Mayors races taking shape in South Okanagan

Incumbents facing challenge in Oliver and Osoyoos, while two vie for vacant seat in Keremeos

A mix of new and old faces have filed nomination papers in the towns and communities in the South Okanagan.

Incumbent Stu Wells will be running against Ray Vandenberg for the mayor’s position in Osoyoos. In 2009, Vandenberg and a group called Concerned Citizens of Osoyoos alleged Wells had conflicts on interest on 13 matters he voted on as councillor between 2006 and 2008 regarding Vista Norte Development and other developments. Osoyoos town council voted not to pursue any action on those concerns.

Vandenberg served two years on council in 1989 and 1990 and ran for the mayor’s seat in 2005 — losing to John Slater.

Wells sat on council for a term before being elected to mayor in 2008. He previously spent 11 years as a school trustee and was chairman of the Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.

Running for council in Osoyoos are incumbents Michael Ryan, CJ Rhodes, Ted Cronmiller and Margaret Chadsey. Newcomers looking for one of the four council seat are Sy Murseli, Don Brogan, Sue McKortoff, Jim King and Mike Plante. The seats for water councillor were acclaimed by incumbents Claude Moreira and Tony Laranjo.

In Oliver, incumbent Mayor Patrick Hampson has only one opponent, Ron Hovanes, who won the mayor’s seat by acclamation in the 2005 municipal election and did not run in the 2008 election.

Hoping for re-election to the four council seats are Jack Bennest and Terry Schafer, who face newcomers Tyreone Borba, Maureen Doerr, Ronald Ethier, Corinne Janow, Linda Larson (who served prior to 2008) and David Mattes.

Oliver residents will also be answering a referendum question this election on whether or not to approve no more than $2.5 million for the reconstruction of roads and construction of new sidewalks and walkways.

Rick Machial and Andre Miller have been acclaimed to the water councillor seats. Oliver had a 43 per cent turnout in the 2008 municipal election.

With Keremeos mayor Walter Despot not running for re-election, two candidates are hoping to fill his shoes. Manfred Bauer, who was on council this term, will be facing off against Glen Goguen. Bauer previously sat on the village council for six years. Two incumbents on council — Charlene Cowling and Gary Thielmann — will be running against Arlene Arlow, Jeremy Evans, Frank Kennedy and David Stein for the four councillor seats.