Slocan election tie vote settled by judge

The last outstanding race in this year’s municipal elections in the West Kootenay has been settled.

Ezra Buller was announced the winner of the last open seat on Slocan Village council, after an official recount of the numbers and a provincial court judge drawing lots to break a tie.

The October 15 election saw Buller, an incumbent councillor, finish with 72 votes, the same as newcomer Nicol Berinstein.

A judicial recount was held on October 24 in a Castlegar courtroom. Buller didn’t attend the hearing, but his challenger did.

“It is great, I wanted to win – but this is an awkward way to win,” Buller told the Valley Voice.

More than 13 people threw their hats in the ring for the four seats on Slocan village council. Buller’s squeaker-win means two incumbents and two newcomers will make up the new council. Incumbent mayor Jessica Lunn was also returned to office.

Buller, a geographic information services consultant by trade, says he is looking forward to his sophomore term on council. He says issues such as the affordable housing project, rec field improvements and developing a Master Plan for the former Springer Creek Forest Products mill site will keep council busy. The 18-acre industrial property was purchased in 2020 by the Village for about $1.5 million.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice