Current Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area F Director Julian Fell has announced he won’t be running in the upcoming civic election on Oct. 20. He is endorsing Leanne Salter, current Parksville city councillor, for the role. — Lauren Collins photo

Coombs, Errington area director won’t run again

Julian Fell endorses Leanne Salter for role

After running against her as an opponent in the 2011 civic election, a current Regional District of Nanaimo director has thrown his support behind a former rival candidate.

Julian Fell, the RDN Electoral Area F director, told The NEWS that due to health issues and other reasons he wouldn’t be running again in the coming civic election Oct. 20. Instead, he is endorsing Leanne Salter.

Politicians, Fell said, have a “shelf life.”

“Some people say politicians should be changed frequently, like diapers.”

Fell spent two terms as Area F director and also ran as the B.C. Conservative Party candidate in the Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding in the 2017 provincial election.

Fell said he and Salter, a current Parksville city councillor, ran against each other seven years ago for the role of Area F director. While the two were strangers at the time of the election, Fell said, in the end they “were kind of rooting for each other.”

“We found at the candidates meetings that whichever one of us answered the question first, the other one could only say, ‘Me too,’” Fell said.

After winning the election by “about one per cent,” Fell said he made Salter his alternate for the RDN from 2011-2014.

It was in 2014 that Salter ran for Parksville city council and earned a seat. Since then, Salter said it has been a “privilege.” She said Parksville has “awesome residents that know what’s best for the city.”

“If there’s anything I’ve learned, I’m here to represent the residents,” said Salter, adding that her direction as a councillor comes from the community.

Following her years as an alternate for Fell in Area F, Salter spent one term as a Parksville city councillor. In 2009, Salter also ran as the New Democratic Party candidate for the Parksville-Qualicum riding.

Choosing to not run for Parksville city council, Salter said, was a difficult decision. She said there was “a lot of back-and-forth” on making the decision as “many residents have asked (her) to run again.”

Salter, who lives in Errington, said she feels like she’s leaving the community but she knows of good people planning to run in the election and Parksville residents will choose a “good council.”

“I think there’s going to be some people running again, so there will be some experience and maybe some new people and that’s the perfect mix.”

Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre has announced he won’t be running in the coming election. Lefebvre also endorsed current Coun. Kirk Oates for mayor.

RELATED: Parksville mayor announces he won’t run again

Send story tips: lauren.collins@pqbnews.com

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