Sun Peaks now has its own mayor and council with 325 people casting their ballots at the polls. The number of voters is up from the 291 that voted during the referendum.
Winning a landslide victory over his mayoral opponent, Al Raine was elected as the new mayor garnering 283 votes. Gerald Allgaier had 40 votes.
Raine said it’s very humbling to see strong support from the voting public, not just for himself but for all the candidates.
The three elected council members were Ines Popig (213 votes), Mario Pozza (196 votes) and Michael Forster (183 votes).
All three elected councillors have a history of long-term community involvement.
“People know this is an important time and setting up a municipality is not all that easy,” Raine commented on how the election turned out. “Obviously people were looking to those who have a proven track record of dedicating their time and who have the experience.”
Darcy Alexander was appointed by the province as the fourth councillor.
Candidate Doug Avery received 140 votes, Deb Frolek 96 votes and John Powell 77 votes.
Forster is pleased with the elected council members. “I think it’ll be great. All of us have been working in the past four years in the incorporation study committee.”
Since the first council’s term runs for only a year and a half, the council is focusing on a few key aspects to work on. Raine said it’ll definitely include addressing the short-term rentals.
“Is the bylaw grey? Is it legal or is it illegal to have short-term rentals? And if we indeed conclude that the bylaw is grey, then I think we have an obligation to make it black and white so there’s no question about whether you can or you can’t, depending on the direction that the council wants to take,” Raine said.
Addressing the noise and nuisance aspect may help pare down this issue, he added.
“If we can manage the noise and nuisance issues effectively, then there may not be so many people too upset about the short-term rentals,” he said. The council must examine both sides of the issue to arrive at a workable solution, said Raine.
“I believe a noise and nuisance bylaw will definitely help. It seems to be a pretty effective tool in other communities,” said Forster.
Another important item is creating a community plan with the public’s input.
“I also encourage (those who weren’t elected) to get involved because I definitely hope we’ll set up a committee structure where we have council members to head up different committees and we’ll be inviting the public in general to participate in these committees.”
One of council’s first orders of business is to hire a Chief Administrative Officer.
The inaugural meeting is on June 28, 2:30 p.m. at the Delta Sun Peaks Resort. Watch it online via UStream at www.sunpeaksnews.com/ustream.