New faces on Sparwood Council following municipal election

Sparwood will see four new councillors appointed this term

Ballots counted on November 15 from the District of Sparwood 2014 municipal election cast out nearly all of last term’s Sparwood councillors in favour of fresh faces.

Only Margaret McKie remains of the former council, racking up 505 votes according to preliminary results from Saturday night.

“It tells me that I must be doing a good job, that the district is still confident in me. It feels great,” said McKie of her re-election.

Mckie added that she looks forward to working with the new councillors elected.

“We have a good variety of people there, from young to older and I’m looking forward to working with them all,” she said.

Ahead of her in terms of votes were councillor newcomers John Baher and Jenna Jensen as well as former-alderman for the district Joe Jarina — each scoring almost 600 votes.

Jensen was in attendance at council following her election.

“[The amount of votes has] been really amazing and overwhelming but I’m so thankful and I’m looking forward to being part of this team and all the things we’re going to accomplish in the future,” she said.

McKie will also act as co-councillor to former mayor Lois Halko who rounded out the top five highest voted candidates with 489.

First-time councillor Brad Bowen will complete this term’s council, edging out former councillor Sonny Saad by a mere five votes.

Long-time councillor Sharon Fraser was voted out after 28 years served.

In the race for mayor, with Halko stepping down, four candidates were up in the race including two former councillors Hungry Baytaluke and Joanne Wilton as well as Bev Bellina who ran acclaimed for School Trustee in Electoral Area 2.

Cal McDougall bested all three, leading the votes with 348, though Wilton was not far behind, tallying up 331 votes in her name.

“It was a very close race, as I expected it would be. But I’m very humbled to have won. I think we’ve ended up with a good, diverse slate of councillors and I’m looking forward to working with them over the next four years,” said McDougall.

This will make for McDougall’s fourth inconsecutive term served as the district’s mayor.

“Sparwood is already a great community, it’s very well-taken care of,” noted McDougall. “I want to make sure that that continues. In my mind, communication is the key and we plan on communicating more with council and with public.”