Where are the candidates?

With less than two months to go before provincewide municipal elections, incumbents and challengers are playing their cards close to the vest.

With less than two months to go before provincewide municipal elections, incumbents and challengers are playing their cards close to the vest.

Comox Valley voters will decide Nov. 19 who will be the mayors and councillors for Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland. We will choose School District 71 trustees.

Rural voters will select directors for Areas A (Baynes Sound-The Islands), B (Lazo North) and Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek) on the Comox Valley Regional District board. Denman and Hornby residents will vote on Islands Trust representatives.

Most of the incumbents we have polled have been coy about their plans. Candidates will choose the timing of their announcements, but it’s time to hear who’s seeking three-year terms and who’s not.

Wait too long and your announcement could be swallowed in a tsunami of ones from other candidates.

We know for sure that Jim Gillis is defending the Area B CVRD seat he wrested from Barbara Price almost three years ago, Rick Grinham will try to return to the school board instead of running for mayor of Cumberland and Erik Eriksson will again seek a Courtenay council seat.

Things became more clear, yet muddied, Thursday in Cumberland, when Mayor Fred Bates and Coun. Bronco Moncrief announced they would not seek re-election.

What will be issues in the various campaigns?

Homelessness and a growing taxpayer revolt centred on Lewis Centre expansion are good bets in Courtenay.

Comox, which seems to make huge issues out of the strangest things such as drive-thrus, is ironically debating about election signs.

The fortunes of Cumberland incumbents will turn on how to handle development, and could be affected by how mayor and council dealt with The Big Time Out.

After the previous school board was voted out en masse, who knows what might happen this time? Lingering busing problems are aggravating many parents.

None of the three elected CVRD directors were returned in 2007. The Regional Growth Strategy, and fear of growth, riled some rural residents since. Could that still be an election issue?

Stay tuned.


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