The elections campaign disclosure statements saying how much candidates spent on their municipal campaigns are out, showing that Smithers councillor Greg Brown was the biggest spender in the Bulkley Valley.
Last Monday, Elections B.C. released figures for campaign spending for the 2014 municipal election. Brown, who was elected with the third highest number of votes in November, spent $1,687 on his campaign, most of which went towards purchasing brochures that he distributed by going door-to-door.
“I wanted to ensure that I had something that I could be proud of that I could hand people . . . I truly believe that face-to-face means a lot in politics,” said Brown. “After being on council, I take the role very seriously and I want to do the best job that I can.”
Gladys Atrill was fifth to last in spending, putting $900 into her first-time bid for council, but received the most votes with 942.
But more money spent on the campaign did not necessarily translate to votes.
Shelley Browne spent $1,230, the second highest amount, most of which was spent on advertising such as signs and billboards and brochures and pamphlets. But she just barely scraped into council with 630 votes.
Toby Moisey spent $1,126 and John Tunnel spent $1,033 but were not elected.
While Bill Goodacre spent $195, the least of all Smithers candidates, and was re-elected.
Although, Mayor Taylor Bachrach was acclaimed, he was the fifth highest spender with $1,111 spent on his bid for mayor, some of which was on his launch party.
“It’s a bit of a funny process because if you want to prepare a campaign, you don’t know if anyone is running against you until the last minute,” said Bachrach.
“We did the campaign launch and we started to prepare ourselves for an election campaign and in the end didn’t really need one.”
In the villages of Telkwa and Hazelton it seems money barely buys votes.
The Telkwa councillor who received the most votes — Leroy Dekens — did not spend any money on his bid for a seat on council.
“I made my signs myself,” said Dekens. “Where I live, I know everybody and everybody knows me. I thought word of mouth was just as good as anything.”
Fellow Telkwa councillors Coralee Karrer, Brad Layton and Annette Morgan spent nothing on their campaign as well.
But the bid for mayor was more pricey.
Former councillor Rimas Zitkauskas spent $1,218, the most of any candidate in the village in the race for mayor, but was not elected.
While Mayor Darcy Repen spent $410 and Vicky Rokstad shelled out $524.
For the most part, campaigns in the Bulkley Valley were self-funded.
Hazelton Mayor Alice Maitland and councillors Wendy Blackstock, Nick Marshall, Shirley Muldon and Buddy Smith also spent a big goose egg on their municipal campaigns.