This year’s local election is shaping up to be a fairly uneventful one, and it’s hardly going out on a limb to make this statement. With the top positions to the north acclaimed, clearly there was no groundswell of discontent brewing large enough to off-seat Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, now-Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt or Area G director for the regional district Gerry Wilkie.
Furthermore, despite the rumours that have been circulating for months, all previous councillors for Invemere (minus Spring Hawes) and Radium are wanting to return, while each respective municipality has just two non-incumbents making a bid for one of the four available seats. With Home Hardware’s Al Miller as one of the two “fresh” faces in Invermere coming forward, it’s practically a family reunion.
Where things promise to be slightly more exciting is down south, where Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras, who has been on council since Canal Flats was incorporated in 2004, is being challenged by current councillor Dean Midyette. And whereas in the last election, all the Canal Flats councillors were acclaimed, this year the two incumbents, Marie Delorme and Paul Marcil, are surrounded by the competition presented by three newcomers. That there’s greater interest is likely indicative of the giant strides Canal Flats has been making as a community over the last several years, and promising for its future.
DTSS teacher Andrea Dunlop will have a tough time ousting Area F director Wendy Booth, who has become a political force to be reckoned with as the regional district vice chair, a director at large for the UBCM executive and a director on the CBT board. That Ms. Dunlop is one of three local women to make a fresh foray into local politics — the others being 22-year-old Kayja Becker (daughter of realtor Ken Becker) who is vying for Invermere council and Erin Gornik who is in the running for Canal Flats — is promising, yet with only one woman in the Invermere race, representation by both genders at this point in time is dicey. Let the games begin.