Three candidates have filed papers to run in the by-election for Cache Creek council, which will be held on Saturday, June 25.
Wendy Coomber, Peter Gross, and Gareth Smart are all running to fill the vacancy left by the sudden death of councillor Herb Hofer last month. The deadline for filing papers was May 20, and candidates have until May 27 to withdraw from the race.
Cache Creek mayor John Ranta says that it made sense to him to try to get the election completed before school was out and summer vacation began, and Cache Creek council approved the decision at a meeting on April 25.
“A chief election officer needed to be appointed [Cache Creek chief financial officer Sheila McCutcheon],” says Ranta, “after which we had 80 days to hold the election, which needs to be on a Saturday.” The timeline meant that June 25 was a viable voting day, and the last Saturday before summer vacation season begins.
“It’s a lofty, public service-minded thing to contemplate,” says Ranta of running for council. “I get asked ‘How much time does it take to be on council?’ And I answer ‘It takes all your time.’”
Some people, he adds, run on one issue that particularly motivates them, and the question becomes what happens when that issue has been resolved. “That’s when the person turns into a public servant.”
He notes the unfortunate circumstances that have occasioned this by-election. “I think the whole community misses the fact that Herb Hofer isn’t here, providing the benefit of his wisdom on council.”
Ranta hopes that the by-election will identify another person who has a “compatible platform to what has been happening in the community over the last few years”. He adds that “It’s our responsibility to do what we can to preserve rural communities.”