“I was very pleased to see the interest with our municipal politics,” says Suzan Hewat, who has been re-elected mayor of Kaslo. Kaslo had the third-highest voter turnout in the West Kootenay at 61.5 per cent.
Hewat says it was great to see that turnout and residents asking questions about their concerns even though she has heard similar issues around housing and affordability from across the region.
“The new council will address concerns after we appoint new members,” Hewat says.
Hewat says with two new council members coming to the table there shouldn’t be any hurdles in the way of the new administration, but there is the potential for a slight learning curve.
“They will just have to realize what the capabilities of council and the village are,” says Hewat. “I don’t think people realize that we are governed by a community charter and as long as they aren’t afraid to ask questions they will do just fine.”
Hewat says housing is the most important concern for the residents of Kaslo, but to build more to facilitate future growth, proper research needs to be done before council dives in.
“We need to have a feasibility study to determine where we could put housing,” she says. “Once that is done we can hit the ground running to build affordable housing.”
Hewat will be joined on council by Erika Bird, Molly Leathwood, Matthew Brown and Robert Lang. Land and Leathwood are the only incumbents.
Hewat successfully won her seat over incumbent councillor Henry Van Mill with 75 per cent of the overall vote.