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ELECTION DAY: Polls are officially closed

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Voters across British Columbia are finished at the polls today to choose a mayor, council and other leaders in local government.

Who is running for mayor?

Merlin Blackwell:

Having served on town council, Blackwell has also chaired or sat on many committees the District of Clearwater town council has, including Parks and Recreation, Finance, Public works and Infrastructure, and Economic Development, as well as many community committees like the Forestry Working Group, the Trails Taskforce, the Front Door to Grocery Store Seniors and Accessibility Study and Junior Council.

Jon Kreke:

Kreke has owned and operated the Dutch Lake Resort for the past 29 years with his wife Chris and they’ve raised their three daughters in Clearwater. As well, Kreke has been involved with Tourism Wells Gray for several years, was a board member for Community Futures in Kamloops for two years and also served as a Clearwater District Councillor.

Local government should be receptive and responsive

Economic development top concern put to mayoral candidates

Who is running for council?

Barry Banford:

Banford has lived and worked in the Clearwater community since 1998 and served on council for the last seven years. He said serving on council has given him a strong understanding of how local government works and he feels experience, consistency and continuity are critical in moving the community forward in the future. He read everything that came before council and always evaluated the risks and looked for solutions which benefited all members of our community.

Experience and consistency are critical

Bill Haring:

Haring has lived in Clearwater since 2015. He said he was happy to establish roots here with his wife Stephanie and son Leif after 34 years of visiting his grandparents in Clearwater. He’s a paramedic with emergency management experience and worked as an emergency planning analyst for Alberta Health. Before that he managed fire and flood response with the Canadian Red Cross. With the increasing number of wildfires each summer he hopes to bring his emergency management focus to council.

Emergency management focus and reducing barriers for small business

Brent Cooper:

Cooper is a sociologist who recently moved from Vancouver to Clearwater to work from home, settle down, and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. He said the longer he’s here the more he falls in love with the District of Clearwater, and he’s ready to deepen this relationship by being a city councillor. Some of his greatest concerns are to protect the park spaces, create affordable housing, and streamline economic development.

New resident brings fresh perspective

Keith McNeill:

After McNeill’s 30 years as a reporter and then editor with the Clearwater Times, he said he’s probably attended more local government meetings than most others. When he retired several residents suggested he put that experience to work and become a town councilor. His experience gave him a vision for the community, which includes preparing for worsening wildfire seasons, reducing tax on businesses and making the property in the northwest corner of Dutch Lake into a park.

Keith McNeill officially in the running

Lucy Taylor:

Taylor moved to Clearwater from Ontario, along with her husband and two children, in 2015. Since, they’ve started a small agri-tourism business at Beaver Lake Homestead. Taylor served as a director on the Raft River School PAC and the Wells Gray Riders Association. She also volunteered at the evacuation centre during last year’s wildfires. Taylor worked as a senior finance manager for more than 20 years and would like to contribute that expertise to council.

Strong voice, strong work ethic and a strong community spirit

Lyle Mackenzie:

Mackenzie is a 38 year-old family man with a family name that reaches beyond 100 years in the North Thompson. He’s lived his whole life in the valley with 30 years spent in Clearwater, a place he said he has no intentions on leaving. As a graduate from Clearwater Secondary School with a trade ticket in the welding field, mixed with hard work and dedication, he said he strongly believes he can help shape Clearwater into the best place it can possibly be to live, work, and play.

Encouraging the younger generations to have voices heard

Lynne Frizzle:

Frizzle lived in Clearwater most of her life and raised two children here. She’s worked for several public sectors in Clearwater over the years including Community Resource Centre, Yellowhead Community Services, and the municipal office, adding she has a good understanding of how local government works. As part of council, she said she wants to work towards affordable housing and ensuring that seniors needs are part of council’s decision making process.

Ensuring seniors needs are part of council’s decision making

Ray Kollin:

Kollin and his wife Verna are both retired and are proud grandparents. They’re involved with their church and are active members of the Wells Grey Senior’s Society, and Kollin participates in the local Writer’s Circle. If elected his priorities will include: more child care spaces, expanding Evergreen Acres beyond current plans, construction of more housing for young families and also requesting an update on conditions of sewer and water infrastructure.

More childcare spaces and homes for young families

Shelley Sim:

For the past two terms, Sim served on council and is seeking a third term to keep the work going. She said she feels her experience will be valuable in the next stages of community growth. In addition to running a local business (Original, she’s currently upgrading her education and taking Community Economic Development, which she sees as a valuable asset to the council table.

More table top discussions with local business and creating more opportunity for art, culture and festivals

Travis Borneman:

Travis Borneman said he’s running for council because he wants to be a part of the vision and implementation involved in growing Clearwater and be one of the decision makers who help develope the future for the community. To be the people’s voice on council, ensuring its alignment with their values and to support the vision that they have for the future of their families, businesses and themselves.

Ensuring council’s alignment with your values

Will Ellis:

Ellis has lived in Clearwater for 39 years and was a first aid attendant for many of them. He’s worked in the local wood industry, from planting it to nailing it, and has done many other odd jobs to make ends meet. Ellis started work in the oil and gas sector in 2002 as a medic, then a roughneck, then as a safety/air hand. He was also on many safety boards and often was made lead-hand on projects. Given his experience, he said he believes he has the tools and training to take on the task as a council member.

Staying true to core beliefs of family, friends, community, and our freedoms

Potential councillors answer public concerns

Who is Running for regional director?

Carol Schaffer:

Schaffer is seeking re-election as TNRD director Area “A”. She worked for 33 years with Court Services in Clearwater, as court administrator and Justice of the Peace and has volunteered with numerous clubs and boards. If elected, her future commitments include upgrading fire halls, fire department apparatus, and parks, etc. She said she believes her experience and character are a strong combination that would blend well to bring successful continued results.

By working together we can achieve our goals

Tim Pennell:

Pennell said his track record is one of a very active director, having held the title in the past. He’s worked with many community groups over the years to determine their needs and provide assistance where possible. He said he became involved in other organizations to raise the profile of the area and have better access to individuals at higher levels of government and corporations, citing one example of success from this as the Vavenby Cell Tower.

It’s time to regain the momentum

TNRD candidates talk acreage issues and road maintenance

For all of our stories on the municipal election, click here.

Check out our website and Facebook page for full coverage of the results Saturday evening.