There were three prospective councillors learning what to expect and how to prepare themselves for the role at a recent lunchtime talk.
Municipal elections will be held this year on November 19, and the period for nominations packages to be submitted to the district electoral officer is October 4 until October 14.
People considering throwing their hat in the ring this election period for either mayor or councillor were offered some advice from longtime councillor Kris Nielson on September 29 at a free luncheon session at CNC.
The seminar was part of the luncheon speaker series offered by CNC and the Chamber of Commerce.
The talk presented by Nielson, a 14-year veteran of municipal politics and more than four terms as a councillor for the Fort St. James District was a crash-course based on her experience.
“When you’re putting your name forward as an elected official, it’s like being a volunteer,” said Nielson.
She gave an outline highlighting some of the background information new councillors might want to familiarize themselves with, such as the Municipal Act and the Community Charter. She also spoke about conflict of interest concerns and how to deal with them in the council setting, which can be a more frequent concern in smaller communities like the Fort because many people perform multiple roles.
There was some outline of municipal structure and some discussion of budgetary considerations as well.
The final slide in the session highlighted some of the topics councillors will likely have to consider during their time in office, like replacing the hospital, highway and traffic considerations, and crime-related issues.
All of the attendees were working on their nomination packages, and all seemed to have garnered something from the experience.
Riley Willick said the session helped to clarify a lot of things for him in what the job entails, and also helped to reaffirm his interest in the role given the topics of interest and concern Nielson brought forward.
Four councillors and one mayoral position will be up for election this fall, and two councillor positions will not have incumbents looking to regain their seat.
The nomination packages can be picked up at the district office, and any questions can be directed at the Chief Electoral Officer Jeff Lovell or the Deputy Electoral Officer Emily Colombo. No nomination packages will be accepted after October 14 at 4 p.m..