Those thinking of running for municipal council were invited to attend a candidates information forum at the council chambers on Thursday evening.
The meeting was hosted by Tom Clement, the district’s Chief Election Officer and Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen and Councillor Louise Levy also attended to answer any questions potential candidates had about being being on council.
Only two residents turned up to seek information and learn about the process of running for council.
Anyone wanting to run for mayor or council must hand in their nomination papers to the district office between October 4 and October 14.
“To run for council you need to be over 18, you can be from anywhere, you don’t need to be a property owner, but you have to have lived in B.C. for six months,” said Clement.
He added however that municipal employees, including volunteer firefighters are not eligible to run.
If by October 14 only the right number of councillor candidates have handed in nomination papers (six councillors and one mayor) then those people will be automatically placed on council and no election will be held. If too few run for candidacy, the nomination period is extended.
“But hopefully we will have at least seven running for council and more than one for mayor and that will be better because that’s democracy and that’s what it’s all about,” said Clement.
The election will be held in November with an advanced poll at the municipal office on November 9 and the final poll will be held on November 19 at the Friendship Centre.
This year will likely be the last year that the election will be held in November. The next election will probably be held in October.
“So your term of office this time will actually be one month shorter than everyone else’s,” Clement informed potential candidates.
The new council will be sworn in on the first Monday of December and their three-year term of office starts December 1.
At the moment seven people have taken out nomination papers for council and two for the position of mayor.
Those who have taken out council papers include Darren Carpenter, Louise Levy, Erin Siemens, Jim Woodruff, Jack French, Steve Little and Frank Reid. Those who have taken out nomination papers for the position of mayor include Jim Woodruff and Gerry Thiessen.
However, that is not to say they will bring the papers back …
“Just because they have taken them out, it doesn’t mean they will bring them back … so it’s not a telling story yet,” said Clement.
A by-law passed this year has changed salaries for the next term of councillors to $11,000 a year and $33,000 a year for mayor.