Left to right: Councillors John McDivitt

Race for Telkwa mayor heating up

Telkwa’s village council may look very different after the municipal election on Nov. 15 as the race for mayor heats up.

Telkwa’s village council may look very different after the municipal election on Nov. 15 as the race for mayor heats up.

With the race to fill four councillor positions and one mayor, of the current council, only three have announced they are seeking re-election.

Mayor Carman Graf said he will be running for a third term with the village.

There are a few projects that he said he hopes to see through if he is re-elected.

“I would really like to get this reservoir done, the problem is finding the money to get that done,” said Graf, referring to the Trobak Hill reservoir.

But he isn’t alone in the race for mayor this term.

Coun. John McDivitt said he will also be running for mayor.

“I think our mayor is getting too old, he’s a good mayor, but his health isn’t that good and I think I can win,” said McDivitt, adding that he ran for mayor roughly nine years ago, but lost.

At the forefront of McDivitt’s campaign this year is lowering taxes.

“I’m concerned about taxes mostly, they’re getting carried away,” he said. “We need to get better control of spending and the overtime.”

He also wants to deal directly with taxpayers’ concerns, instead of the current system where the chief administrative officer deals with them, he added.

“What are we getting paid for and what are we elected for if we’re not going to listening to the taxpayer?” said McDivitt.

Coun. Brad Layton will also be seeking re-election in the fall for a second term, adding he will continue to focus on fiscal responsibility and keeping taxes down.

“My original [campaign] was to get more things into the community for youth and community safety like the community Wildfire Protection Plan and we’re not done either, as far as I’m concerned. I want to finish what I started,” said Layton.

Coun. Rimas Zitkauskas, who is nearing the end of his second term, has not decided if he will run again, noting that he will likely make his decision after UBCM at the end of the month.

“Right now I’m concentrating on UBCM and making sure that the time we spend there is productive for the community and the conversations with the ministries brings some sort of positive outcome for the issues we have over here,” said Zitkauskas. “I’ll probably make up my mind when I get back.”

Zitkauskas added he is particularly proud of capital projects such as the repurposing of the old meat co-op and milk plant building into the new municipal office, helping construct the stage at the Telkwa Barbecue Grounds and refurbishing the community hall during his term.

Coun. Rick Fuerst did not return calls before the paper went to press.

 

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