Outside of Whitehorse, Yukoners will see a combination of new and familiar faces on their municipal councils following the elections Oct. 18.
In perhaps the most nerve-wracking election of the night, the two candidates for mayor in Faro — incumbent Jack Bowers and Leonard Faber — received an equal number of votes. In accordance with the Municipal Act, their names were put into a “non-transparent receptacle,” according to CAO Ian Dunlop, and the returning officer drew one out to determine the winner. Luck favoured Faber in the end.
The four councillor positions were awarded to incumbents Lisa Snyder and Pat McCracken as well as Tina Freake and Cheryl Stubbs. Sarah Piercey, the fifth candidate for a councillor seat, was just one vote behind McCracken.
In an interview, Faber said while he thinks he has a challenge ahead of him — the equally-split vote shows a divide in town — he felt “honoured” to have won.
“My goal is, is to make Faro small again — not small, but keep … the small atmosphere that we’ve had here,” he said.
In Teslin, outgoing councillor Gord Curran was elected as mayor, while outgoing mayor Clara Jules landed one of four available councillor seats. The other three councillors are incumbents Denise Johnston and Trevor Sallis, joined by Juanita Kremer. One hundred and thirty-seven votes were cast in total.
In an interview following the results, Curran, who has served two consecutive terms as a councillor since 2009 and as deputy mayor for almost as long, said he was “feeling pretty good.”
“It’s always interesting putting your name up for election. You hope you get the votes and sure enough, I’m glad I did,” he said.
Curran said his top priorities as mayor will be housing, maintaining and improving the relationship with Teslin Tlingit Council and updating the official community plan.
In Watson Lake, Cheryl O’Brien unseated Justin Brown as mayor. Voters awarded Chris Irvin another term as councillor and also voted in three new faces — Lauren Hanchar, Erin Labonte and Thomas Slager.
In an interview Oct. 19, O’Brien said she appreciated the support of the community and was excited to start her new role.
“Our town does have some challenges ahead of it and we need to get our financial house in order,” she said. “We have a good CAO, so working with him and he’ll be quite helpful with the new council, so financials for sure (are) important and, you know, having better lines of communication between the town and the citizens.”
Lee Bodie has been voted in as mayor of Carmacks for a third time.
“The people spoke clearly tonight that they want to see me back,” he told the News on Oct. 18.
“I just went on my reputation,” Bodie said, referring to his laid-back campaign style. “I felt I was good enough. I’m not one to go door-to-door and say ‘Oh, please vote for me.’
Bodie formerly spent 2.5 terms as a councillor before assuming the role of mayor in 2015. He had succeeded Elaine Wyatt, who died in 2014.
Bodie received 60 votes. Runner up, Kevin Untershute, received 48. In third came Bob Mayer, who received 30 votes.
In Carmack, the four council seats went to George Skookum, who received 100 votes; Helena Belanger, 87; Tara Wheeler, 84; and Lorraine Graham, 63.
In Haines Junction, current councillor Thomas Eckervogt was acclaimed as mayor. The four council seats went to Susan Smith with 166 votes, Courtney Quinn with 158, Kari Johnston with 137, and Mark Nassiopoulos with 132. Elodie Dulac received 110 votes and John Farynowski received 86.
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