Powell and Mario Pozza.
Three councillors will be elected. The fourth councillor will be appointed by the province. The council will govern Sun Peaks for a one and a half year term.
“I’m not taking this lightly,” said Allgaier on running for mayor. “Asking for a job to be the head of a multimillion dollar organization, there’s a lot of trust in that . . . I do want a real firm hand on the fiscal responsibility.”
“We want to promote the area so it’s a place for people to live, have children, work, have vacations,” he added.
“Because I like to think that I’m careful with my money in my personal life, I’m more than careful with other people’s money.”
Raine said the future council must create a vision for the community with the public’s input.
“We won’t be a great resort if we’re not a great community, so we need to make sure the community and the financial aspect of the resort are really blended,” said Raine.
He sees potential addition of services like schooling and improved health care in the long term. “We have to come up with innovative ideas,” he added.
Pozza said the future council must focus on addressing existing issues. “As the inaugural council, you don’t want to be diving into a whole bunch of new responsibilities in the first year,” he said. Pozza sees the council as the community’s watchdog. “I’d like to work on the basics (like snow removal, zoning and garbage issues) . . . and deal with the issues that are gonna rise in that whole process.”
Forster said the council must be good stewards of tax dollars. “I believe maintaining a balanced, realistic budget to minimize the impact on Sun Peaks’ property taxes is very important. A detailed technical report was created for the Sun Peaks Municipality Study and I believe this could serve as a good baseline.”
Sun Peaks may be small but it’s a segmented population. There are renters, business owners, and property owners further subdivided into residents and non-residents.
Avery believes each group must be well-represented. “In order for the resort to grow, we’ve got to make sure we understand their perspective, what’s important to them,” he said.
Avery is also committed to keeping the community environmentally responsible.
Similarly, the voice of the younger population in Sun Peaks must be heard, said Powell. “I was looking at the candidates that were running and there was no one to represent the younger population at Sun Peaks,” said Powell. At 27, he’s the youngest candidate of the batch. “I see Sun Peaks as a constantly growing and vibrant place that needs some good direction,” said Powell. “My goal is to make sure the young, non-property owning population is not left out of the mix. Affordable housing is definitely something I would prioritize.”
Frolek and Popig are the only two women running for office.
Frolek said she’s up for the challenges that a new resort municipality may raise. “I don’t want to see taxes rise unnecessarily,” said Frolek. “If I’m elected, I would have a chance to make sure that how the tax dollars are spent is kept very accountable and visible.”
Likewise, Popig, who served as chair of the Sun Peaks Resort Improvement District, wants to “provide community services that are necessary and cost effective. I will focus on maintaining financial effectiveness of the local government.”
Advanced voting opportunities are available:
- Wed., June 2, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hearthstone Lodge (Mt. Tod/Mt. Morrisey room)
- Sat., June 5, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Delta Sun Peaks (McGillivray Room)
- Wed., June 9, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Thompson Nicola Regional District office (465 Victoria St., Kamloops)
Eligible voters who will be away during these dates can vote through mail-in ballots, which can be accessed from the TNRD office or website. The ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on June 12.
For more information on the election, contact Lyle Huntley at 250-377-8673.