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Coombs/Errington director the latest to announce his intentions

Regional District of Nanaimo director Julian Fell will seek re-election in the Coombs/Errington area this fall.

Fell made the announcement Wednesday morning in an e-mail.

"After consultation with community members and with my family I have decided to stand for re-election this November," he said in the e-mail. "There are about a dozen on-going issues and projects to keep on track and my community contacts and groups have told me that now is not the time to step aside."

Fell, who is just completing his first term on the RDN board, said it takes a few years to "train" an area director.

"There are complex procedures, conventions and rules to learn," he said. "One must become familiar with dozens of bylaws, provincial statutes and local and provincial government functions."

Fell said he believes once a director is "trained" he or she becomes "far more effective in the role as a community representative."

Fell won the 2011 municipal election with 33.4 per cent of votes (354 votes), just ahead of candidate (and alternate director) Leanne Salter, who received 29.2 per cent of votes.

In mid-August, RDN chair Joe Stanhope confirmed he would run for re-election this fall, defending his position representing French Creek, which he's held since 1996.

Meanwhile director George Holme, who represents Nanoose Bay, told The NEWS he would be stepping down after 29 years on the board.

The only candidate left undecided in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area is director Bill Veenhof, who represents Deep Bay/Bowser.

The RDN board is comprised of 17 members, including representatives directly elected in seven rural areas: Nanoose Bay, French Creek, Coombs/Errington, Deep Bay/Bowser, Cedar, Gabriola and Pleasant Valley. The remaining 10 members are appointed from councils in Nanaimo (seven councillors), Parksville (one), Qualicum Beach (one) and Lantzville (one).

Nomination packages have been available since Aug. 25 for those who want to be a candidate for an area director position in RDN districts including Deep Bay/Bowser, French Creek, Coombs/Errington and Nanoose Bay. The nomination period begins Sept. 30. To get on the ballot, these nomination packages must be returned to the RDN by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10.

The RDN is British Columbia's fifth most populous regional district, of 28 throughout the province, and home to more than 140,000 people.

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