Did the switch from three year to four year terms in 2014 for local elected officials discourage incumbents in West Kootenay/Boundary from seeking re-election?
Not really, a look at the nominations suggests. Some of those not running again did cite the extra commitment as a reason for bowing out. But of the 136 people presently serving on 16 municipal councils, four school boards, and two regional district boards, 102 of them — 75 per cent — are seeking re-election. (Due to resignations this year, two school trustee positions were vacant when the nomination period opened.)
Castlegar has the most incumbents running again: six out of seven. New Denver has the fewest, with only mayor Ann Bunka hoping for another term. As a percentage of council, Greenwood, Fruitvale, and Salmo lead the way, as in each case the mayor and all four councillors have let their names stand for re-election — although in the latter two, councillors are challenging for mayor.
Between the two regional districts — Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary — all 16 rural directors are standing for another term. All five RDKB rural directors and seven of the 11 RDCK dual directors will be returned by acclamation.
While three-quarters of incumbents are running again, the total number of candidates is down slightly compared to the last two elections. In 2011, 223 people sought the 138 positions available. In 2014, 230 people ran. This time there are 217 candidates.