Some faces have changed, but the same burning issues remain for newly-elected municipal officials.
The only two incumbent councillors who were running for re-election — Sue Powell and Al Greir — topped the polls in Parksville. That can be seen as an endorsement of the former council’s work. Coun. Marc Lefebvre is now Mayor-elect Marc Lefebvre, which can also be seen as a thumbs-up from the public for the work he did on council.
We’re excited about what the new faces will bring to this city council — Mary Beil, Leanne Salter, Kirk Oates and Teresa Patterson. It’s a group with balance, people with backgrounds in business, social services, administration and even union organization.
As Greir said Saturday night, there’s a lot of tough work ahead for this group, especially in terms of the new water treatment plant. We are also excited Lefebvre, in his first interview as mayor-elect, chose to also highlight the future of the high profile, important, taxpayer-owned land at Jensen Avenue and Alberni Highway as something on the front burner.
Down the road in Qualicum Beach, the results indicate residents do not want their town leaders to stray from the official community plan. The residents also want extensive consultation before council makes decisions. We will see how that plays out.
With the exception of Qualicum Beach, all the incumbents won Saturday night, two in Parksville, two in the RDN and one for the school board. It’s difficult not to be excited about the fact 20-year-old Jacob Gair has won a seat on the school board.
Easily the most disturbing comment from a candidate, a successful one to boot, came from Julian Fell, re-elected to the RDN board to represent Coombs/Errington. Fell told our reporter he was happy the “nightmare” of the election was over and the election was a “distraction” from the business at hand.
We get that Fell’s opponent seemed to have a focus that could be called irrelevant to the governance issues that fall under the purview of the RDN, but we believe Fell’s comments show an unwelcome disrespect for the democratic process. We’re confident the voters of Coombs/Errington will remember Fell’s comments if he runs for re-election in 2018. We will.
— Editorial by John Harding