Wayne Potoroka is the new mayor of Dawson City. The three-time city councillor won with a landslide, receiving 474 of the 658 votes cast.
Potoroka defeated Peter Jenkins, who has had a long and colourful political career. Jenkins was mayor from 1980-1995 and spent 11 years in the legislature before being re-elected as mayor last term.
He’s still known to some as Pirate Pete, a nickname he earned with his scheme to provide free satellite television for Dawson’s residents while he was mayor. He did so by purchasing a residential satellite subscription under the names of long-dead pioneers and then broadcasted the signal for free.
Earlier, he spent six months in prison for perjury in the 1970s, when his hotel was found to be stealing electricity.
During the campaign, Potoroka said the Klondike town had been “spinning (its) wheels on a number of issues.”
The town’s landfill dominated the race. The territory wants to haul rubbish to it from surrounding communities. The town already takes in waste from the Dempster Highway and nearby mines – costs that Jenkins has said Dawson shouldn’t shoulder.
Both candidates were also concerned about costs to build a new recreation centre.
Stephen Johnson and Bill Kendrick kept their seats on council. Darren Taylor and Kyla MacArthur will join them.
The territory’s other incumbent mayors hung on to their seats.
George Nassiopoulos was elected for a third term in Haines Junction, capturing 113 of the votes. He defeated Martin Eckervogt, who won 78 votes, and John Farynowski, who won 36 votes.
Farynowski, a former mayor, launched his campaign in part because of concerns over the village’s since-scrapped plans to burn trash at high temperatures. Along with other critics, he was upset that the plans were made without enough public consultation. The village later backed down from the project, citing maintenance costs.
During Nassiopoulos’ six years as mayor, Haines Junction saw $11 million in infrastructure upgrades. Much of this money was spent on water and sewage systems.
More projects are coming to the village. It is working on a biomass project with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to generate power from the area’s beetle-killed wood. And the village is talking with Yukon College and the territorial government about converting an unused Parks Canada property to a scientific research facility.
Incumbant Mike Crawshay is joined on council by Bruce Tomlin, Angie Charlebois and Dave Weir.
Richard Durocher has been elected for a fourth term as mayor of Watson Lake. He beat challenger Fred Statham by over 200 votes. Durocher captured 289 of the votes, while only 82 ballots were cast for his sole competitor.
During the campaign, Durocher said the town had the opportunity to be a “shining example” to other communities in Canada if it commits to safety and sustainability. Both he and Statham campaigned on making Watson Lake attractive for long-term residents.
Many workers at the nearby Cantung and Wolverine mines come from Vancouver. Airport upgrades would encourage more people to spend more time, and money, in the city, said Strathm during the campaign.
Heather Campbell made history in Faro. She became the first female mayor in the town’s history to be elected for a second term.
She beat city councillor Diane Rogerson and Brian Ross. Campbell sought re-election so she could continue to be part of the growth she sees happening in the community, she said during the campaign.
Harold Boehm will remain on council. Former mayor and councillor Mel Smith will join him. Heather Grantham and Debbie Carreau were elected for their first terms.
Clara Jules was elected for a fourth term as Teslin’s mayor. She received 84 votes, just over double the amount cast for her only challenger, Rob Gareau. But most of the council will be new. Stephen Kremer will be the only returning member. Brad Stoneman, Gord Curran and Denise Johnston were voted in for their first terms.
Carmacks Mayor Elaine Wyatt was acclaimed. Lee Bodie and Tara Wheeler kept their seats on council, with Pat McKenny and Tracy Burns joining them.
Scott Bolton was acclaimed as Mayo’s mayor. Incumbents Trevor Ellis and Kris Pavlovich will remain on council. During the campaign, Pavlovich said he and first-time candidates Joann Aird and William Leary would make a perfect team for council. Both Aird and Leary were elected.
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