Incumbent Suzan Hewat is running against councillor Henry Van Mill in the Kaslo mayoral race ahead of the Oct. 15 election. Van Mill did not respond to multiple interview requests for this story. We’ve included Hewat’s interview below and will update if Van Mill contacts the Nelson Star.
Suzan Hewat says she’s eager to continue her work as mayor for a third term.
Hewat has had a seat at the village council table since 2005 when she won a byelection. She served on council until 2014 when she was elected mayor then re-elected in 2018.
Her approachability, she believes, is why Kaslo residents have kept her in office for 17 years.
“I do have a reputation, I think, as being someone who is easy to work with. I don’t fly off the handle. I’m reasonable and respectful and willing to listen to others. I come with an open mind.”
Hewat wants to stay in the mayor’s seat to see out the completion of the A Avenue watermain replacement, which began in July.
She is also determined to have the oft-delayed Kaslo River dike and bank improvement project finished. Work on the project initially began in 2016 but has been delayed by regulation and design changes as well as delays to permits and funding. Costs have also increased over that time by nearly $160,000.
“It has been a nightmare, so I would like to see that one completed for sure.”
Infrastructure is a priority for Hewat. She wants to see upgrades made to the sewer treatment plant, and says more work will also be required for the water treatment plant by 2025.
Hewat was recently elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ board of directors, and also serves as chair of the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District in addition to her work representing Kaslo at the Regional District of Central Kootenay Board.
She says she’s committed to continuing the job of being Kaslo’s mayor in a professional, collaborative way.
“For me, there are things that I would like to see happen, but we govern as a group. It’s not all about me. … I think I run a good meeting and try to keep keep people on task. I feel that I am a good advocate for our community outside of the community.”