Tom Newell has been elected director of Area F of the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

Tom Newell has been elected director of Area F of the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

UPDATED: RDCK Area F: Tom Newell elected

Regional District of Central Kootenay: Tom Newell has defeated Kevin LePape in Area F, by a vote of 475 to 387.

Tom Newell has defeated Kevin LePape in Regional District of Central Kootenay Area F (Rural Nelson), by a vote of 475 to 387. Turnout was 29.5 per cent.

“I am very grateful and appreciative of the hundreds of Area F residents who welcomed me as I showed up on their doorsteps,” Newell said. “Whether we agreed or disagreed the conversations were always interesting and educational.”

He added that he looks forward to “this exciting experience” and will establish a Facebook page as a means to communicate in a “thorough and transparent way.”

“I know that we will not always agree on issues but I assure you that the conversations will be open, frank and interesting,” he said.

Newell is a past Nelson District Teachers Union president. He will replace Ron Mickel, who is retiring after two terms.

LePape, who has been highly critical of several regional district decisions over the last year or so, said he thought the “most important and disappointing” fact was that while 862 people voted, more than 2,000 did not.

“As a parting shot I must tell you that I learned on Friday that the Nelson and District Community Complex pool reno includes ripping out and replacing all the practically brand-new lockers (they’re in perfect condition) because the colour will clash with the new tiles. Maybe someone, anyone would like to take this up with their new directors. I’m done.”

Regional district community services manager Joe Chirico, however, said the lockers in the men’s and women’s change rooms ‎have rusted through at the bottom: “The issue is that those lockers go to the floor. The ones in the family change room are on a pedestal and the same issue does not exist, although we may change them to have consistency.”