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Kamloops News

Pitbelly for mayor campaign lacks transparency

Mr. Open Pitbelly (Elaine Sedgman) announces his intention to run for mayor in the fall election.

KAMLOOPS - Mr. Open Pitbelly is the latest to announce candidacy for the November elections, but while Pitbelly is open about three of the key pillars to his election campaign, he admits much of his campaign lacks transparency.

“They’re very secret, I will come (forward) with these events through the weeks,” Pitbelly said at a campaign launch Monday morning. “I have a few (influential backers), but that’s pretty secret too.”

Pitbelly said his first priority as mayor will be to get the proposed Ajax Mine in, because it will eventually lead to urban renewal and will bring many jobs.

“What they don’t talk about is how pollution will create jobs. Think of all the specialists we need here when we have more pollution,” Pitbelly said. “When (the tailings pond) lets go, just think of the jobs it will create… There will be all sorts of researchers, lawyers, grief counsellors, soil specialists, all sorts of people. I’m very pleased about that.”

Pitbelly also points out the ‘amazing’ pit he has, which can be used as a longterm parkade.

“My pit is amazing. I think Kamloops has won the open pit lottery,” he said. “I know there’s a parking problem, I think the pit could be a very longterm car park. This parkade is forever.”

Pitbelly is actually Elaine Sedgman, a local artist and master gardner, who has been outspoken against the proposed Ajax Mine. Last week she said she started the campaign as a way to get people talking about the mine as we head into elections this fall.

“I want people to laugh. Of course it’s a serious topic, but I want people to laugh, to open up the discussion,” she said. “KAPA is very serious, and rightfully so, and I just wanted to give a different slant to it. I really hope it will get people interested in the election.”

Sedgman said she fully intends to file nomination papers as Mr. Open Pitbelly, a move inspired by 1970s Vancouver mayor nominee Mr. Peanut.

Coun. Tina Lange was the only current member of council to attend the campaign launch Monday morning, and she was among the dozen people laughing at the satirical comments Sedgman constantly threw out.

“I think it will be good for the election… it will add colour,” Lange said. “It should get more people interested.”

Nomination packages are available online and at City Hall and can be filed from Sept. 30 to Oct. 10. So far Pitbelly is the only nominee to step up to challenge Mayor Peter Milobar for his seat.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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