Kevin LePape

Kevin LePape running for RDCK Area F

Kevin LePape is running for director of Area F in the Regional District of Central Kootenay, but you won’t catch him posting any lawn signs.

Kevin LePape is running for director of Area F in the Regional District of Central Kootenay this fall, but you won’t catch him posting any lawn signs.

“I loathe election signs,” he says. “I think they are a wretched eyesore and an insult to the landscape.” Plus he doesn’t think they do much good.

He will, however, send out a flyer by mail, launch a website at, and knock on as many doors as he can between now and November 15.

LePape, a Johnstone Road resident, has been a vocal critic of several regional district decisions, including the purchase of office furniture from an out-of-town company at a higher price than a local bidder.

He was also stunned when a budget touted as containing virtually no tax increase socked homeowners within the Nelson recreation commission catchment area with a hefty bill to fix the aquatic centre ceiling.

The work and the tax hike, he concluded, were necessary, but he remained concerned that it wasn’t well communicated to residents and that the facility had very limited reserves.

Only recently did he seriously consider seeking office himself, although others encouraged him, based in part on his letters to the editor.

“The first time I heard ‘You ought to run’ I laughed and said ‘You can’t be serious’ because I’m not sure I’m the right personality. I have considerable skills to bring to the boardroom table but often worry about my ability to work with other people.”

LePape describes himself as an “independent, two-plus-two-equals-four, entrepreneurial thinker” who gets frustrated in a bureaucratic environment. But he reconciled those feelings before deciding to run. “I had to get over that and I think I have,” he says. “I don’t see it as a problem anymore.”

He also sounded out some incumbent directors to ensure they can function alongside each other if elected. “I actually asked a number of people at the table ‘I’ve rubbed you the wrong way. Can we still work together?’ They said ‘Oh yes, sure. We have no problem.’ It’s the same with me.”

At the risk of sounding like he’s running a negative campaign, LePape says he actually thinks much of the regional district functions well and he’s not interested in blaming anyone for earlier decisions, nor reversing them — the controversial furniture he railed against has already been installed.

However, he would like to see changes to procurement and spending policies as well as reduced board and administration expenses.

He also worries about the financial burden placed on small water systems forced to meet Interior Health standards, and wonders if the regional district could help them with some form of community financing.

“I’m not a regular politician,” he says. “My mantra is ‘sensible.’ There needs to be a change at the boardroom table, a different approach. Somebody who is a little simpler and pragmatic.”

LePape, 57, was born and raised in Montreal and made his living as a self-employed industrial warehouse and packing equipment and supplies distributor. He vacationed in the Nelson area many times before retiring here from Kelowna with his partner six years ago.

His entry into the Area F race guarantees residents will have a choice on the ballot: retired Nelson teachers union president Tom Newell is also seeking the position.

LePape said he respects and gets along well with Newell, “but we are coming at this from completely different places.”

Incumbent Ron Mickel is retiring after two terms.

Just Posted

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

Meteorite fragments found near Crawford Bay

The pieces came from the fireball that exploded over Kootenay Lake in September

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Nelson Leafs stretch winning streak to six

Jack Karran scored twice in the Leafs 6-3 win over Fernie

Nelson city hall selling bear-proof garbage bins

The city has purchased 100 bins and is charging residents $205

COLUMN: Will West Kootenay forests survive?

As with most things around ecology, the answer is not simple, says columnist Greg Utzig

Julien Locke races to NST World Cup berth

Black Jack cross-country skier Julien Locke races to first place at World Cup qualifier

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Most Read