Lynne Smith, a 27-year resident of Saltair, was the overwhelming choice to take over as director of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Area G (Saltair/Gulf Islands). (Photo by Don Bodger)

Lynne Smith humbled by mandate given to her by Saltair/Thetis voters

New Area G director looking forward to the challenge and representing her community well

Lynne Smith is excited about becoming the new Cowichan Valley Regional District director for Area G (Saltair/Gulf Islands).

Smith, a 27-year resident of Saltair, won the post in Saturday’s elections with 441 votes – well ahead of runner-up Rod Smith’s total of 227. Sean Jonas had 88 votes and Lia Versaevel 84.

It was the only one of the CVRD’s areas with more than three candidates running.

“Definitely, the community has spoken, both sides of Area G with so many in Saltair supporting me and Thetis Island,” said Lynne Smith.

The breakdown of voting for Smith included five mail votes, 107 in advance polls Oct. 10 and 16, 211 on voting day at Chemainus Elementary School and 118 at Thetis Island.

Rod Smith was close behind in the Chemainus Elementary polling with 159 votes, but Lynne Smith clearly prevailed on Thetis Island with Versaevel a distant second there with 28 votes.

“One thing that I can not say enough times is I am so thankful to the Area G residents for all their support at the polls,” noted Smith. “There have been so many supporters.

“I am honoured by their support and their electing me to take our community voices to the multiple CVRD tables. The numbers have me in awe of such overwhelming support. I look forward to taking on the challenges ahead as the new Area G Saltair/Gulf Islands director.”

Smith spent a lot of time getting to know the people and the primary concerns on Thetis during the campaign. That included attending Ratepayers and Improvement District meetings.

“At those meetings they have other groups that make a presentation,” Smith added. “They’re really amazing what they do over there. They volunteer and step forward.”

The recycling depot on Thetis was particularly impressive to her.

“I went over for a meeting to see what they did,” Smith said.

“I just continued to volunteer since May. I’m over once a week volunteering at their recycling depot. You get to know people.

“There’s so much going on over there. They have an amazing family fun day.”

Thetis has sometimes been the forgotten part of the jurisdiction, but not under Smith’s watch.

“I feel really good about all the communication I brought forward to them, all the information,” she said.

In Saltair, the community centre and water issues will remain the top priorities going forward for Smith. She’s the chair of the Saltair Water Advisory Committee so is well-versed on that situation.

Smith is especially proud how she stayed the course and didn’t waver among some of the contentious things that were happening during the campaign.

“We ran a really clean and honest campaign,” she stressed.

Smith did extensive door-knocking to make sure she contacted as many people as possible.

“To me that was really important,” she said. “How else do you know what your community wants?”

Having been given a clear mandate, Smith is anxious to get on with the job of representing everyone’s best interests in the community.

“What’s so good it indicates we’re ready to move forward with change and they want somebody who’s going to represent them,” Smith pointed out.

“Now the community can get away from being so fragmented. It’s going to be really healing for the community.”

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