It was an evening to mingle with candidates and ask them questions one-on-one, before DC mayor Dale Bumstead and challenger Trenten Laarz took to the KPAC stage to have a chat.
Bumstead opened by thanking Laarz for letting his name stand, and after introductions, it was a conversation concerning city infrastructure, plant watering when it is raining, downtown development, and more. Both candidates are for opening Rotary Lake, with Bumstead noting the city does not want to spend significant funds only to be told it will never be opened.
“These are not guidelines we have been given, they are orders and then they will let us know if we meet them,” he said adding the city is appealing the health hazard order.
Laarz said it was important for the city to look at building maintenance and upkeep before they reach end of life situations.
“Moving forward to enhance community the best way for buildings is to take care of existing infrastructure. There seem to be a lot of closures – you can’t tell me they were left that long?”
When it comes to business development for Dawson Creek, Bumstead said moves had to support each other.
“The economic opportunities that are created – industry comes in to help support small business that is what builds community. That is the focus we should have.”
When asked about a 25K no strings attached fund city council is using to dole out to non-profits, a subject broached by outgoing councillor Mark Rogers, Laarz said moves should be made to help groups out.
“If there is money there.”
Mayoral race 2018; some reality here
It’s a polished speaker on municipal issues against a 20 plus year old somewhat out of his element; and that’s okay. There is a former MLA running. A former councillor. A former mayor too. It’s a strange mix, and that is just one other candidate.
But here’s the scoop – poll or no poll, some reality here. Let’s call this for what it is. This is certainly what democracy is all about - the ability to have a choice. However, with democracy comes reality.
Dale Bumstead is winning the race he is in.
It is just a barometer of how much. 75 percent - three of every four voters would be what could certainly be called a mandate.
This mayor winning with around 65 to 60 percent is something for Trenten Laarz to be proud of, campaigning against a popular, savvy candidate who has a strong track record on the municipal books, around the council tables, provincially, and beyond.
Only one person has put his name forward to run against Bumstead - Trenten Laarz. He gets more credit than anyone else for this alone, regardless of experience. And that’s what babies don’t seem to understand.
What he should do is take the experience, votes and support, an parlay that in about 3.5 years when a councillor race is once again run.
However, anything less than 60 percent in this particular two horse race – and the incumbent should look around and wonder.
Wonder what would have happened should have say an incumbent councillor ran in a two-person race. Or Blair Lekstrom. Talk about Hide the Disappointment Harold.
Beyond news that happens, this and my little run on "polls" on is likely the last of our mayoral print coverage until E-Day – unless more nefarious stories show their face.
The ones that seem to happen at night.
Rob Brown has managed, advised, or covered roughly 85 municipal elections and or races since 1999.