Winds of change at city hall

A brand new mayor and council are at the helm for the next four years.

The times, they are a-changing.

A brand new mayor and city council were swept into office following the results of the municipal election on Saturday, which is notable for a few reasons.

The most obvious one is the clean slate.

Having grown up in Cranbrook, I can’t recall any municipal election that sent a completely new mayor and council to chambers.

That’s not just a rarity for Cranbrook, but for any kind of election.

I’ll say it again—a completely new mayor and city council will be at the helm.

There are a few caveats; Wes Graham has served three terms on council in Creston, so I’m sure he will be counted on to provide some leadership.

City staff will also run the day-to-day operations until the official hand-over on the Dec. 8 council meeting. There is also some younger representation at the table, which brings and element of freshness, renewal and enthusiasm, and that’s always a good thing.

Congratulations to Lee Pratt for winning the mayoral seat, and congratulations to Wes Graham, Norma Blissett, Tom Shypitka, Danielle Cardozo, Isaac Hockley and Ron Popoff for their election to council.

It takes a lot of courage to put yourself and your ideas up for scrutiny, which often can be scorned and ridiculed in public forums (such as the Letters to the Editor section…). Hats off to all of you for willingness to run and to share your vision of the future for Cranbrook.

To the council candidates who weren’t elected, thank you for running and for giving  residents some options on the ballot—there were 16 choices, which is a record number of candidates for a municipal election in Cranbrook.

That’s a sign of a healthy democracy.

On the flip side of that, a sincere thank-you to incumbents Wayne Stetski, Gerry Warner, Diana J. Scott and Sharon Cross for your service to the city and citizens during your tenures in office.

Working in journalism, I’ve noticed that governing, at any level, is no easy task, so thanks for all your work over the years and for representing Cranbrook well.

It’s the nature of politics and the election cycle—at any time, you could go from being on the inside to being on the outside looking in.

It’s great to see that turnout went up from the last cycle, as 39 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot—an increase of six per cent—but that’s still a little discouraging at the same time.

If I were back in school, 39 per cent would be considered an F.

The referendum question of removing fluoride from the water system was defeated in a relatively close vote. For those who are complaining about the wording, it comes down to reading comprehension.

Here is a paraphrased response to the assent question:

“Yes, I want to cease adding fluoride.”


“No, I do not want to cease adding fluoride.”

Nice and simple.

I’ve already heard rumblings about someone starting a petition, which is fine—that’s democracy. But if it’s anything on the internet or social media, it won’t be legitimate or officially recognized.

This election seemed to resonate with a lot of people, as a few themes bubbled to the surface in the public forums and on social media.

City budgeting.

Roads and infrastructure.

Economic development.

There was an awful lot of talk about those topics over the course of the campaign but not a lot of specific proposals to address them. But it’s unfair to criticize at this point; the new team hasn’t even sat for one council meeting, so I look forward to watching them get down to business.

Indeed, the times, they are a-changing.

Trevor Crawley is a reporter with the Daily Townsman.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

David Moskowitz file
Wildsight to present webinar on Inland Temperate Rainforest

Join Wildsight next Tuesday, December 1, 2020 for a free webinar on… Continue reading

College of the Rockies Avalanche volleyball coaches (l-r) Bryan Fraser and Cisco Farrero continue to help their players develop their skills, despite the cancellation of competitive play for the 2020 academic year. (Submitted file)
Winter 2021 Avalanche volleyball season cancelled

Pacwest has curtailed competitive play for the winter 2021 semester

Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Cranbrook aquafit classes temporarily shut down amid updated COVID-19 rules

All indoor group fitness activities are currently suspended province-wide

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read