Morinville goes to the polls

signs
Election campaign signs line 100 Avenue on the opposite side of the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Monday afternoon. Residents came out to the polls to make their choice for Council and Mayor seats.

by Ashley Janes

Morinville – On Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, polls opened and residents voted in Morinville’s latest civic election. With an estimated 5,800 eligible voters, turnout reached 41 per cent, which is 2 per cent lower than the 2010 election.

There were 2,356 votes cast for mayor and at 10:33 p.m. the count revealed that Lisa Holmes had the highest number with 1,034 votes, Sheldon Fingler following close behind her with 1,016 votes. Shortly after the results were released, Fingler’s campaign manager, Paula Hittinger, announced that they were requesting a recount: “An eighteen vote separation is just too close to not request a recount, so I’ve requested a recount which, hopefully, if all goes well, will be done on Wednesday morning.” In response to Fingler’s request, Holmes stated: “It’s understandable and I would do the same thing if I was in that position. I’m still fairly confident that I’m going to be successful so I’m excited at this point.”

Along with Holmes’ unofficial win, a new town council was revealed as well. The candidates with the top votes were Gord Putnam with 1,452, Nicole Boutestein with 1,205, Barry Turner with 1,145, Stephen Dafoe with 952, Brennan FitzGerald with 801, and Jackie Luker with 689. However, council elections also proved to be a tight race and because Luker beat opponent Rob Ladouceur by just two votes, a recount has automatically been scheduled to decide who will be the sixth councilor.

With results coming out so close, the relevance of voter turnout becomes more apparent. Yet the statistics do not indicate that voter turnout is improving. In the 2004 civic election, voter turnout was 30 per cent. By the 2010 election, there was rise to 43 per cent, but with only 1,920 residents voting out of an estimated 4,446 eligible voters, the problem did not disappear. There were even smaller results in the 2012 by-election, wherein Sheldon Fingler won by a 32-vote margin over Kevin Wedick and just 734 residents had voted out of a possible 5,362, a 13 per cent voter turnout.

PLEASE NOTE: OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS will be announced by Friday.

MAYORAL RACE RESULTS

Lisa Holmes-WEB
Lisa Holmes

1034 VOTES
Sheldon Fingler-WEB
Sheldon Fingler

1016 VOTES
Carrie Foss-web
Carrie Foss

294 VOTES
Christa Naughton-web

Christa Naughton*
12 VOTES

* Christa Naughton withdrew from the race due to health concerns; however, her name remained on the ballot.

COUNCIL RACE RESULTS

TOP SIX – ELECTED

Gord Putnam-web
Gordon Putnam

1452 VOTES
Nicole boutestein-web
Nicole Boutestein

1205 VOTES
Barry Turner-web
Barry Turner

1145 VOTES
Stephen Dafoe-web
Stephen Dafoe

952 VOTES
Brennan Fitzgerald-web
Brennan Fitzgerald

801 VOTES
Jackie Luker-web
Jackie Luker

689 VOTES

REMAINING 10 – NOT ELECTED

Rob Ladouceur-web
Rob Ladouceur

687 VOTES
David Pattison-web
David Pattison

536 VOTES
Ruth-web
Ruth Shymka

509 VOTES
Laurence Giffin-web
Lawrence Giffen

457 VOTES
Wayne Gatza-web
Wayne Gatza

415 VOTES
Jennifer Laurence-web
Jennifer Laurence

354 VOTES
Jim O'Brien-web
Jim O’Brien

353 VOTES
Joseph Trapani-web
Joseph Trapani

326 VOTES
Keyleside-web
Brandy Keenleyside

320 VOTES
Brent Henry-web
Brent Henry

279 VOTES
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Comments

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3 Comments

  1. Congratulations to the winners.

    Thanks to all who ran in the election. Thanks for your willingness to make Morinville a better place to live. Thanks for the time commitment that you all were prepared make.

    Thank you most to those who were not successful. If people were too afraid of this possible outcome, we would never have elections because we would never have enough participation.

    Thank you.

  2. Why does Stephen Dafoe have the smallest picture of all of them? What is the news not telling us?

  3. First, I want to congratulate those who won and thank all those who ran. It is a big decision to put yourself out there for the public to see and judge.

    But now the easy part, the election, is over. The winners have been chosen (pending the recounts), so your real work is about to begin. The next big issue at hand will undoubtedly be next year’s town budget. Many residents will very interested to see what our new council and administration can come up with. Councillor-elect Dafoe has suggested an interim budget and I really hope that the rest of the newly minted council buys into it. An interim budget will give you time to learn why decisions were made, ask challenging and informed questions, find out what the remaining options are and buy you time to chart a good course for the next four years.

    There may be a temptation to blame things on the past council, but I submit that such an argument will only be good the first couple of months of your term. After that, like it or not, it will be unacceptable. Many people will be highly critical and hold you accountable for what you create.

    Finally, this letter is not personal bitterness from a candidate who lost. I’m proud to have run and would saying the same thing if I won. Instead, I just wanted to remind the elected that we all promised to try and change how the town runs: better and increased communications, accountability and sustainable fiscal responsibility. With the election over, we get to sit back and watch how effectively our newly elected officials and administration effect change, open the lines of communication, be accountable and fiscally prudent.

    I’m cheering for your success because our community’s future depends on it.

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