Newly released lists of donations and expenditures in the 2014 local government elections indicate that campaign spending isn’t a guarantee of success.
Incumbent Mayor Ron Toyota, vying for his third term in office, outspent his four opponents’ combined total of $5,068 to get 47 per cent of the vote.
Toyota’s expenditure of $5,870 included about $1,000 to rent and use a campaign office on 10th Avenue North. He was the only candidate to do so. His financial disclosure lists 17 donors of more than $100. G. Lane and M. Chaplin ($300 each), G.F. Oliver Funeral Chapel ($250), W. Marshall, T. Marshall, A. Tremblay and Create Painting ($200 each) and H. Haberstock ($150) were the only donors to contribute more than $100. He spent $6.89 per vote earned.
Second-place finisher to Toyota was Bill Hutchinson, who listed $736 in expenses, revealed three donors of $200 each — he and his wife, A. Cherowka, and B. and R. Wigen. Two more supporters donated $100 each. Hutchison ran the most cost-efficient campaign, spending $1.76 per vote gained.
Third-place finisher Tom Mann spent $6.32 for each of his 343 votes. His expenses totaled $2,168 and his top contributors were J. and M. Kettle, who each donated $500 to the campaign. D.J. Gardner and T. Parnell each donated $375.
Fourth-place finisher Rhonda Barter averaged $11.20 per each of her 148 votes in a campaign that was supported with a $350 donation from the East Kootenay Labour Council. She self-funded the remainder of her $1,658 expense.
In last place, Jared LeBlanc spent $7.55 per vote and he listed C. Franklin as his sole contributor of just over $400.
Top finisher in the race for town council, with 1,126 votes, was Kevin Boehmer, who also had the highest costs. Boehmer spent $3,083, with only himself and his parents’ business, Creston Top Potato Farm ($500), contributing more than $100.
Newcomer Karen Unruh took second place in the council race and personally covered $1,701.84 in expenses.
Third in the race was Jim Elford, who spent $771 with two contributors adding $100 to the coffers.
To finish fourth, Jen Comer spent $990, self-funding the majority. She declared three donors of $100 each.
Joanna Wilson, the only incumbent in the race, spent $827 of her own money. Former major and councillor Joe Snopek earned the last available seat, and declared spending of $286 with no donations.
Arnold DeBoon (seventh), Lon Hansen (ninth) and Penny A.P. Anderson (12th) each declared expenses of $2,168. In each case, they reported receiving donations of $600 from J. Kettle, $500 from M. Kettle and $375 each from D.J. Gardner and T. Parnell.
Other unsuccessful candidates were Ed Vondracek ($307), Daniel Geurts ($156), Evelyn Bradford ($982) and Myrna Johnson (0).
In the only contested race for Regional District of Central Kootenay director, Area B winner Tanya Wall outspent opponent Jared LeBlanc, $4,530 to $686.65. Wall said that a listed contribution of $2,650 from J. Kettle came in the form of signs from his previous campaigns, which she changed and reused. She also listed donations of $500 from J.H. Huscroft Ltd. and $250 each from G.F. Oliver Funeral Chapel Ltd., and G. and T. Guthrie.
LeBlanc’s declaration shows a $337 contribution from L. LeBlanc and $105 from C. Franklin.
Wall and LeBlanc each self-funded the remainder of their costs.
The two largest spenders for the Creston seat on the School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of trustees both failed to win a spot. Ken Vaughan-Evans used $500 donations from the Kootenay District Council and West Kootenay Labour Council to cover most of his $1,043 in expenses and Verna Mayers-McKenzie spent $548 of her own money in a losing effort.
Top vote-getter Cody Beebe reported spending $148 of his own money to win a seat at the table and incumbent Rebecca Huscroft listed $500 in expenses, with no donations.