A feud develops between Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula and challenger Harold Long over a broken four-year old promise. Barbara Price fails to make the ballot in Comox. Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird finally has an opponent, poor fella, so there’s no end of fun in this year’s election campaign
This article was updated Tuesday morning to add new information about a Comox candidates meeting and to correct information about the School District 71 elections.
Who says local government elections are boring? Here’s what happened in the last week of nominations in the Comox Valley:
The Courtenay mayoralty candidate that many assumed was the front-runner curiously dropped out of the race in a bid to stay on the City Council.
A long-time former City Council member jumped into the Courtenay mayoralty race and strongly criticized the incumbent mayor for breaking a promise he made four years ago.
In Comox, the Town Council and mayor’s chair will get a near-total makeover because only two of seven incumbents are running for re-election.
But that wasn’t entirely planned. One Comox councillor, who fully intended to run again, failed to file her completed nomination papers in time and won’t be on the ballot.
In School District 71, four incumbents chose not to run for re-election, an indication of some of the pressure on school boards, perhaps as a result of years of underfunding by the provincial government.
And, finally, Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird has drawn a challenger. It’s the first time she’s had an opponent, having been acclaimed to office twice. Not that anyone is expecting a close vote.
But, all in all, the next four weeks of local politics looks like fun.
FURTHER READING: For more interviews with candidates and a full list of who’s running for councils, regional district and school board, go to our Elections 2018 page
Harold Long and Larry Jangula will feud it out. Long wanted to run for mayor in 2014, but made a deal with Jangula to support him last time, if Jangula would support Long in 2018.
Except it’s going to be hard for Jangula to keep his promise with his own name on the ballot.
According to a reliable source, Jangula justified breaking the deal to Long in a phone call: “I can change my mind if I want to,” Jangula reportedly said.
Jangula has yet to respond to Decafnation’s request for an interview.
David Frisch, the top vote-getter in the 2014 election, looked like the front runner for the mayor’s job in Courtenay. Even late-entry mayoralty candidate Harold Long thought Frisch was the odds-on favorite.
But Frisch dropped out suddenly because, according to him, he didn’t want to split the progressive vote three ways (between himself, Bob Wells and Erik Eriksson) making a Jangula victory more likely.
But he dropped out before Harold Long jumped in, who is sure to take a big chunk out of Jangula’s vote total, which leaves local political observers wondering who will emerge from this two-on-two free-for-all.
Comox Councillor Barbara Price meant to file for re-election. But while at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler last week, she got word that her nomination papers weren’t properly filled out.
Price tried to correct the problem while travelling back to the Comox Valley, including trying to find a Notary Public on the BC Ferry trip from Horseshoe Bay, but to no avail. She didn’t make the ballot.
That has the potential to realign the balance of power in Comox, especially on issues like the rewriting of Hamilton Mack Laing’s Last Will and trusts to the town.
Decafnation will do its best to inform voters about the candidates, and we’ll make our own recommendations soon. But there are only a few opportunities for voters to hear the candidates speak in person and debate each other.
There’s a Comox Valley sustainability forum tomorrow night, Thursday, Sept 19, at the K’omoks First Nation Community Hall, and an all-candidates meeting for the City of Courtenay only on Oct. 16 at the Sid Williams Theatre. Comox voters will get to meet their municipal candidates at 7 p.m on Oct. 12 at the Comox Recreation Centre.
And surely there will be a public debate for the Cumberland candidates. But will regional district and school board candidates get a chance to debate in public?
Watch The Record and TideChange.ca and our Morning Briefings column for announcements of additional events. We’ll be posting new events on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/decafnation.
Meanwhile, enjoy the show, support your own favorite candidates and, most importantly, VOTE on Oct. 20.