In a day of election results across the province, Gerry Wilkie has defeated Roberta Hall for the directorship of Area G.
Wilkie was returned to his seat over Hall, a former School District 6 trustee, by a margin of 202-126.
“I’m very pleased to be re-elected,” Wilkie said. “I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted me back in.”
Wilkie returns for a second term, and will be joining the regular cast of characters familiar to those who attend Regional District of East Kootenay meetings. Every area director on the board was re-elected this election cycle.
Wilkie says this is a good thing, thanks to their existing familiarity with one another.
“All of the electoral directors are returning, and since we know each other, we’ll hopefully continue to work well together,” Wilkie said.
Wilkie, a resident of Edgewater for a number of years, was first acclaimed to the RDEK board for Area G in 2008.
This time around, Wilkie ran on a platform that included building existing community and rural values, as well as encouraging diversity in economic initiatives while balancing environmental concerns.
Things Wilkie would like to accomplish during his tenure as director include facilitating affordable housing, improving local communications technology and improvements to local water systems.
“I’d like to work on strengthening our social and economic relationships in the upper Columbia Valley,” Wilkie said. “Two means of doing just that are to establish a community forest, and to continue to encourage small-scale food production. Locally we have some real strong proponents to do just that.”
Wilkie added that he would like to continue to be approachable and available to the public, and stayed firm on his commitment to the rural values that many people hold dear in the Columbia Valley.
“I’d like the valley to continue to be a great rural place in which to live,” Wilkie said.
“I think the people here appreciate that quality of life—it’s something quite difficult to define.”
Wilkie also took the time to congratulate council candidates across the region, noting in particular his opinion that Invermere was lucky to have a, “brilliant young guy like Gerry Taft,” to represent it as mayor.
Looking at the preliminary election results, Hall fared best with voters at the Edgewater and Prestige Resort polling stations, where she beat Wilkie by 77-68 and 22-20. Wilkie, however, carried the Brisco and Wilmer polls by wide margins — 38-18 and 56-4. He also fared better in two rounds of advance voting.