Democracy made a quiet return to Dawson City Thursday with the election of four new town councillors.
The quartet will join mayor John Steins, who was acclaimed three weeks ago.
Two local business owners, Ashley Doiron and Diana Andrew, received 216 and 188 votes respectively.
White Helicopter pilot Adam Morrison garnered 204 votes and Tr’ondek Hwech’in manager Ed Kormendy took 183.
In total, 398 electors cast ballots, a low turnout considering the election was two years overdue.
After the results came in, Doiron and Andrew joined Steins at a local pub where they received hearty congratulations, hugs and honks from vehicles passing on the street.
“I feel like there’s a lot of community support. I’m part of the team that was chosen and it feels really good,” said Doiron, who is a co-owner of Whitehouse Cabins and a Yukon College instructor.
Having two women elected to council is “a sign of progress.”
And First Nation representation, through Kormendy, is essential, she added.
“I’m pleased that it’s over and we can all move forward,” said Andrew, who is also owner of Dancing Moose Gifts. “We have a good bunch of people who can all work well together.”
The new council is a positive step forward for the town, said Steins.
“The vibe I’m getting on the street from young and forward-thinking people is one of optimism and change and excitement, and I think this council really reflects that.
“I think there’s a lot of brain power. I think all four have brain power, so they’ll make me look good, I hope,” said Steins laughing.
However, the voter turnout was a little disappointing, he added.
“I guess that’s normal everywhere. It seems to be voting isn’t a popular thing to do.”
Doiron said she thinks the community will become more engaged.
“I really think the community is going to get involved with this council, and I think the council is going to get involved with the community, looking for their feedback.”
It’s also one of the things Andrew wants to accomplish.
“I’d like to get more people involved and make people believe they have a voice. I think a lot of people feel disenfranchised and think it doesn’t matter.”
Andrew said citizen subcommittees might help to enhance civic participation.
The new government will be officially sworn in and hold a meeting, largely ceremonial, on June 26.
Andrea MacRae is a freelance writer living in Dawson City.
Arntzen wins new trial