The race is on for Oliver council

The race is on for Oliver council

Nine people are vying for one empty spot on Oliver council. The by-election is Dec. 2.

A whopping eight people have stepped forward to run in Oliver’s byelection.

Nominations closed Fri., Oct. 27 at 4 p.m.

Nine people had initially put there name forward, however, retired, former school trustee Fiona Wood withdrew her name on the final day. Linda Schultz, deputy chief election officer, said it is almost the same number of people who stepped forward during the town’s 2013 byelection.

“For some reason we get big numbers of candidates but there was only 767 votes so not a lot of people come out to vote in byelections,” she said.

The position was left vacant after longtime politician Jack Bennest announced his retirement from council earlier this fall. The news came as shock to many as the new person on council will hold their seat for less than a year with the general municipal election taking place Oct. 20, 2018.

RELATED: Oliver councillor resigns after 17 years

The cost of the byelection is estimated at just over $11,000.

The advanced poll takes place Nov. 22 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oliver Community Centre and general voting day is Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. also at the Oliver Community Centre.

Candidates in the byelection come from all different backgrounds including local business owners, a former mayor, new people in town and even a retired military master corporal who just medalled in the Invictus Games.

Here’s what we know about the candidates so far:

Aimee Grice

Current marketing and promotions manager at Frank Venables Theatre at Southern Okanagan Secondary School.

Pat Hampson

Former Oliver Mayor 2008 to 2011, former two-term councillor.

Susan Kosola

Wine tour driver for South Okanagan Limo and part-time driver for Murray’s Pizza.

Donald Lawlor

Property owner and co-operator of vacation rental in Oliver called Corked on the Green and owner of rental duplex in Vancouver.

David Mattes

Director for Shiny Happy Properties Inc., and investor in Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service and Crematorium Ltd., Oliver Osoyoos Community Crematorium Ltd.

Peter McKenna

Security for several businesses and organizations including CSC, ICM and Kingsman.

Charles Pollard

Senior sales representative at 7-11 Corp.

Lutz Stelzner

Retired master corporal in the armed forces, cycling medalist in the 2017 Invictus Games.

The Penticton Western News will provide in-depth coverage as election day draws closer. Check our website for updates or join us on Facebook for coverage on this issue and more.