With municipal elections less than two months away, it is becoming clearer who will be running in the local school board election, and who will be sitting out.
The first trustee to announce he will be stepping down is Stepan Vdovine, who has decided not to run for re-election to focus on other pursuits, namely establishing a career outside of an elected office.
“There’s time for everything in life, now it is the time to move on,” said Vdovine. “I love doing it and I really enjoyed this term… but its time for the next phase of my life.”
Vdovine said he is proud to have been a part of the board as it has made what he believes to be positive strides in the past three years.
“The conflicts of the past are just that, they’re in the past,” he said. “That lets the staff focus on student learning.”
Vdovine, who lives in Vancouver, is by no means leaving politics for good, as he is currently the co-chair for the Vision Vancouver municipal political party’s executive board.
The 26-year-old has served two terms on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Board of Education, and at the time of his initial election in 2005, was one of the youngest elected politicians in the province.
“I wanted to prove that young people can have a meaningful and effective voice, so I do feel satisfied about that,” he said. “I think I was somewhat naive when I first ran, but I was tremendously thankful to have mentors like [former trustee] Nel Joostema.”
Vdovine may not be the only departure from the board table, however.
A trio of trustees say they are still undecided as to wether they will run for re-election.
Long-time trustees Dave Rempel and Kathie Ward are both considering calling it quits, as is one-term trustee Mike Huber.
Both Rempel and Ward said they likely won’t decide until closer to the Oct. 4 to Oct. 14 nomination period wether they will seek re-election.
“I’m not even thinking about it,” said Rempel. “Things will unfold as they should.”
Huber, meanwhile, said he has his family to consider.
“It’s a huge commitment,” said Huber, who has three children, including two newborns since he took office in 2008. “Anyone who steps into the position lightly won’t be effective.”
Board chair Ken Clarkson has confirmed he will be seeking a second term as school board trustee, as have Elanor Palis and Susan Carr.
All three said they hope to continue the work of the current board for another three years.
“The environment isn’t quite as caustic as during the previous board,” said Clarkson. “I think we’ve all learned a lot in the last three years.”
• The 2011 B.C. municipal elections take place Saturday, November 19.