Plenty of Choice for Voters

Well, all the papers are filed and residents of this area will have to make their choices from one of the largest slates in recent memory.

Well, all the papers are filed and residents of this area will have to make their choices from one of the largest slates in recent memory.

With three mayoral candidates and 18 council contenders, it’s going to be a lively, and challenging exercise for voters to determine those who will get an ‘X’ beside their name on Nov. 19, and those who will remain blank.

The mayor’s race went from a two-way to a three-way race at the last minute with the addition of 81-year-old Ronald Telfer, a retired navy commander who moved to Canoe 14 months ago.

While positions were acclaimed in the two previous elections, this time Salmon Arm voters will also have a chance to select their school trustees. Marcel Bedard, the city’s bylaw enforcement officer, has made it a contest for the two spaces, as he joins the incumbents Bobbi Johnson and Dr. Michel Saab.

The candidates’ list shows a wide diversity — which I find delightful, as different perspectives in our local government can only serve the community well. We’ve got men, women, young people and seniors, parents, grandparents, retired and working citizens. There’s a significant number of incumbents with Debbie Cannon, Chad Eliason, Alan Harrison, Ivan Idzan and Ken Jamieson, plus some more candidates with past council experience.

One of the more unique candidates this time around is Ted Bacigalupo, who is running for both Salmon Arm City council and attempting to retain his current seat for Area C South Shuswap.

So voters are clear, this is entirely legal and above-board. While I hadn’t heard of it before, there are no rules that limit the number of elected offices a person can hold. Indeed, this has happened many times across the province before.

A person can not hold more than one position in one municipality. For example, the same person could not be Salmon Arm’s mayor and a city council member. But holding multiple elected offices is entirely acceptable.

Under the election rules, candidates also do not have to live in the jurisdiction where they are running. You or I, for example, could run for mayor of Vancouver, if we so desired.

Voters ultimately get to decide on the mayor and six council members to represent our community, so the best thing voters can do is try to become informed about the candidates, their values and where they stand on the issues that are important to you.

The Observer is planning to ask the candidates the same series of questions, so voters will be able to compare and contrast the candidates’ answers over the next four weeks of the campaign. If you have a question, you would like us to ask, email me at newsroom@saobserver.net. We will try to incorporate our readers’ interests into our questions. Happy voting.