Election 2014: Brydon and Siddon reclaim seats

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (all areas): Mix of new and old return to the board table.

Directors elected to the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will have a lot of experience sitting around the table.

Incumbent director for the West Bench area Michael Brydon is one of those with years as a board member who will return for his third term. He defeated challenger Ronald Johnson in the Nov. 15 municipal election.

“I woke up one day and realized I am finally at the point where I am at the peak of my effectiveness and decided to run again,” said Brydon, who in the unofficial results recorded 245 votes to Johnson’s 99. “In this job you can be around too long and lose interest. My first term I learned so much, the second we were getting stuff done and now I am at this point where I feel I am very effective on the board and for the area.”

Brydon said it will be hard to see long-term city councillors who sit on the board leave and directors like Allan Patton (Oliver rural) who decided not to run. Brydon admits West Bench is one of the “best gigs” when considering how many challenges other areas have. He said during the run up to the election he did hear from residents that Sage Mesa is in need of some attention.

“Sewer and water systems are in need of attention and I don’t disagree with the people in those neighbourhoods. My first term Faulder got attention and then West Bench water and the walking path. Sage Mesa is in need of some attention now and there are always some people that are resistant to change. I guess that will be one of the challenges.”

Challenger Alan Whitman was defeated by incumbent Tom Siddon in the race for Kaleden/Okanagan Falls director. Whitman campaigned against incorporation which he said would raise taxes. Siddon countered that Whitman was not correct and also that he was not pushing for incorporation, but rather a study of the idea. Siddon earned 638 votes while Whitman took 376 votes.

The Oliver rural area elected Terry Schafer who had 367 votes to Rick Knodel’s 270 votes and Joel Malcolm’s 53.

One of the closest races was in the Keremeos rural/Hedley area where incumbent Angelique Wood (202 votes) was defeated by Elef Christensen who took 234 votes. Christensen served as director prior to 2011.

Bob Coyne won the Princeton rural vote defeating Charles Weber and James Frandsen.

Osoyoos rural director Mark Pendergraft, Cawston director George Bush and Narmata director Karla Kozakevich were all acclaimed.