Voters in the North Thompson Valley voted for some change and for some continuity during local elections held Nov. 19.
In District of Clearwater, incumbent Mayor John Harwood defeated challenger Bert Walker with a vote of 545 – 301 (64 per cent to 35 per cent). Harwood also defeated Walker during Clearwater’s first mayoralty race in 2007. Then the vote was 637 – 441 (59 per cent to 41 per cent).
Elected to the six seats on Clearwater council were: Ken Kjenstad, 707 votes (85 per cent); Shelley Sim, 615 (72 per cent); Jon Kreke, 503 (59 per cent); Merlin Blackwell, 478 (56 per cent); Gord Heisterman, 396 (46 per cent); and Barry Banford, 362 (42 per cent). Kjenstad will be the only incumbent councilor on the new town council.
Votes for the four unsuccessful candidates were: Jeff Lamond, 331 (39 per cent); Samantha Frye, 246 (29 per cent); Arnold Brock, 232 (27 per cent); and Elia Ganderski, 118 (14 per cent).
There were 854 votes cast, said returning officer Leslie Groulx. This was considerably more than the 645 cast during the last election three years ago but down from the roughly 1,100 cast during Clearwater’s first municipal election in 2007.
With an estimated 1,597 voters eligible to in the District of Clearwater election, voter turnout this year was 53 per cent.
The new council will be sworn in during District of Clearwater’s inaugural meeting on Monday, Dec. 5 in the Legion Hall, starting at 7 p.m.
Changes in the Valley
In Wells Gray Country (Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area A), incumbent director Tim Pennell defeated challenger Cheryl Thomas by a vote of 144 – 92 (61 per cent to 39 per cent). The electoral area includes the communities of Vavenby, Birch Island, Upper Clearwater, Blackpool and East Blackpool.
Further north, in Thompson Headwaters (TNRD Area B), challenger Willow MacDonald beat out incumbent Max Lentz. The vote was 70 – 56 (56 per cent to 44 per cent). The electoral area includes the communities of Avola and Blue River.
Bonnie CruzelleMyram was elected by acclamation to continue as TNRD director for Lower North Thompson (Area O). The electoral area includes Little Fort and the area outside the District of Barriere boundaries.
The TNRD directors will get sworn in during the regional district’s inaugural meeting on Thursday, Dec. 8.
In District of Barriere, challenger Bob Humphries defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Fennell by a vote of 351 – 292 (55 per cent to 45 per cent).
The six successful candidates for Barriere’s town council were Ward Stamer, Virginia Smith, Glen Stanley, Amanda Sabyan, Bill Kershaw and Pat Paula. The unsuccessful candidates for Barriere council were Doug McGregor and Kathy Campbell.
District of Barriere’s inaugural meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 5.
In school board elections, John Harwood continues as trustee for the upper North Thompson (Clearwater-Blue River) by acclamation.
Rhonda Kershaw defeated incumbent Joanne Stokes to become the new school trustee for Lower North Thompson (Barriere-Little Fort). Three years ago Kershaw was elected a town councilor in Barriere.
School District 73 will hold its inaugural meeting on Monday, Dec. 5.