Municipal election not needed in Highlands this time around

Municipal election not needed in Highlands this time around

WATCH: In just a little over a month, voters across Vancouver Island will be casting ballots in municipal elections. But not in one West Shore community. As Luisa Alvarez explains, for those who live in the Highlands, voting won’t be necessary this time around.

There’s only about a month left until voters go to the polls in the 2018 municipal elections. Campaign posters are everywhere in the Capital Regional District except in the Highlands.

“Only six candidates for council put their name forward and only one candidate for mayor so that perfectly fills the slate,” said Coun. Leslie Anderson.

When that happens, the mayor and council are elected by acclamation.

“I think that means that Highlanders are more or less on the same page as where we want to go. There is not a lot of discontent. I guess since people don’t want to run against us,” said Coun. Karel Roessing.

Anderson said she was a little bit surprised nobody else wanted to run but doesn’t think its because of lack of interest.

“A number of people have said they might at the next time when they expect their careers or whatever is going on at home to give them a bit more time, so I would expect that there is going to be more interest next time around and I think that would be welcomed,” said Anderson. 

Not having a municipal election is also saving the district money. They had set aside $14,000 for the election and after only spending about $3,500. The savings will be around $10,000.

While the candidates are acclaimed, it won’t be official until Sept. 24 after three deadlines have passed.

1)    The deadline for nominations to be challenged (Sept. 18)

2)    The deadline for a court decision, should a challenge be filed with the court (Sept. 21)

3)    The deadline for a candidate to withdraw (Sept. 21)

Once they are sworn in, it will be almost the same mayor and council as the current term, except for one new name, Rose Stanton, who will be replacing councillor Karen Burns.

“It seems that things have been running pretty smoothly the last few terms so elections have been less hotly contested I’d have to say,” said Roessingh.

It’s not the first time the number of candidates matched the number of spots available but it doesn’t always happen.

In the last election councillor, Leslie Anderson was running for the first time and had to do it all in order to win the seat she’s in. Anderson says her feelings are mixed about not having to do it again.

“I don’t mind not having to do the campaigning, but I do believe that having a campaign is a good opportunity to express views in the community so in a way I’ll miss that a little, ” said Anderson.

Highlands residents will still cast a ballot in the 2018 election for School District 61 and School District 62 trustees.

Voting Day is being held on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the District of Highlands municipal office.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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