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Subrina Monteith has spent hundreds of hours over the past several months attending Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Board meetings to try and learn as much as she can about how the political process works and how the Board operates.
She hopes to use those skills if elected - or acclaimed - following the Oct. 20 municipal election.
As of Monday morning, Monteith, 41, was the only person to formally file her nomination papers in the new Area I regional district, which was formally brought into existence by the Board last week.
The move was made to basically cut the existing Area D rural District in half geographically.
Monteith filed her nominations papers after attending the same RDOS Board meeting last Thursday.
Monteith, a mother of three, has called Kaleden home for the past 15 years.
She believes she has plenty to offer as a new RDOS Board member.
“I would like to use my skills and my many years of community involvement, my dedication to the community to continue Kaleden’s growth and opportunities,” she said.
Monteith said she hasn’t missed a single RDOS Board meeting since last February and said the experience of observing how the system works, decisions are made and intricacies of local government have proved invaluable.
“It’s definitely helped me learn the whole process, what’s expected of me and my role,” she said. “I’ve also made many connections with staff and other directors and political figures.
“It’s opened up the door to many discussions and learning from the history of some important issues, background information and the concerns of residents I hope to represent.”
The new Area I will include all of Kaleden, Twin Lakes, the Village of St. Andrews, a small portion of land adjacent to Penticton Indian Band property near the City of Penticton and also extends past Waterman Hill before you cross the bridge and Apex Mountain, she said.
She hasn’t heard any rumblings about anyone else stepping forward to challenge with the deadline to formally file nomination papers set to expire Friday at 4 p.m.
“At this point, I have not heard of anybody who is going to challenge me,” she said. “There’s still time of course.”
Monteith has already planned two community open houses to discuss key platform issues that will proceed whether or not she’s acclaimed.
The first will take place on Oct. 2 at the Twin Lakes Golf Course clubhouse the evening of Oct. 2. The second will be Oct. 3 at the Kaleden Community Hall .
If she is acclaimed, Monteith believes she’s learned enough by attending all these meetings and making connections to be an effective representative immediately.
“That’s why it has been important to have been involved and gotten all the background information that I have over all these months,” she said. “If and when I step into that role, I feel I will be prepared. I believe I’m ready and I’m not walking in blind.”
Her daughters, 18, 11 and soon to be 9, and her husband have shown tremendous support since she told them she was thinking about running for elected office, she said.
She and her family love living in Kaleden and they don’t plan on leaving any time soon, she said.
Some of her community involvement includes being a longtime member of the Kaleden Parks and Recreation Commission, new member with the Kaleden Community Association and she was chair of the Kaleden Parent Advisory Council for several years.
In the past, she’s also been vice-chair of the organizing committee for the Penticton Peach Festival, organized the Terry Fox Run in Penticton for several years and been on numerous festival committees, including the B.C. Senior Games.