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by Andrew Bennett on Tuesday Apr 08 2014
Newly-elected councillors 'excited', 'humbled' by election victories despite low turnout
As it turns out the preliminary figures for Saturday’s election were accurate and Rossland’s six new councillors are Kathy Moore, Jill Spearn, Kathy Wallace, Tim Thatcher, Cary Fisher, and Jody Blomme. According to City Hall’s Tracey Butler, “With the spread in votes I don’t see anyone requesting a recount so I am 99% sure this will be the official count.”
Perhaps the biggest story here is the low voter turnout. Of an estimated 2613 eligible voters, only 965 ballots were cast—37 per cent. Three years ago, Rossland's turnout was 49 per cent--a roughly 25% drop.
New councillor Tim Thatcher is very pleased with his strong showing (605 votes). “I would like to thank everyone who turned out to vote on the 19th, and congratulate all the candidates that were elected. To the other candidates, thank you for the time and effort you put forth, to try and make Rossland a better place to live. I would like to thank the outgoing members of council, for your hard work and dedication to our community.”
“I think Rossland has elected a committed group of councilors, willing to work together, to move our city forward in a positive direction, and I am humbled to be part of this team. The tough decisions ahead are going to affect the city for years to come, though some will disagree, hopefully they will be the right decisions.’
Returning councillor Kathy Wallace is also feeling pretty chipper about her victory: “I'm feeling excited this morning. I think this will be a strong functioning council that can work as a team toward the number one goal - the greater good of our "mountain kingdom" in partnership with our neighbours. The diversity of the community is well represented in a suitable balance. I feel that our community has taken a significant step forward and I look forward to real accomplishments in the next 3 years.”
Another returning councillor, Kathy Moore, was impressed by the turnout. “I am pleased that we had a good turnout for the election and that Councillors Spearn, Wallace and I got a strong endorsement from the community. It tells me that many citizens like what council accomplished last term and are supporting our ideas going forward.
“During the campaign I spoke often about our efforts to move Rossland towards being the “resilient alpine community” described in our Strategic Sustainability Plan. This means strengthening the main pillars of social cohesion, environmental safeguards and economic diversity and development. Through the election results I feel supported in our efforts to renew Rossland’s infrastructure, work more collaboratively with our neighbors, maintain our community schools and diversify our economy.
“The City is just one player of many in our fabulous community and I want to thank all the volunteer groups that have contributed towards realizing the Visions to Action document: the Sustainability Commission and the task forces, Tourism Rossland, the Heritage Commission, the Museum Society, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society, the Legion, The Arts Council, the list goes on and on. I feel very lucky to serve such an involved and committed community.”
With files from Andrew Bennett.