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Voter turnout strong in Coaldale election

Posted on October 30, 2013 by Sunny South News

Re-elected Mayor Kim Craig said he was happy with the results of last Monday’s municipal election.

“I was very honoured to receive another mandate.”

Coaldale’s eligible voters list includes 5,500 names and of those 1,869 turned out to vote last Monday. The number of voters surpassed the previous election turnout and resulted in Coaldale being one of the final communities to announce their results, almost an hour after midnight on Monday evening.

In the end Mayor Craig defeated challenger Butch Pauls 1,065 votes to 785 votes.

In the council vote new candidate Jack Van Rijn led the results with 1,333 votes followed by newcomer Jacen Abrey with 934. Incumbents Bill Chapman with 857 and Bill Martens with 857 claimed the next two seats while Roger Hohm took a seat on council for the first time with 818 votes. The final seat went to incumbent Sherrie Duda with 751 votes.

Losing out in the election where incumbents Don Wentz with 681 votes and Anya Langstraat with 680. Tamara Waites with 523, Erich Bier with 369 and Wade Dalke with 326 finished in the bottom three and also didn’t capture a seat on council.

Craig admits the idea of an election grew on him.

“I think the citizens of Coaldale get a better product because of it.”

He said an election spurs on a sharing of ideas. The whole process he believes is better to have gone through for him as mayor and for the town’s citizens. He is encouraged by the open dialog and the challenge of being part of the election process.

“Overall it’s a healthy process.”

He feels his experience as mayor, with two terms to his credit, shows that he has the ability to work with a what has turned out to be a new council. With three returning councillors and three new additions, Craig said the council will have a completely different look.

“I believe I’m well equipped to facilitate council working together.”

He added the three incumbents who did not get re-elected will be missed. He said it’s bittersweet for him to return to the council table this week without the trio of Don Wentz, Anya Langstraat and Pauls.

He expressed appreciation for their willingness to serve their community.

On the other hand he is looking forward to the new additions to council who bring new skill sets to their service to the community.

“It will enhance the work of council.”

“It should be beneficial to council.”

Craig said it is nice to have the election completed as it generally means two months of “suspended animation” for council as no one knows who will be back at the table after the vote and there is some reluctance to make decisions that a new council will have to then deal with.

“It’s a real delicate time.”

He is glad the new term is four years long and feels it will bering a lot more productivity to council.

Town council was set to meet for the first time since the election on Monday night for the organizational meeting which determines which council committees the members will sit on over the next year.

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