Race for mayor’s chair tighter than anticipated

The mayor’s race proved to be a tighter one than anticipated as candidate Hilary Penko came in a close second to incumbent Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

Flewwelling took the mayor’s chair with 8,100 votes while Penko came in second with 6,219 votes.

“The fact that I’ve lived here and worked here 50 years means nothing to someone who has just moved here a few years ago. This election was not about legacy; it was about what can you do,” said Flewwelling.

Penko said she was happy with the number of votes she garnered on Monday.

“I am very, very pleased with the results,” she said. “These last four weeks has been a very positive experience and I couldn’t be more happy with how the voting has gone.”

Penko said even though she didn’t get the top job, she plans to stay involved in the City more.

“I suspect I will be far more involved than I have been in the past,” she said.

And asked if she will run for council in the 2013 election Penko said, “We’ll see”.

She added running for mayor has been one of the more challenging things she’s done in her life.

“The people that I’ve met and the connections that I’ve made in the community – it’s just been amazing,” said Penko. “It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had.”

As the votes were coming in and it was clear what the new City council would look like, Penko said she thinks they are a good choice for Red Deer.

“I think this council will be a very competent council,” she said.

During her campaign Penko wanted to tackle a number of issues including snow removal.

“I believe those issues came across,” she said. “And I’m really happy because even though I didn’t get in, I’ve raised some issues that people want raised. I think that’s great whether I’m doing it or whether they (council) are doing it – it’s getting done.”

Meanwhile, Flewwelling said he looks forward to his last three years as the City’s mayor as he previously indicated this would be his last election.