Saturday was election day. People bustled in and out of the Legion Hall all day long. With them, they brought hope that their choices would get a seat either in the Town of Princeton or in Princeton’s Area H Regional District. Hushed voices prevailed inside.
Some politicians waited quietly at home. While others paced about the community. The temperature outside was cold with the bottom falling out at minus 20, but it was not until after the final count that the freezing weather was even noticed. Those waiting were hot and impatient.
Mayor Randy McLean had opponent Fred Thomas to worry about. Regional Director Brad Hope had Charles Weber nipping at his toes. Who would win? It was the question of the day.
In the end, veteran politician Mayor Randy McLean accepted defeat with dignity. Thomas was chosen as the new mayor of the Town of Princeton. It is his first time in municipal politics. The tally results were 539 Thomas and 377 McLean.
As the mail-outs were counted from non-residents, Hope pulled further ahead in the regional election. At times, Weber closed the gap, but in the end, Weber’s promise to bring back an Advisory Planning Committee was not enough. Hope won the day. The tally results were 315 Hope and 245 Weber. Area H voter turn-out was low.
In spite of Thomas’ inexperience, he has plenty of knowledge to draw from on the chosen council. Councillor Frank Armitage was re-elected. He has three years as alderman in Princeton and nine years as alderman in Stewart. B.C.. Marilyn Harkness was re-elected bringing with her three years as a local alderman and three years as an alderman in Valemount, B.C.. Jason Earle has his three years in council and an impressive resume of community volunteerism that is long and constantly ongoing.
For Kim Maynard and Christina Longley-Scarisbrick their political experience was just at a start. Maynard ran in the last election, but did not grab a seat in what was an unusually long list of candidates. This time around the list was much smaller. Six candidates ran for the four seats as alderman. Maynard’s resume of volunteer work as Vermilion Trails Society president, Official Community Plan member for Area H, and various other positions was enough to beat out well-liked Councillor Ray Jarvis. Jarvis has fought some health issues during his term in office and it may have been the deciding factor for some. Maynard did not beat out Jarvis by much, but 20 votes was enough. The tally results were as follows: 722 Armitage, 722 Earle, 542 Harkness, 465 Maynard, 445 Jarvis and 293 Christina Longley-Scarisbrick.
To all those elected congratulations. To those who ran, but did not make the final cut thank-you for giving Princeton choices in a country ruled by democracy. Both Randy and Ray dedicated many years to Princeton. Christina’s run was her first, but her tenacity has been noted as has her heart.
Two sad notes followed along with the election campaign this time around. Charles Weber lost his mother and Christina Longley-Scarisbrick lost her father-in-law. Both had a difficult loss to deal with during their election run. Their willingness and determination to stay in the race despite their heartbreak was both admirable and a true example of Canadian spirit. Both should be applauded for their efforts.
Of the 2134 eligible voters in the Town Princeton only 964 cast a ballot for a 45 per cent elector turn-out.
The trustees for School District #58 were awarded their seats by acclamation. Princeton trustees are; Leah Ward, Gordon Comeau and David Rainer.
Angelique Wood beat out incumbent Elef Christainsen for Area G.