Mayor Mike Richman is seeking re-election 

Couns. Karen Ross and Jennie Helmer will bow out, while Ted Craddock will run

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEL BARDE - Running  Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman, pictured here, will seek re-election in upcoming local elections.
  • Photo by Joel Barde
  • Running Pemberton Mayor Mike Richman, pictured here, will seek re-election in upcoming local elections.

Village of Pemberton (VOP) Mayor Mike Richman will run for re-election in upcoming local elections. Richman is coming off his first term as mayor.

"It was a huge learning curve, even though I had spent one term on council," said Richman.

Learning to chair meetings and accommodate a range of perspectives was one of the most important skills he's developed, he said.

Richman said that he's worked hard to develop good relationships with the business community and other municipalities, relationships that are crucial to achieving strategic priorities.

Richman's tenure as mayor wasn't without challenges, however.

In 2016, VOP council voted to approve a soda-ash conditioning treatment after it was discovered that the low pH of Pemberton's water was interacting with pipes into some homes and causing up to 10 times the acceptable limit of lead.

"Although it was difficult and I felt there was a lot of concern in the community, I feel like we came out strong from it," said Richman. "We've put out a new soda-ash system that's leveled out our PH system and made our water healthier and easier on the plumbing."

Richman said if re-elected, he wants to improve access to trails, get an additional basketball hoop set up outside of the rec centre, acquire funding to develop community gardens, and establish a safe passenger walkway alongside the CN Rail bridge.

He added that one of the challenges going forward will be managing Pemberton's growth.

"We see a lot of development going on here. We've got to keep an eye on our infrastructure to make sure we're keeping up with the growing numbers," he said. "We've got to make sure we're putting together a housing strategy for affordability and social housing."

Coun. Ted Craddock to run

Councillor Ted Craddock will be running for a council seat again. He said that he is focused on making sure that the $5.3 million downtown enhancement project works for Pemberton residents and the business community.

The goal is to put together a plan, so that construction "has very little impact on the community" and meets the "needs of the downtown businesses as far as parking is concerned," he said.

Craddock said that he is thrilled to be part of a council with strong relations to Lil'wat Nation.

Craddock is one of the directors of Spelkúmtn Community Forest Corporation, a proposed community forest between the Village and Pemberton and Lil'wat Nation.

"It's really exciting to be on something that's brand new and is in such a good relationship with Mount Currie," said Craddock. "If everything goes well, we're looking to hopefully have a license sometime in late September or October.

In a statement to Pique, Coun. Jennie Helmer said she will not run again. "It has been a generous and unique opportunity to represent the many voices of Pemberton these last four years. I am excited to move aside, let new opinions flourish and for some much-needed new leaders become the stewards of our beloved community," she wrote.

Coun. Karen Ross is also not seeking re-election, telling Pique that her work schedule has changed since she ran in 2014, making it difficult to balance serving the community and making time for family.

"The past four years have been very rewarding personally and I am proud of the progress we have made on many fronts," she said in an emailed statement.

"It has been a real honour to serve the citizens of Pemberton and have been a part of a team that has made a difference to our community.

"I would like to thank the Village staff for all the exceptional work they do every day to keep our village running smoothly."

Pique also reached out to Coun. James Linklater but did not receive a response before deadline.

The nomination period runs from Sept. 4 to 14. Those interested in running can find more info at elections.bc.ca.

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