Trent Ernst, Editor
Two candidates have withdrawn their papers from the local municipal election, bringing the number of candidates down to nine for the six seats on council.
The first person to drop out of the race was Janeth Barker, who posted a note to the People of Tumbler Ridge Facebook page, which said: “It is with great remorse that I hereby withdraw from running for Council in the upcoming election. I have given it a lot of thought and consideration and feel at this time I have too many personnel commitments coming up. Therefore I would not be able to give it the 100 % that I feel is necessary for this position. There a quite a few very qualified candidates running and I will be there to support them. I truly believe it is a time for change. Last but not least I would really like to thank everyone for their encouraging words and well wishes.”
On October 17, Leesa Barbon made the decision to withdraw from the race. She says she did get some flack for only having been here seven months, but that wasn’t the main motivator. “There’s been a little bit of blowback,” she said in a phone interview. “I had some people question my time frame in town. And I found there were some questions that were being asked that I didn’t have the answer to.”
But the biggest issue for her was commitment. “Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of coal prices, Brian might have to move, and I don’t want to have to resign mid-way through,” she says. And, with two young kids at home, she was worried that she might not have enough time to put in the sheer amount of work that would be required.
While she’s withdrawn from running for council, she plans to get even more involved in the community. “I’m proud of the decision I made. I was wowed by the support I did receive. This is home, no questions asked. I am so grateful for the people who supported me. I feel I am still an asset, and have a lot to offer, but I can do it without being in the public eye, where I’m not criticized for my actions. I truly love TR and I want the best for Tumbler. There are people who are running that I am very supportive of, people who have the best interests of Tumbler Ridge at heart. I do too, but I can’t make that commitment right now. We’ll see what happens in four more years.
Candidates had one week to withdraw their names, meaning there shouldn’t be any future withdrawals. Even if a candidate decides they don’t want to be considered, their name will remain on the ballot, says Chief Election Officer Barry Elliot.