Arrow Lakes News
On Saturday, November 15, 539 votes were cast in the municipal election for mayor of Nakusp. All other positions were acclaimed — four councillors and five school board trustees — so the only names on the ballot were Karen Hamling and Guy Duchaine.
Saturday evening, Hamling was waiting anxiously for results at a friend’s house when her scrutineer arrived at the door with the news: she had won the election for mayor of Nakusp. She had been elected for a fourth term.
“It sounds cliché, but I have to say I am really humbled to be re-elected for a fourth term,” Hamling said in an interview with the Arrow Lakes News.
“I didn’t know how the votes were going to go. I’ve learned to never take anything for granted.”
Hamling looks forward to working with a newly-shuffled council including two new members. Joining incumbents Ulli Mueller and Tom Zeleznik are Bill Tobey and Len Heppner who will replace outgoing representatives Joseph Hughes and Guy Duchaine.
Duchaine ran against Hamling in this year’s election but attempts to reach him for comments were not successful. Hamling says, “He ran a good, clean campaign. Guy is a hard worker in the community. I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to pursue from here.”
“It will be interesting to see what ideas come forward, where they want the community to go and what their focus will be,” Hamling says. New ideas and new points of view are always welcome the way she sees it. Even when opposed, Mayor Hamling sees the benefits of conviction.
“I really appreciate that everyone in Nakusp is very passionate about our community. People really care about Nakusp. They want the best and I want to try and work with them to make that happen.”
Moving forward, some projects she hopes to get to work on moving forward include improvements to the hot springs as a major economic driver of tourism, and to facilitate business investment in the area to hopefully improve overall employment. Yet she believes the people who live here are one of Nakusp’s greatest treasures.
“What really spurs me on is the level of volunteerism,” she states. Seeing people put things together, citing the Old Firehall Collective and the Trails Society as examples.
“Those who dedicate themselves to all of the ideas and programs we have here — it is so inspiring. We need more of that.”
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