City council welcomed three new faces to the table as the municipal election wrapped up late Monday night.
And Mayor Morris Flewwelling had an unexpected fight for the top job as candidate Hilary Penko garnered just over 6,000 votes. Flewwelling won with 8,100 votes.
Newcomers Dianne Wyntjes grabbed the third spot on council with 7,783 votes while Chris Stephan came in fourth with 7,259 votes and Paul Harris took the eighth spot on council with 6,449 votes.
Councillor Tara Veer was the top elected councillor receiving 10,311 votes followed by Cindy Jefferies with 9,278. Councillor Lynne Mulder garnered 6,857 votes while Councillor Buck Buchanan took home 6,800 votes. Councillor Frank Wong received 6,733 votes.
Former Councillor Gail Parks narrowly missed a spot on council with 5,902 votes and Jeffrey Dawson garnered a distant 4,202 votes and finished 12th, failing in his comeback bid.
“I am so humbled and I look forward to the next three years,” said Wyntjes, adding she would like to see council out in the community more talking to citizens.
Councillor Paul Harris said he is not only proud of the campaign he led but the fact he landed a spot on council without using signage.
“If I would have started the campaign with signage I would have gotten a higher spot,” he said. “So yes, I do think it hurt. But if I would have had to change in the middle, it would have hurt my campaign. So it was still the right decision to make.”
Meanwhile, Flewwelling said Penko’s showing surprised him.
“That’s sends a strong message to me,” he said. “The message to me is that I think the electorate is looking at younger people.”
Flewwelling said he is looking forward to his last three years in municipal politics.
“I’ve been on council for 12 years and mayor for six and I think that if after being for mayor for nine years, it’s really incumbent of me to step aside,” he said. “If I haven’t sung my song and done my plans than I need to step aside.”
For full election coverage see Wednesday’s Express.