The Thompson-Nicola Regional District needs its own version of Vote 50, says Area P candidate Mel Rothenburger.
Rothenburger said the small turnout in last week’s first advance poll for election of an Area P director concerns him. Thirty-two people cast ballots, compared to 36 in advance voting in 2008, the last time there was an election in Area P.
“I hope more people will vote this coming Wednesday in the second go-round of advance voting at the TNRD office but it seems unlikely the number will go up much,” Rothenburger said.
“People tell me they don’t feel connected to what the TNRD does, and that’s a problem. The Area P director has to let people know who he is and what he and the TNRD are doing, not just at election time but year round.”
He said hiring a TNRD communications officer has helped a lot, but he would push for a more focused communications plan, a customer-focused approach to service, and participatory budgeting, and would take a kitchen-table approach to talking with Area P residents.
Those things are fundamental to driving taxpayer engagement, and would set the scene for a TNRD version of Vote 50 that would boost turnout in future elections, he said.
The Pinantan East Paul Lake Community Association held a candidates’ forum last week, and Vote 50 teamed up with the Heffley Creek Community Hall for a candidates’ mixer that included Area P.
“Those are the types of things we need a lot more of in future,” Rothenburger said.
He said Vote 50 appears willing to work with the TNRD on a voter-turnout plan for future elections.