Parksville city council will have a new look for the next four years — with an increased female presence — but the only incumbents in the race safely secured re-election Saturday night.
Sue Powell and Al Greir were both re-elected, Powell topping the polls with 2,095 votes and Greir second with 2021. They will be joined on council by four people who weren’t at that table the past three years: Mary Beil (1,988 votes), Leanne Salter (1,430 votes), Kirk Oates (1,397 votes) and Teresa Patterson (1,344 votes).
“This is very neat,” Powell said about a council that will now have four women and three men. “The women who have (won spots on) council are very good at communicating. I think it’s going to be a very good council. I’m pretty excited.”
During the campaign, Greir said this election was the most important facing the city in many years. He also promised, if elected, he would make a motion calling for a tax freeze at the first city budget meetings. He stood by that promise Saturday night.
“I’m hoping we can all pull together,” Greir said Saturday night. “We have a lot of work to do over the next four years.”
Beil said she was “definitely excited, relieved, grateful and appreciative,” and was asked what she brings to the new council.
“I believe I bring a very strong ability to look at all perspectives,” said Beil. “And I think there’s every opportunity for a great team.”
Paul Reitsma, a former Parksville mayor who was accused of writing letters to newspapers under assumed names when he was MLA and resigned from his seat in the Legislature in 1998 when it appeared that a recall petition had enough signatures from the electorate, came in 10th place out of 14 candidates Saturday with 965 votes.
“The citizens of Parksville have spoken and I gracefully accept the results,” Reitsma said Saturday night. “Congratulations to the new mayor and those elected as councillors — I wish them all the strength and good wishes.”
Councillor, Parksville (x-elected)
Abbott, Heidi — 1,237 votes
Beil, Mary — 1,988 votes – x
Donegani, Michael — 991 votes
Gordon, Jim — 431 votes
Greir, Al — 2,021 votes – x
Honaizer, Rick — 262 votes
Lohvin, Donald — 237 votes
Oates, Kirk — 1,397 votes – x
Patterson, Teresa — 1,344 votes – x
Plotniko, Roy — 783 votes
Powell, Sue — 2,095 votes – x
Reitsma, Paul — 965 votes
Salter, Leanne — 1,430 votes – x
Waters, Caroline — 1,206 votes