School election in Terrace, B.C. won’t be held

Candidate withdraws, leaving seats to be filled by acclamation

For a few days it looked like there would be a race for the two Terrace seats on the Coast Mountains School District (CMSD) board.

But Oct. 17 Diana Penner withdrew her nomination, meaning incumbent and current board chair Art Erasmus and incumbent Roger Leclerc would be acclaimed as the two Terrace representatives.

With Gary Turner returning as the trustee for Thornhill (also by acclamation), Terrace and area faces around the board table will be the same as they have been since the last election in 2011.

Both Penner and Leclerc suggested last week that they only decided to run when they saw that no one else had.

They filed after the nomination deadline of Oct. 10 was extended over the Thanksgiving long weekend to Oct. 14 after only one name – that of Erasmus – was put forward by the initial deadline.

“I only put my name in after the nomination period was over and trustee Electoral Area 2 was short a candidate,” said Leclerc by email last week of the lack of candidates for the two school board Terrace seats. Leclerc, the current vice-chair, had cited time constraints in his initial decision not to run.

Penner withdrew her papers shortly before 4 p.m. Oct. 17, the deadline for taking one’s name off the ballot.

“I did just 10 minutes ago after giving it much consideration and prayer,” said Penner late Friday afternoon by email, responding to a query about whether either had withdrawn their names by the filing deadline.

Leclerc now says he will now have to manage his time to fulfill his trustee duties.

He thought the lack of candidates for the two Terrace school board seats may have to do with terms now being four years as of this year instead of three years as was the case before.

While interest in filling Terrace’s school board seats is evidently weak, that’s not the case at the city – 13 people are vying for the six council seats in Terrace chambers and two people are running for mayor.

In Kitimat, three people are vying for two seats on the school board, and in the Hazeltons two people are in the running for that area’s one school board seat.