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David Wilks re-elected as mayor of Sparwood

Wilks was last elected in 2018, and also served as mayor between 2005 and 2011
Sparwood mayor David Wilks was elected mayor in the 2022 elections for second consecutive term. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

David Wilks has been elected as mayor of Sparwood for a second consecutive term.

Wilks took 734 votes, defeating his challenger Hungry Baytaluke, who got 302 votes.

“I’m pleased that the electorate of Sparwood has thrown their trust in me for another four years,” Wilks said.

“I look forward to moving forward with some opportunities that avail us over the next four years that hopefully the electorate will see as a value to Sparwood.”

Wilks thanked those who voted, but spoke about what he saw as a low voter turnout.

“I will be quite blunt that we had a very low turnout,” he said.

According to CivicInfoBC, there were 1,072 ballots cast out of 3,015 estimated eligible voters.

“We need to do better. We just need to do better. And I don’t know how that happens but, it’s got to happen,” Wilks said.

Aside from electing a mayor and new council, Sparwood voters cast ballots for two referendum questions.

Voters were asked if they were in favour of borrowing up to $3 million for a Fire Hall #2, and if they were in favour of borrowing up to $15 million for a new Multi-purpose Facility.

Neither of the referendum questions succeeded. The Fire Hall #2 vote was 515 for and 533 against, and the Multi-purpose Facility vote was 463 for and 586 against.

“People have spoken, they said no to both … so as a council, we’ll sit down and see what the next steps are for anything else that we might come up with,” Wilks said, adding that the ‘no’ was resounding for the Multi-purpose Facility but not as resounding for the Fire Hall #2.

“We’re legally required to wait one year to deal with anything from the perspective of a referendum, so we’ll do that, we’ll wait one year. And then we’ll look at whatever opportunities may avail us from a recreational standpoint.”

Serving alongside Wilks will be a council made up of Amy Cardozo (incumbent), Chris Nand, John Baher (incumbent), Steven Kallies, Jason Christensen (incumbent), and Sam Atwal.

“We got a fair amount of new councillors,” Wilks said.

“We got to get them up to speed, and then we have to get through strategic planning to see where we want to steer the ship over the next four years.

“So that will be the first thing, is strategic planning. And we’ll go from there.”

Wilks thanked his challenger, Baytaluke, for running.

“You know, he recognized the opportunity to put his name in the hat, and it doesn’t come lightly to me or anyone to put your name in the hat, so congratulations Hungry, and wish him the best.”

In a post-election call with The Free Press, Baytaluke had similar wishes for Wilks.

“Good luck to him,” Baytaluke said.

Wilks also congratulated everyone that ran.

“Congratulations to the six councillors that are going to form council with myself over the next four years.

“(I’m) looking forward to working with them, and let’s see what we can get done for Sparwood.”

The next Sparwood council meeting is on Oct. 18.

READ MORE: Wilks throws his hat into the ring for another term as Sparwood’s mayor

READ MORE: Sparwood election candidates declared


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