Mayor elect Baird mentions priorities for Cumberland
Facing no opposition, Leslie Baird will become mayor of Cumberland for the next three years, following the Nov. 19 municipal election.
The longtime member of council will replace outgoing mayor Fred Bates.
"I'm just so pleased at being acclaimed," said Baird, who will be sworn in when the new council meets for the first time in December. "It is an honour."
Incumbents Gwyn Sproule and Kate Greening are again seeking re-election while long-serving councillor and former mayor Bronco Moncrief is not. Also running are Roger Kishi, Bruce Barnes, Conner Copeman, Scott Easterbrook, Eric Kozak, Todd Riley and former Cumberland councillor Leona Castle. Four council seats are available.
"It's up to the public to come out and vote for the candidate they want representing them," Baird said.
After the election, the new council will need to be brought up to speed on options for sewer, garbage, water, solid waste and roads. Regarding the latter, Baird said, "There is no sense paving the roads until you do the sewer and water upgrades.
"And that's been our stand from the beginning is you've got to do the underground before you do the above-ground...We have to look at all options and all costs."
Baird does not plan to forward her name to continue sitting on the regional district board.
"I think that being the mayor is where I want to focus my energies at," she said.
Born in Comox and raised in Cumberland, Baird has been married 42 years to husband John, a former Cumberland fire department chief. The couple has two boys, both living in Grand Prairie, Alta., and three grandchildren.