Forty candidates have put their names forward for Nanaimo’s eight councillor seats. Another four are vying for the mayor’s job.
Citizens casting their ballots on Oct. 20 will be hoping their picks will finally bring peace to city hall after four years of wrangling, lawsuits and two investigations by special prosecutors.
This election will transform the makeup of council.
Just four members of the current nine-member council are running again, although some past council members have put their names forward.
In the 2014 municipal election, there were 25 candidates for councillor and 10 for mayor.
Mayor Bill McKay is stepping down, leaving the field open to four candidates for that job: NDP MLA Leonard Krog, Don Hubbard, former board chairman at Island Health, natural health therapist Eike Jordan, and Raymon Farmere.
Incumbent councillors running are Sheryl Armstrong, Gord Fuller, Jerry Hong, and Ian Thorpe.
Former mayor Gary Korpan has filed nomination papers for councillor.
Past councillor Wendy Pratt hase put her name forward as well.
With a population of 90,000, Nanaimo is enjoying strong development as millions of dollars worth of construction get underway and hundreds of new downtown residences are planned in multi-family buildings.
However, it is also dealing with a large homeless population, opioid deaths, and a growing tent city on municipal land. RCMP visit the site daily and estimate that numbers range from 250 to 350.
Infighting among council members, costly legal services, a failed referendum on a proposed events centre, and conflict with some senior staff are among issues that arose in Nanaimo.
Citizens watched councillors start a civil lawsuit against the mayor, only to drop it. Some of the behaviour has been posted on YouTube.
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NANAIMO COUNCIL CANDIDATES
Raymon T Farmere
Don H Hubbard
Eike M Jordan
Leonard E Krog
Council, eight positions
Sheryl Dawn Armstrong*
Tyler J Brown
Gordon W/ Fuller*
Pele L Gouda
Peter H Kent
Gary R Korpan**
Lloyd W MacIlquham
Charanjit (Jeet) Manhas **
Bill W Manners
Norm E Smith
Kevin B Storrie
Ian W Thorpe*
Avel Turnip (Debi Corbett)
Trent R. Whaley
Ashley B Zboyovsky
** served on council prior to 2014 election