Trustees Mamoser and O’Sullivan say they will not run for re-election

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 14 2018

This past week, both Melanie Mamoser and Heather O’Sullivan, the current Island Trustees for Gabriola, confirmed they would not be running for re-election this fall.

As of print time, no candidates for the jobs of Island Trustee had declared themselves.

Trustees Heather O’Sullivan and Melanie Mamoser on a return trip to Gabriola after the yearly LTC meeting on Mudge Island - a policy the two Trustees started this term as a way to give Mudge Island voters and LTC a chance to interact in a face to face meeting. Derek Kilbourn photo

Mamoser said, “I’m not planning on running for re-election. It was a difficult decision, I love serving the community as Trustee but I just can’t dedicate myself the way I think I should while balancing family and my career. 

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done, especially in connecting in a meaningful way with Mudge, creation of parkland, advocating against new anchorages, updating the housing needs assessment for Gab, building relationships with First Nations at a Trust Council level, and generally creating an open, accessible and respectful Local Trust Committee that values community input. 

“I’m sure I’ll think of other things as I reflect on the last four years.”

Trustee Heather O’Sullivan issued a statement as well, saying, “Four years ago, in what many probably thought was a stunning fashion faux pas at the time (or at least a very questionable footwear choice) I walked into the all-candidates meeting to introduce myself to the good people of Gabriola wearing a pair of gumboots. 

“They were a nice pair of gumboots, to be sure - bought at Artworks and given to me as a birthday gift by my two teenage boys. I spent some time at that meeting talking about how those boots represented the values which I would bring to my work and decision-making should I be elected as an Island Trustee.

“For me, those boots represented (and still do) family, community, the environment and our local economy. But they also represented less tangible things. My boots stood for common sense, for practicality, for advocacy and for passion. They’re pretty great boots.

Over the past four years, I have put a lot of miles on those boots. They’re a bit battered now, and they’ve had their toes stepped on quite a few times. But they are still my go-to footwear when things get a bit mucky.

In all my decisions and all the issues we grappled with as Trustees over the past term, I tried my best to honour those boots - to walk my talk. It wasn’t always easy, and it certainly didn’t always seem to make me popular. But I did my utmost to do right by my boots and by this community, and I one hundred per cent believe that my fellow Trustee Melanie Mamoser did as well.

Being a Trustee is not an easy job. I am so grateful for all the incredible support that I’ve received over the past four years - from family, from friends, from my fellow Trustees, from Islands Trust staff and from my community. And I also appreciate all those who’ve challenged me, because engaged dialogue inevitably leads to better decision-making.

But my boots need a break. I’m not hanging them up for good - I suspect that my boots are not the retiring kind. But they need to regroup and maybe get patched up a bit, and I need to wiggle my toes in the sand for a while.

I believe that there are intelligent, committed and passionate people who will step up to take their turn at bat, and I look forward to supporting them in their work. And I look forward to the coming campaign - I hope the conversations generated will be challenging, productive and respectful and will help the incoming Trustees identify the issues that are important to Gabriola and Mudge for the upcoming term.

RDN Director Houle prepared to stand for re-election

Howard Houle, who has been the Regional District of Nanaimo Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) for two terms now, has said he is prepared to serve another term, should voters return him to office this fall.

“I’ve been having fun; there are projects I haven’t completed yet.”

He cited the Village Way Trail and the second phase of Huxley Community Park as two of the projects that he would like to see through.

“Then we need to start looking seriously at affordable housing and what we can do there.

“The RDN and the Islands Trust have limitations that a municipality wouldn’t have. That doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities that we can’t explore.”

He also plans to spend part of the next term working on the management plan for the 707 Community Park, which is up for renewal in 2020.

That will involve not only looking at the current management plan, but also blending in a management plan for the 300+ acres being added to the RDN Parks system from the Potlatch Density Transfer application.

Houle said “that will be a big multi-community meeting project for that one. There will be all kinds of ways for people to get involved with that.”

2018 also marks the first of three years for the RDN to be funding Tourism and Economic Development on Gabriola through the Chamber of Commerce.

Houle said, “I’d like to see that get more mature before I step out of office.”

Local government elections will take place on October 20, 2018. Notices are scheduled to be posted in the Sounder with all the information.