New voices were elected alongside the old in 100 Mile House on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Incumbent councillors Ralph Fossum and Dave Mingo defended their seats while realtor Jenni Guimond and former mayor and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett claimed the remaining two positions. Incumbent Chris Pettman lost his seat while Coun. Maureen Pinkney ran unopposed for mayor.
“I’m excited. The new people will have new things to bring to the table and every time we get a new group we play a little catchup and revisit our priorities,” Pinkney said. “Throughout the whole campaign, all of them were very aware of our job issues, housing issues and affordability. Those issues will still be at the forefront of what we do.”
Pinkney’s excitement is shared by her newly elected council, including Barnett.
“It’s not my first one but every single election is the same until you get the results. You have to work as hard as you can to get the vote out,” Barnett said. “I did knock on 80 per cent of the doors in town so I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’ve never been a councillor and this is really good because the council makes the decisions.”
Barnett claimed the lion’s share of the votes receiving 82 per cent or 344 votes. Guimond placed second with 242 while Fossum received 216 and Mingo 208, beating out Pettman by just six votes.
Fossum said it was no surprise Barnett received so many votes thanks to her years of community and public work.
“I think we’ve got a good team. Donna is very experienced and we work well together,” Fossum said. “I love 100 Mile House and I plan to keep it a beautiful, respecting and caring town.”
Guimond said she feels good that so many voters put their trust in her. As a councillor, she plans to encourage the council to take a proactive approach to the community.
“They’re obviously excited to see some change and I’m really looking forward to representing them,” Guimond said. “I have some ideas to bring forward to discuss some potential developments and how the district can be more proactive.”
Barnett said she hopes this new council will be open and does plenty of public engagement.
Mingo thanked everyone that voted for him and plans to put his best effort into serving the people of 100 Mile House. He welcomes the “different blend” of councillors who he said will all work to make the community a better place to live.
“It’s going to be a good four years,” Mingo said.
First-time candidates Annemarie Byers and Amanda Patterson received 156 and 111 votes respectively.
In total 416 ballots were cast from a potential voter pool of 1,569. Only 26 per cent of the community voted, down sharply from 2018 when 44 per cent of eligible voters came out to the polls.
When Pinkney ran as a councillor in 2018 she received more votes than former mayor Mitch Campsall, securing 436 to his 410. Pinkney said it was a pleasure to serve with the previous mayor and council and is looking forward to working with this one.
The inaugural meeting for this new council will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Pinkney said the public is invited to attend and watch them get sworn in. She pledged to work hard for the community and said she’ll be in the office on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. for appointments.
“People step up to this job to give all they got, do what they can and listen to the people,” Pinkney said. “I’ve already talked to administration to bring more societies and community groups to council to inform us what they’re doing around town so we know what’s happening out there.”