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Richman sole candidate for Pemberton mayor's chair

Seven candidates will run for four Pemberton council seats

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With the nomination period over, Village of Pemberton (VOP) residents will have seven candidates to choose from to fill four council seats.

But sitting at the head of the table will be a familiar face: current VOP Mayor Mike Richman.

As no one stepped up to challenge him in the upcoming Oct. 20 election, Richman is effectively acclaimed as mayor, though he can't officially be elected by acclamation until Sept. 24. That's when the deadline to challenge nominations and withdraw candidacies passes.

"Being acclaimed, I'm grateful for the trust that's been placed in me for the next four years," said Richman, who was also acclaimed in 2014, after longtime Pemberton resident Jerry Mohs announced that he would be backing out of the race due to health reasons.

Richman, however, said that being acclaimed doesn't mean he can sit back—he feels more pressure than ever to represent all VOP residents.

"I recognize that a piece of the democratic process is missing when you get acclaimed," he said.

"So to me, that's added pressure to perform and represent our public."

As mayor, Richman will be working with a new set of councillors, as only one incumbent councillor—Ted Craddock—is seeking re-election.

"I'm looking forward to working with a new group. We have a lot of projects we have on the go right now," said Richman, noting regional transit and the downtown enhancement project as two important priorities.

He is eager to get the strategic planning exercise that accompanies the start of a new term underway as well.

"That's usually a two-day exercise where we spend a lot of time together and work on our strategic plan for the next four years," he said.

"We don't set a full work plan for (all) four years, but (we) set our priorities and then work in that direction."

Richman said one of his key roles will be to work effectively with whomever Pemberton chooses to elect on Oct. 20.

"It's my job to try to manage the table, and take the five of us, who most likely (will) come from different points of views and backgrounds—and potentially very different politics—and to set the table so we have really robust conversations," he said.

In alphabetic order, the seven candidates that are running for Pemberton's four council seats are: Amica Antonelli, Ted Craddock, Karen Love, Leah Noble, David MacKenzie, Robert Martineau and Ryan Zant.

Michelle Butler and Nicole Sugden are running for one school trustee seat in Pemberton.

Pique will publish candidate profiles of all candidates in the coming weeks.

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

In the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), three candidates will run unopposed: incumbents Russell Mack (Area C) and Tony Rainbow (Area D) and newcomer Vivian Birch-Jones (Area B). In Area A, three candidates have stepped forward: Karen Playfair, Allan Moritz and John Courchesne.

Two SLRD candidates for school trustee are also running unopposed: Rebecca Barley (Area C) and Celeste Bickford (Area D).

Head to www.slrd.bc.ca/inside-slrd/legislative-services/elections for more.

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