Carolyn Farris believes strongly that “democracy only works when there is a choice for the voters.”
Farris, a former township councillor, semi-retired teacher, volunteer, former member of the armed forces and farmer, let her name stand against the six council incumbents in Spallumcheen, ensuring a vote in the township was required.
“It (democracy) is never as important as it is in our local elections that can have such a great impact on our living, working and playing in the great Township of Spallumcheen,” said Farris, introducing herself at an all-candidates forum in Armstrong. “A place that was known as a place where farming came first.”
Farris said she’s deeply concerned about the densification of the area in view of climate change effects on reducing and changing rain and snow patterns which, she said, “will have a detrimental effect on water availability and aquifer recharge.”
“The principals of smart growth to preserve farm land, and concentrate population in urban areas, is being forgotten,” said Farris, who came to the farm she lives on with her parents and three siblings in 1970.
Andrew Casson was first elected to township council in 2008 and while his perspective today is different than it was more than a decade ago, he said, his core values remain the same.
“I would describe myself as old-fashioned, and that family, faith, generosity, compassion, integrity, responsibility, collaboration, hard-work, caring for your friends and neighbours, and community, are the fundamental values that are important,” said Casson.
He’d like to see the township provide a “steady, affordable, dependable foundation of services and infrastructure in which the people that live and give in our community will successfully grow and prosper.”
John Bakker and Gerry Popoff are the quiet public speakers on council, each completing their first term.
Bakker and his wife, Heather, have operated a business in Spallumcheen for more than 20 years, and he has enjoyed his foray into municipal politics.
“I’m hoping to do it for another four years,” said Bakker. “I think working with everyone in Spallumcheen and Armstrong is important, and I’d love the opportunity to continue.”
Popoff raised his family in Spallumcheen, arriving in the township more than 35 years ago, a fourth generation farm boy, licenced mechanic and home-based business operator. Popoff was a gallery fixture at every council meeting since 2002 before running successfully for a seat in 2018.
“I enjoy helping people in our community,” he said. “We have a good working team, we accomplished a lot in the last four years and I’d like to serve again for another four years.”