New faces join incumbents in November election

Haida Gwaii voters will have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to the municipal election on Nov. 15.

The nomination period is over and Haida Gwaii voters will have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to the municipal election on Nov. 15.

The largest on-island election will take place in Port Clements. Four people are vying for the mayor’s seat, held last term by the late Wally Cheer, including acting mayor Urs Thomas, Coun. Ian Gould, former councillor Judy Hadley and newcomer Dennis Reindly. Joining the candidates for mayor are seven residents seeking to fill four council positions. Matt Gaspar is the only incumbent seeking re-election and he will be joined by newcomers Brigid Cumming, Christine Cunningham, Douglas Daugert, Angela Mielecki, Charleen O’Brien-Anderson and Betty Stewart.

In Masset, Mayor Andrew Merilees will return to his post for the next four years after no other candidates came forward. There is guaranteed to be one new face on Masset council with three incumbents — Bret Johnston, Barry Pages and Jason Thompson — running with newcomers Zoe Sikora and Tony Tyler for the four available council seats.

Queen Charlotte has its second mayor in municipal history as Greg Martin will be acclaimed to the position formerly held by Carol Kulesha. Candidates for council include incumbent Ellen Cranston and newcomers Richard Decembrini, Jenniger Dysart, Sabrina Frazier and Jo-Anne MacMullin.

When it comes to rural representation on the SQCRD, Sandspit incumbent Evan Putterill will have to win re-election against former director Bill Beldessi while Mike Racz will be acclaimed as the representative for rural Graham Island.

Residents of Haida Gwaii will also be asked to cast their vote for three of the five available trustee positions. In Old Massett, Reg Davidson and Alfie Setso will be seeking the one seat for the community; North Area incumbent Sharon Matthews will need to defend her seat in a campaign against Harmony Williams; and there will be a three-way race for the South Area seat between incumbent Carl Lutner, former trustee Christine Martynuik and newcomer Denise Husband. The Central Area seat will be filled by incumbent Elizabeth Condrotte while incumbent Kim Goetzinger will return to represent Skidegate.

Gwaii Trust received papers for four candidates to fill the vacant director positions. Warren Foster and Doug Gould will seek election for the Moresby Island position while incumbent Tlell resident Berry  Wijdven will run against Port Clements’ Chris Bellamy for the Central Graham Island position.

Candidates have until this Friday to withdraw their names from the election. Voting will take place on Nov. 15.