With District of Invermere councillor Al Miller committed to the mayoral race, at least one seat on council will be open to a newcomer. But his isn’t the only councillor’s chair undefended by an incumbent.
Councillor Bob Campsall told The Valley Echo he isn’t planning to put his name forward when nominations for district council open in October.
“I’ve done my time. I’ve had 15 years on council,” he says.
“That’s five terms, and I’ve put in an awful lot of meetings. I’m starting to think, well, how much time is left? Better do a few other things besides go to meetings.”
A retired school administrator, Campsall was first elected to council in 1996.
He says he sees a retirement from District of Invermere Council as a “lifestyle change,” though he still plans to be heavily involved in other community activities, which currently include work with Wildsight, the Jumbo Conservation Society and the Rod and Gun Club.
“I’ve got so many other things… They just take up so much of my time and I decided there are probably some other things that I want to do,” Campsall adds.
“I haven’t gone fishing in probably 10 years, and I used to love fishing.”
Campsall says he’ll remember his time on council fondly, though, and praised district staff and his fellow elected officials.
“I’m leaving feeling good about everything. I think we’ve done a good job for the town.”
Councillor Ray Brydon, currently finishing his second term with the district, says he’ll likely be back on the ballot a third time.
“There’s no reason that I would not run, but I’ll wait until nominations are called and make my final consideration at that time,” he says.
Brydon says he’s looking forward to seeing new candidates enter the mix, and at least two new faces in chambers.
“I think new blood’s always great,” he adds. “You need change to have a new vision from time to time.”
Councillor Spring Hawes is also committed to running again, and says she thinks the experience she gained in her first term will be an asset.
“It’s a pretty steep learning curve and for me, I feel like I understand things and I have a handle on things,” she says. “It might take you three years just to get comfortable with how things work, and the second time around hopefully we can get more things done.”
Hawes says she wants to stay focussed on community development and assisting the district’s non-profit groups. “I’m very community minded, and I think we need someone like that on council,” she says.
She’s also excited to see new councillors step up. “I think change is good. I think it’s a really good opportunity for people to vote for what they think is important.”
Campsall is also hoping to see a robust roster of candidates seeking to replace him.
“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they have something to contribute to get involved,” he says.