The people have spoken – Konrad in as mayor with four new councillors
They will definitely need to hand out name tags at the first meeting of the new Grand Forks City Council with a new mayor and four new councillors.
Frank Konrad, who has never held a seat in politics before, beat incumbent Brian Taylor by a 53 vote margin, 503-450. Councillor Cher Wyers came a close third with 434 votes. Donna Semenoff picked up 144 votes, while Peter Demski had 31 votes.
Returning to council were Michael Wirischagin, who led all candidates with 741 votes, and Neil Krog (592). Top vote getter among new councillors was Julia Butler, who had 702 votes. Christine Thompson, who was in council three years, had 676 votes. Also gaining spots were Chris Hammett (546) and Colleen Ross (539).
“It turned out somewhat the way I thought it might,” said Thompson right after the election. “I’m honoured and humbled to have been one of the six members of council elected to sit at the table. I will do my utmost and give my everything to ensure that the needs of our community are met where I can support issues that arise.”
Thompson said it will be important for council to communicate with residents to keep them apprised of what council is doing and proposing.
“I’m looking forward to working for four years for the betterment of our municipality,” she said.
Thompson said that with so many new faces at the table it will be a definite learning curve for council.
“I did have the privilege or serving one term on council but legislation has changed,” she said. “When you have not worked in the environment or sat on a council, the things you thing you can and the things you want to do cannot always be met in the way you want them done.”
She said she fully expects the new council will find common ground and work together for the betterment of the community.
Just finishing out of the six spots were Kathy Korolek with 524 and Zak Eburne-Stoodley with 521. Not re-elected were incumbents Patrick O’Doherty (419) and Gary Smith (340). Also running but not elected were were Baun Mark (440), Richard Fausten (422), Lorraine Dick (388), Teresa Taylor (387), Larry Podmoroff (371) and Monique Van Ewyk (215).
The referendum question (are you in favour of a deer cull?) passed by a 895-589 margin.
Elected to school board trustee for Grand Forks were incumbent Teresa Rezansoff and newcomer Katie Jepsen. David Reid has been selected as Area D trustee once again.
Roly Russell, who filled in as Area D director for 22 months after Irene Perepolkin suffered a stroke, was elected as RDKB Area D representative with 478 votes. Bob Kendel, a Grand Forks city councillor, came second with 173 votes, while Perepolkin came third with 72.
The number of eligible voters who voted in Grand Forks was 62 per cent with 1,579 ballots cast out of 2,556 registered in the poll book.
“However, the registered voter number does not include those electorates who registered during the advance polls and general voting day,” said Diane Heinrich, chief election officer.
Civicinfo.bc lists Grand Forks as having 3,031 eligible voters marking the percentage of voters at 52 per cent.
Those numbers are actually down from 2011 when 1,550 voters out of 2,675 eligible voters for a total of 58 per cent, according to Heinrich.
In Area D, 723 people voted out of 2,380 eligible voters for a total of 30.39 per cent voter turnout.
Theresa Lenardon, chief electoral officer for the RDKB, said those numbers are up from 2011 by 9.71 per cent.
All results are unofficial at this time.