June 12, 2013 - 6:52 AM
COUN. GARRY LITKE A CANDIDATE; TWO COUNCILLORS DECLINE
PENTICTON — There will be two seats on city council up for grabs whenever Mayor Dan Ashton decides he can't hold down three jobs.
Ashton won the Penticton MLA seat in the May 14 provincial election. He was officially sworn on Tuesday as a member of the legislature. He is also the current mayor of the city and the chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. He has taken a leave of absence from both jobs but so far has not resigned.
Acting mayor Garry Litke confirmed on Tuesday Ashton has not resigned from his mayor's job. Calls to Ashton were not returned.
A by-election to replace Ashton cannot be called until the mayor steps down. When that happens Litke plans on throwing his hat into the ring for the city's top job.
Coun. Judy Sentes said she will not run for the position despite encouragement from supporters. She said it's only her second term as councillor. Her first term was spent learning the ropes. The second time around she gets to use the experience to the city's advantage.
As for Litke, she said he would make a good candidate. As for who else might run for the mayor's position or for Litke's council seat she could only say there's been lots of speculation.
Scratch Coun. John Vassilaki off the list. The veteran councillor said he will not run in the mayor's race and can be more effective in his current position. If he became mayor he would have to be more neutral than he would like. He enjoys being an outspoken advocate for people and causes.
"I can't keep my mouth shut," he said.
Until the call for candidates is made there is no official list of who is running.
In the 2011 municipal election Julius Bloomfield, Jukka Laurio, former mayor Vic Powell and Katie Robinson ran against Ashton in the mayoral race.
Burga Black, Jeannie Cavallo, Frank Conci, Jason Cox, David Greenwood, Lynn Kelsey, Randy Kirkoski, David Korinetz, Gary Leaman, Kevin Noonan, Poonam Chahal, Mike Pearce and Terry Yeatman lost in the 2011 election for councillor.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013