Three new faces will represent Area G, Area H and Area F for the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN).
On Oct. 20, Leanne Salter was elected as Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington) director, replacing Julian Fell. Out of 935 votes, Salter received 638 to candidate Ceri Peacey’s 297.
“I am pleased and privileged to have the opportunity to represent my community in Area F. I would like to thank my hard working team, family and friends for their support and encouragement during this election. I am very proud of their integrity and professional composure,” Salter said post-election.
The former Parksville City councillor said her first priority will be to serve the residents in Area F.
“A current critical issue is to establish a secondary exit in Meadowood for safety in case of interface fire and emergency response coordination,” Salter said. “In addition, with resident engagement, we will be preparing for the upcoming official community plan which will provide a foundation to preserve our rural lifestyle.”
Salter said she spent election night with her friend Jean watching the movie ‘Hidden Figures’.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated in the democratic process throughout district 69,” she said.
Stuart McLean was elected Area H (Shaw Hill, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay, Bowser) director, replacing Bill Veenhof. McLean won 935 votes to Veenhof’s 450.
McLean said he celebrated his win at home with his wife and baby daughter.
“I am thrilled to have won the election and the privilege of representing my community,” McLean said.
“I worked very hard over the past few weeks to knock on as many doors, and talk to as many people as possible. It was a pleasant surprise to see all the hard work pay off with the return of a very strong mandate from the people of Area H.”
McLean said his immediate plans will be to work on some key issues in Area H.
“I will meet with staff to discuss how I can implement some of the points of my platform,” he said.
“I will be meeting with many people and organizations in the coming weeks to learn about various issues and needs in our community.”
Clarke Gourlay was elected as Area G (French Creek, Dashwood, Englishman River) director, replacing Joe Stanhope.
Gourlay received 759 votes, compared to Lehann Wallace’s 735 and Duane Round’s 341.
“I’m very pleased and excited to be able to represent Area G at the RDN,” Gourlay said. “I look forward to working creatively with the new board to make Area G and all Oceanside even better than it already is.”
Gourlay said his first priority will be more studying.
“I need to master all of our current planning documents so that at out first board meeting I can hit the ground running,” he said.
“I will also contact the RDN office on Monday (Oct.22) to learn of our swearing in, and any other orientation steps planned. And I need an initial meeting with the local manager of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.”
Gourlay celebrated his win with champagne and three generations of family.