Skip to content

Bill Kendrick elected mayor of Dawson City

Lot shortages, housing and waste management top list for new mayor in Dawson City.
Bill Kendrick was elected the next mayor of Dawson City in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Submitted)

The server in the Drunken Goat called it. Nearing the close of election day, most restaurant patrons weren’t willing to place a bet on the winner of the mayor’s race in Dawson City, but the woman serving patrons in the Drunken Goat didn’t hesitate, and she was right. Bill Kendrick won the mayoral race in Dawson City with 48 per cent of the votes.

There were three other candidates in the running. Kendrick had 259 votes, Steven Johnson 146, Kevin Mendelsohn 87 and Xen Nan Nostrand received 44.

Kendrick was an active campaigner around Dawson. He admitted he was tired as voting day came to a close. First, a little nervous as the count got underway, Kendrick slowly and visibly relaxed as his numbers grew on the tally sheets. Kendrick was the only candidate who came to watch the returning officers open and count the votes at the Dawson City arena.

Kendrick previously served 11 years on council, and this was his first run at mayor.

He will join four other candidates on the City of Dawson council who were acclaimed earlier, none of whom have prior city council experience. They are: Alexander Somerville, Patrik Pikalek, Elizabeth Archbold, and Brennan Lister.

After the votes were counted, press from Whitehorse and Dawson queried Kendrick in the hallway with their tapes running.

Dawson City’s current issues and projects were on the tip of his tongue, as he described the next steps.

“I’m looking to set [the agenda] with my four councillors and our chief administrative officer. I’ve been pretty clear about some of the priorities of our town — it’s about smart land planning and increasing our building lot availability.

“The previous council wants to move forward with enhancing our recreation facilities. We have some challenges with waste, and recycling, that need to be dealt with.”

Then he described the softer and values-driven projects – reconciliation, fossil fuel reduction targets, energy efficiency opportunities for city-owned buildings, and the solar farm on a city-owned brownfield site.

There will also be some orientation on his plate.

“We have a brand-new council and I’m certainly going to be encouraging all of our new councillors to take part in the newly elected officials training workshop offered by the Association of Yukon Communities.”

Kendrick took a moment at the end of the interview and acknowledged his colleagues in the race and mayors who have gone before.

“I just wanted to thank all of the other candidates for stepping forward. There were some great ideas that everyone put forward. Just because one of us has the privilege and honor of getting elected, I am certainly going to keep all those ideas in mind because, as a community, we benefit from our collective brainpower.

“And I also want you to know, Mayor Potoroka is still with us until the swearing in ceremony and I want to thank him for his many years of service.”

Kendrick went on to extend condolences to the family of previous mayor and MLA Peter Jenkins who passed away recently, and thanked him for his service over many years.

Kendrick looked toward the coming term with optimism.

“We’ve got some issues to deal with in Dawson, but I think there’s also a lot of bright lights and good things happening here,” he said.

“So, that’s exciting.”

Contact Lawrie Crawford at