St. Mary’s Band heading to the polls

The St. Mary’s Band has three councillor positions; election set for October 24.

The St. Mary’s Band is heading to the polls this October with three vacant positions available including current Chief Cheryl Casimer’s.

The band holds elections every two years with each position lasting for four. Vickie Thomas, chief operating officer for the St. Mary’s Band Administration, said the overlap allows at least two members to remain on the board to welcome in potential new members and provide their expertise.

“There’s no complete political turnover,” she said, adding that the staggered elections provides stability. “If we had a complete council turnover we wouldn’t know what we were working on.”

The councillors who will be vacating their positions are Marty Williams and Jim Whitehead, while Joe Pierre and Corey Walkley will remain.

The band is always busy, and with overlapping councillors they can continue working on important issues in the community without a significant learning curve.

Thomas said this year the election process will take on a slightly new format. Previously, newly-elected councillors would be voted in during October, and would spend November and December shadowing the former councillors in their final months. Now the new councillors will be sworn in November 1 and will have voting power as of that day.

“It gave them an opportunity to get familiarized,” Thomas said.

Now the new councillors will rely on the experience of Pierre and Walkley a little more as they start fresh on November 1.

“I think they would turn to their colleagues and learn from them,” Thomas said.

Casimer has announced she will run again, after completing her first four-year term as chief. Before assuming the position she was a councillor for 12 years. Thomas said Casimer will bring a wealth of experience to the process and there shouldn’t be any issues with the new starting date.

“With the experience it’s not going to be too much of a turnover,” she said.

The chief is elected in the same way the councillors are. The electorate will vote for the councillors and the person who receives the most votes becomes the chief.

“They all have to be prepared to step up to that,” Thomas said.

There are several key issues that will be discussed at the October 17 all-candidates forum which will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Band Hall. Those include building on the strategic plan that has been developed by the band in consultation with residents and establishing which initiatives should have priority.

“I believe all the candidates will have one area of expertise in the strategic plan that they would like to focus on,” Thomas said. “Whoever’s nominated the electors get the opportunity to ask the candidates questions.”

Another issue is achieving potable water throughout the band. Currently many residents rely on individual wells.

The nomination meeting for candidates will be held on October 10 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Band Hall.

All members of the St. Mary’s Band are eligible to vote automatically. Voting will take place October 24 at the St. Mary’s Administration boardroom from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any voters who will not be available on that day can register for a mail-in ballot by emailing chief electoral officer Marion Eunson at meunson@ktunaxa.org.

Just Posted

Air cadets take flight over long weekend

Air cadets recently got the chance to take to the skies in… Continue reading

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1909

The week of May 20 - 26: Items compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Kootenay Christian Academy honours its teachers

Students at Kootenay Christian Academy decided to take Tuesday, May 22, and… Continue reading

First Nations excluded from Columbia River Treaty talks

Three Indigenous groups in Southern B.C. Interior will not be involved in upcoming talks.

CP vote deadline rescheduled for Friday

The deadline for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and International Brotherhood of… Continue reading

Kootenay Christian Academy honours its teachers

Students at Kootenay Christian Academy decided to take Tuesday, May 22, and… Continue reading

Early learning programs for Indigeous kids get $30M boost

B.C. government to help expand Aboriginal Head Start Association programs with three-year funding

Ferry sailing cancelled after ship’s second officer falls ill

Coastal Inspiration’s 8:15 p.m. sailing to Nanaimo on Tuesday cancelled, passengers to be compensated

B.C. man recounts intense rescue of couple caught in mudslide

Something told Dan Anderson to go back to the scene of a major mudslide on the long weekend.

The priciest home for sale in Canada: A $38M Vancouver penthouse

Canada’s luxury real estate: The top 10 most expensive properties for sale right now

9 temperature records broken across B.C. as warm weather continues

Clearwater, Golden, Williams Lake, Malahat a few of the cities that broke records Wednesday

COLUMN: Stanley Cup final prediction

Upstart Vegas Golden Knights clash with Washington Capitals

Horticulturely speaking, I’m au fait

Peter Warland and Catherine of Aragon both had strong opinions on wildflowers versus domestic flowers

WATCH: Week in review: May 18

A look back at some of this week’s top stories

Most Read