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Two candidates seek mayor's chair in Belcarra

Dr. Colm Cole filed his nomination paperwork this week to challenge former village councillor Jamie Ross for the mayor's seat left vacant last month by Neil Belenkie.
Dr. Colm Cole faces Jamie Ross in the Jan. 23 by-election for the mayor's chair. PHOTOS SUBMITTED

The byelection race for the mayor’s seat is on in Belcarra after a former candidate filed his paperwork this week.

Dr. Colm Cole will be up against Jamie Ross, who faced Cole and Neil Belenkie two years ago in the general election.

Belenkie quit the top job in October, citing difficulties with how two councillors voted on an infrastructure project and accusing them of conflict of interest.

Robb Begg also resigned as councillor, leaving a basic quorum of three council members: Liisa Wilder, as deputy mayor; Carolina Clark; and Bruce Drake.

To date, John Snell is the only Belcarra resident seeking to replace Begg.

The by-election is scheduled for Jan. 23, with candidate nominations closing Dec. 18. 

Chief election officer Lisa Zwarn told the Tri-City News that, should the by-election be officially called on Dec. 28, it will be conducted with COVID protocols for safe voting including mail-in ballots.

In 2018, Cole told the Tri-City News while campaigning that he pledged to be transparent, accessible and fiscally responsible. He has no civic government experience.

Ross, a former SD43 human resources manager who has 28 years as a former village councillor, told the newspaper in 2018 he was running on his “proven leadership.”

About 700 people call Belcarra home.