Ramona Faust, who has represented Area E on the RDCK board for 14 years, has decided not to run in the upcoming municipal elections. Photo: Submitted

Ramona Faust, who has represented Area E on the RDCK board for 14 years, has decided not to run in the upcoming municipal elections. Photo: Submitted

Ramona Faust not running for RDCK re-election

Faust has represented Area E for 14 years

Ramona Faust, who has represented Electoral Area E on the Regional District of Central Kootenay board for the past 14 years, will not be running in the October municipal elections.

She cites health reasons and her plan to move out of Area E into Nelson.

Faust told the Nelson Star she is proud of having “worked with the myriad of community groups that help to improve life in Area E and to connect them to other resources to further their work.”

Area E encompasses Blewett, Balfour, Queens Bay, Longbeach, Harrop/Procter, Sunshine Bay, Bealby, Taghum Beach, and the rural area from Nelson to Cottonwood Lake.

Asked what advice she would give to someone running for her position, Faust said, “I would say that it is a wonderful, self-determined community where you really need time to hear people and formulate plans that are a bit unconventional in order to serve the community with its particular nuances.

“And that you should be very judicious in how much you take on in the beginning, so that you can make lifestyle choices and work within healthy boundaries.”

Faust said she is also proud of her work on pushing wildfire mitigation and watershed governance issues to the forefront at the RDCK.

She is also pleased with her work on the creation of the Balfour water system, and her involvement with other municipal governments in the ongoing renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty.

“If there’s anything that I am wishing I could still do,” she said, “it would be to see if there is a solution to rural housing, to be able to not only attract younger folks, but keep our seniors here without them having to be in Nelson if they don’t want to, or in Kelowna, but to be here where people can support them.”

Faust said the biggest challenge facing the RDCK is climate change, including “the threat of floods, the threat of fire, the threat of low water, drought, and how we’re supposed to help the citizens respond to all of these.”

She said rising costs and short supply are another serious challenge, and she cited the example of being required by insurers to buy fire apparatus for Area E but the equipment not being available.

One of the challenges of the job of a director is the sheer volume of services provided by the RDCK including building inspection, land-use planning, engineering services, environmental protection, fire protection, search and rescue, emergency programs, animal control, waste disposal, parks, campgrounds, community halls, recreation centres, transit, community development grants, and water systems.

In addition to dealing with those local issues, Faust said RDCK directors are often called upon to explain or answer for the actions of the provincial and federal governments.

“The breadth of knowledge that you gain, by receiving those requests and acting on them, is sometimes a challenge to juggle,” she says.

Her board responsibilities were a full-time job for her, she says, adding that when she was first elected she had a 24-hour-per-week job that she eventually decided to quit because she needed the time for RDCK work.

This year’s municipal election will take place on Oct. 15. Voters will elect municipal councils, regional district boards, and school boards.

Candidate information for the RDCK can be found at https://bit.ly/3RgGflQ, including a link to nomination documents.

The nomination period opens on Aug. 30 and the deadline for submitting nomination papers is Sept. 9.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

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