Voters in the District of Clearwater casted their votes Saturday, selecting a new mayor and council to take them through the next four years.
Merlin Blackwell took the mayoral vote with 644 ballots casted in his favour, equalling 72.3 per cent of votes received, with runner up Jon Kreke receiving 236 votes, coming out to 26.5 per cent of the votes marked for the mayoral candidates.
Numbers for council show incumbent Shelley Sim with 690 votes, which equals 77.4 per cent of voters marking her name on the ballot. Sim also landed the trustee position for School District 73 Area 2 (North Thompson), which she won by acclamation.
“I feel extremely fortunate and privileged. I think re-election is like a job evaluation, so it’s nice to hear from your constituents,” said Sim.
Sim added she wanted to thank the previous council, staff and community as a whole for all moving forward in the same direction and that she’s thankful voters saw Blackwell as the new figure to helm the ship of municipal government
“He’ll do a great job,” she said.
Lynne Frizzle received the second highest amount of council votes with 610, or 68.5 per cent.
Frizzle said she was a little overwhelmed at having won and was surprised she received such a high number of votes, adding it was nice for her to see.
“It’s very exciting—I’m a little overwhelmed, like I said, but I’m really looking forward to finding out what I’m getting myself into,” she said.
“I think the community elected a really exciting team; I believe we’ll all work well together. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better and seeing what everybody’s interests are.”
Frizzle also mentioned she’d like to thank all the residents who voted for her, as well as everyone else who took the time to go out and vote in the civic election.
Lyle Mackenzie and Barry Banford received 587 and 563 votes respectively, or 65.9 per cent and 63.2 per cent of votes received.
“I’m just looking forward to serving the community and do what I can to make it a better place,” said Mackenzie, adding he’s happy to add to the district council’s legacy.
“I (want to) pick up where the last guys left off; they’ve come a long way and got a lot of good things going for a small town. We’re not a city, so it’s nice, slow and gradual what they’ve been doing, just carrying on with that and keep making this place the best place we can to live.”
Banford said he was pleased about his re-election and thinks the rest of the new council makes for a great cross-section of people who represent all parts of the Clearwater community.
“I was pleased with the people who put their names forward because it shows their dedication and willingness to serve the community, which is an example for all of us,” said Banford.
“I think (my first priority) is to help form a strong team that’s willing to work for the betterment of all of Clearwater—I’d also like to give a special thank you to (former mayor) John Harwood and (former council members) Ken Kjenstad, Gord Heisterman and Dennis Greffard for the years of service they gave this community.”
Lucy Taylor came away with 483 votes and William Haring with 442, with their vote percentages equalling 54.2 per cent and 49.6 per cent.
“I think what was really humbling for me was just seeing how many people voted for me—I’m pretty sure I don’t know 483 people,” said Taylor with a gracious laugh.
“The realization that people who haven’t met me have put their faith and trust in me, that’s a big responsibility, so I plan to be able to meet those expectations and make sure I’m worthy of that trust.”
Haring said it was an honour to get elected, especially because he’s a fairly new resident in Clearwater, and though the workload ahead has him a bit nervous, it has him eager to get started as well.
“I’d just like to thank all the voters who voted for me and who voted for everyone else, I think they picked an awesome council; everybody on that list is excellent and I’m looking forward to working with all of them. So the voters came out with a win on this one,” he said.