With the votes cast and counted the 2011 municipal elections will see a mix of returning and new councillors preparing to represent the people of Golden. These are the unofficial election results for the Town of Golden councillor election; Chris Hambruch 608, Mike Pecora 538, Ron Oszust 523, Caleb Moss 418, Mag Magnusson 411, John Jackson 358, Kuljit Jaswal 343, Jamie Fitzgerald 329, Keith Hern 294 and Trevor Hamre 168.
Many of the candidates gathered at the Rec Plex in Golden to find out the final totals in the election. With the count for council going on to almost one in the morning the group watched intensely as the final numbers were posted.
“I have enjoyed working with the council that I have worked with over the last couple of years. I am looking forward to working with the new council. Obviously there are some changes and it will be an interesting and exciting new few years,” said Town of Golden Mayor Christina Benty who was acclaimed for another three years.
For new councillor Ron Oszust a connection between the town and the Regional District of the East Kootenay is just part of what he hopes will lead to a strong future.
“I am honoured and going to work hard for the people of the town of Golden. It has been interesting and there will be interesting times moving forward. Hopefully the relationship between the town and the regional district continues to be strong,” Oszust said.
One area that caught some of the councillors off guard was the low number of voters who cast their ballots.
“Mostly predictable and somewhat surprising. There is a certain amount of contradiction in that. I am surprised with the very low turnout and I must say a bit disappointed. There seemed to be more energy about it(the election),” returning councillor Caleb Moss said.
“I am happy of course to be in but it is quite a dip in voter turnout. It was sad and there should have been more. I am looking forward to the next three years. It should be interesting,” Mag Magnusson said.
The councillor candidate who received the most votes was Chris Hambruch who quickly down played coming in with the highest numbers. “From my perspective I am one of six and I am glad to still be a part of the team. We will move forward from here,” Hambruch said. As for coming in with the highest number of votes Hambruch stressed that coming in first or sixth did not matter moving forward because the council has to work together to get things accomplished.
As for Mike Pecora he explained he was, “Humbled and overwhelmed by the results and would like to thank everybody for choosing me again. I hope to work well for them. I am looking forward to the next three years.”
The battle to become school trustee saw two of the incumbents return to the positions. The final totals were Shannon Hood 758, Rhonda Smith 648, Jane Fearing 643, Meg Langley 552, Andrew Caldwell 474 and Becky Leonty 326.
“I am thrilled. I am really happy and I am really excited about who I am working with. Jane and Rhonda are fantastic. I am really happy that we are all going to work together,” Hood said. Hood is also happy to have the campaign completed. “It was a little stressful. This election has been a little trying but the people have spoke and I am very happy with the results,” Hood said.
Smith is excited to continue her work which started 21 years ago.
“I am very happy that I will be able to serve again,” Smith said.
Hood and Smith agreed that communication between the school board and the public are a key moving forward.
The Electoral Area ‘A’ Golden-Columbia election saw Garry Habart win the election with 288 votes followed by Caleb Moss-178 and Randy Priest-110.