Three people vying for mayor in Wells by-election

Wells residents will vote in a new mayor and one new councillor June 9

  • May. 18, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Wells will have a new mayor in June.

Candidates have been declared, and a by-election will take place June 9 for the position of mayor and for one councillor. Notice has also gone out that Wells residents will have their first chance to vote May 30.

Three people are vying for the position of mayor: Jillian Merrick, John (Jay) Vermette and Richard Wright.

One councillor will also be elected, and four people have been declared as candidates. They are: Dianne Andreesen, Mark Dawson, Kathy Landry and Glenda (Buffy) Rummel.

They will join the three sitting councillors, Coun. Mandy Kilsby, Coun. Birch Kuch and Coun. Lindsay Kay.

The new mayor and councillor will not be in their seats long though, as the next general municipal elections in B.C. will take place Oct. 20, 2018.

There have been only three councillors in Wells since mid-February, when Mayor Robin Sharpe and Coun. Lorraine Kozar both resigned.

Sharpe’s last day as mayor was Feb. 16.

“I no longer wish to be a part of such a negative situation,” he wrote in a resignation letter printed in the March edition of the WellSpring.

“For 19 years, the District has functioned and made significant progress and worked well. However, over the past year, the negative attitude of a certain portion of the community has poisoned the workings of council.

“I am proud of what has been accomplished under my direction but no longer feel compelled to work for the community. Unfortunately, now I actually feel ill every time I return to town and sick to my stomach to attend council meetings; I am not able to sleep at night due to worrying because of the divisiveness.”

In her resignation letter, printed in the same edition of the WellSpring, Kozar wrote: “Due to personal reasons, I feel I can no longer represent the community.”

Advance voting for the by-election will take place Wednesday, May 30 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Wells Community Hall banquet room at 4269 Sanders Avenue.

General voting day is Saturday, June 9, and Wells residents will be able to vote between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the Wells Community banquet room.

A qualified person may register as an elector only at the time of voting.

To register as a resident elector, the qualified person must complete the application form and provide two pieces of identification – and at least one of these must have a signature – to prove both residency and identity, according to a notice on the District of Wells’ website. If the elector does not have documentation showing residency, two pieces of identification are still required (at least one with a signature), and the elector must make a solemn declaration of their place of residence.

To register as a non-resident property elector, the person must complete the application form, provide proof that he or she is entitled to register in relation to the property, provide written consent from a majority of the property owners (if there is more than one owner) and produce two pieces of identification that provide evidence of identity (at least one of which has a signature), according to the Wells website. Only one of the registered owners can vote on behalf of the property.

For more information about the by-election, contact District of Wells chief election officer Andrew Young at 250-994-3330.

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