Mayor & Council Biographies

Meet your Mayor & Council

Mayor Karen HamlingKaren Hamling, Mayor

Re-elected to the Office of Mayor in November 2014, this is Karen’s eighth term on Council.  She served as a councillor from 1987 to 1996, and again from May 2004 to November 2005, before being elected as Mayor. Karen currently serves on these Committees of Council:  Community Health/Community Consultative, Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), Labour Relations and is our Fair Trade Representative.

Karen is currently the Municipal Director and Chair of the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Director for the West Kootenay & Boundary Regional Hospital Board.  She is the RDCK appointment to the Columbia River Treaty Local Government Advisory Committee (Vice Chair) and Steering Committee Member to Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee. 

Volunteer involvement in her community has included serving on the boards of Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Kootenay, Nakusp and Area Development Board, Arrow Lakes Senior’s Care Society, Halcyon Assisted Living Committee, Robertson Memorial United Church, Steering Committee for Community Initiatives and Affected Arena Funding for CBT funds, Nakusp and Area Community Foundation and Music in the Park. 

“I believe that this is the best place on earth to live and I will work with council to move the community forward in a positive and collaborative manner.”


Councillor Len HeppnerLen Heppner, Councillor

Elected to council in November 2014, Len currently serves on these Committees of Council: Emergency Management BC (EMBC) and Liaison- Nakusp and Area Youth Society.

Len was born and raised  in Nakusp and has worked as a logger for 44 years.  



Councillor Ulli MuellerUlli Mueller, Councillor

Re-elected to council in November 2014 for her fourth term, Ulli currently sits on these Committees of Council: Library Board, Nakusp & Area Development Board, Liaison to Tourism Advisory Committee and Liaison to the Age Friendly Committee.

Ulli is the alternate municipal director to the Regional District of Central Kootenay and sits on the Resource Recovery Committee. 

Ulli’s volunteer involvement includes Chair of the Arrow & Slocan Lakes Community Services, Chair of the Halcyon Assisted Living Society, Member of Arrow Lakes Senior’s Care Society, Director of the Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation and Member of the Social Sector Advisory Committee for Columbia Basin Trust. Ulli’s has participated in the local Arts Council, the Cultural Society of Nakusp and Area as well as our local Search and Rescue.

Since immigrating to Canada in 1981, Nakusp has been her place of residence and business. Ulli is currently the Continuing Education and Workplace Training Coordinator for Selkirk College Nakusp.

“I believe that my extensive experience in the non-profit as well as the business sector will enable me to make a positive contribution to our village and I look forward to working with the Mayor, Council, and Staff.”


Councillor Bill TobeyBill Tobey, Councillor

Bill was elected to Council in November 2014 and currently serves on these Committees of Council: Recreation Commission #4 and Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR).

Bill has always been an active volunteer in his community and has served as a Competitive Swim Coach, Firefighter, Construction Association Director, a Rotarian and is currently a director on the WETBC Board.

Born in Cranbrook and raised in Edmonton, Bill worked in Alberta and the Northwest Territories prior to moving to Nakusp in 2008. With diplomas in Building Construction Engineering and Business Administration, his previous employment focused on Construction Management, Tender Administration and retail and commercial building products sales and management. Bill is currently the owner/operator of Men With Brooms, a company servicing, installing and inspecting wood burning appliances.

“I will work hard with the Village Administration and Council to make Nakusp a first choice for new businesses and families. I want to remove obstacles and help facilitate the establishment of new industry in Nakusp.”


Councillor Tom ZeleznikTom Zeleznik, Councillor

 Re-elected to council in November 2014 for his third term, Tom serves on these Committees of Council: Chamber of Commerce and Nakusp and Area Development Board.

Tom presently volunteers with the Volunteer Fire Brigade, Road Rescue, and Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society. He has been a volunteer with minor hockey, baseball and soccer, serving in various capacities such as coach, referee and board member.

Tom has worked in the forest industry for 35 years, and presently operates his own company, Pattom Services Ltd., employing up to 10 people and supplying log scaling and consulting services to local forest industries in the area. He is a certified Waste & Residue Surveyor, Faller, Danger Tree Assessor, and Log Scaler, and is BC Forest Safe certified.

“I believe in order to have a successful and thriving village, volunteerism and community spirit are important aspects that everyone needs to be aware of.”