With their first round of elections finished, returning Johnathon Kruger as chief, the Penticton Indian Band is now preparing to select the other eight members of council.
A nomination meeting on Tuesday at the band’s community hall, resulted in a total of 15 candidates vying for the eight councillor seats. Like the chief, the successful candidates will serve a four-year term as councillors.
For the 2012 elections, all but one of the current councillors chose to let their names stand for reelection, including Joan Phillip, Joseph Pierre, Laurie Wilson, Kevin Gabriel, Timothy Lezard, Clinton Gabriel and Travis Kruger.
But Joan Gabriel, who held the health and wellness portfolio, will not be running for re-election. Chief Kruger publicly thanked Gabriel, noting her 16 years of service to the community, her dedication to their families and her help in community healing.
Eight others also chose to stand for election. Clint George, Fred Kruger, Sabrina Eneas, Harmon Pickett, Dolly Kruger, Lesley Gabriel, Pierre Kruger and Inez Pierre have also come forward as potential candidates.
Band members will vote on Dec. 12, with polls at the Penticton Band Community Hall from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance polls are scheduled for Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the same location.
The band’s election process also allows for mail-in ballots for eligible band members who live off reserve and the Penticton Band electoral office will be making every effort to contact those eligible voters.