At least one of them won’t be back.
Vernon council took the opportunity at its final regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11, before the general election Saturday, Oct. 15, to thank one another and city staff for the past four-year term.
Incumbent Mayor Victor Cumming is being challenged by current councillor Scott Anderson, as well as Erik Olesen, so there is a certainty that either Cumming or Anderson will not be back if the other wins the election, and the possibility both could be ousted upon an Olesen victory.
“Depending on the outcome of the election, if I’m not here it’s been a pleasure to serve for the last seven years,” said Anderson, first elected to council in 2014.
“It’s been an honour to serve the community and the City of Vernon,” said Cumming, elected mayor in 2018. “I do look forward to whatever the future brings.”
Councillors Teresa Durning, Kelly Fehr, Kari Gares, Akbal Mund and Brian Quiring are seeking reelection. Quiring is the longest-serving councillor, elected to the post in 2011.
“Victor, you’ve done a great job, thanks for leading this group,” said Quiring. “To all my fellow councillors, everybody has really stepped up. I hope we’re all back after Saturday but that’s up to the community.”
Mund is finishing his second term in office.
He was mayor from 2014-2018, but ran for council in 2018 and was elected.
“It’s been a pleasure working with you all,” he said. “If I’m not here, good luck to those who do get elected.”
City personnel are highly thought of by council for its help and friendship over the past term.
“It’s been an honour working with everybody here,” said Gares who, along with Fehr, was voted in four years ago. “I’ve learned a lot. Special thanks to staff and administration. There’s quite a steep learning curve upon getting elected, and I commend the work you did getting us in line and quickly. I hope I’m here next time.”
Fehr said there wasn’t one fellow councillor he couldn’t call up and have a conversation with, whether or not they agreed on specific topics.
“It’s always been respectful, and I appreciate your collaboration, your friendship,” he said.
“That goes to staff here. Your professionalism is second to none. It’s an honour to serve alongside you.”
Durning was elected in 2021, winning a byelection following the in-office death of her friend, Coun. Dalvir Nahal, from cancer in September 2021.
“I’m the not-seasoned-veteran in the group,” she smiled. “I want to thank everybody here and staff. You made the transition into this life pretty amazing, and I’m grateful for that and always will be.”
The incumbent councillors are being challenged for their seats by eight others: Jenelle Brewer, Brian Guy, Ross Hawes, Stephanie Hendy, Ed Stranks, Dawn Tucker, Patrick Vance and Andy Wylie.
Voting takes place Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Vernon Recreation Centre auditorium, Fulton Secondary gymnasium and Vernon Secondary commons area.
Watch The Morning Star online for breaking election results as they come forward at vernonmorningstar.com.