Watson Lake citizens pulled out the big chair for Nancy Moore on Thursday, handing her a decisive win in the town’s mayoral race.
Moore, a mining lands officer with Energy, Mines and Resources and a sitting town councillor, won 276 of 423 ballots cast, or 65 per cent of the vote.
“I knew early on, because they did the mayor count fairly early,” she said Friday.
“I was kind of overwhelmed. I thought, ‘Oh my God, what kind of job have I taken on here?’
“I’m still a little worried. There’s a lot on our plate and it’s going to take a lot of hard work.
“I’m hoping I’m up to the challenge.”
Runner-up Archie Tannock took 102 votes and Steve Nurmi came third with 45.
With Moore at the helm, Watson Lake will be in good hands, said former mayor Richard Durocher, who served two terms as a town councillor and two terms as mayor over 12 years.
“I did talk councillor Moore into taking a run at it because I really have a lot of confidence in her,” Durocher said Tuesday.
“I think she would do a fantastic job as leader of a municipality.”
The only incumbent town councillor — Sharon Miller — came first in the race to fill four town council seats.
Miller is joined by Patti McLeod, Brenda Leach and Darryl Toner.
The council vote was close: Miller won with 272 votes, while McLeod won 268, Leach won 267 and Toner won 262.
Watson Lake’s new mayor and council have a tentative swearing-in scheduled for November 7.
The old council left them in sound financial shape, almost debt-free with money in reserve leftover from 1994, said Durocher.
The most important thing for the new council to do will be to listen, said Durocher.
“The community are the people that are in charge,” he said.
“If (mayor and council) think they’re in charge, they’ll be in trouble fast.
“It’s best to listen.”
The mayor and council’s first challenge will be to bring everybody up to speed, said Moore.
With a federal gas-tax rebate worth $1.9 million to Watson Lake on the horizon, mayor and council must decide what kind of infrastructure the town needs most.
The previous mayor and council solicited an engineering infrastructure assessment, expected soon.
“We definitely need to expand our sewer and water, and there are some safety issues we’d like to address, perhaps some sidewalks around Johnson Elementary School,” said Moore.
“But we need to get that study back so that we can make informed decisions.”