Election 2014: Bood, Ackland claim mayor jobs

North Islanders back familiar names in municipal elections across the region

North Islanders turned out at polling places throughout the region Saturday and sent a consistent message:

Experience counts.

Former mayor Hank Bood was reinstated into the job in the District of Port Hardy, while Shirley Ackland, a two-term councillor in Port McNeill, was selected to succeed the country’s longest currently-serving mayor in Port McNeill.

With just a few exceptions, incumbents and former elected officials making comebacks fared well throughout municipal, school board and regional district elections across the North Island.

Results from across the province were posted online by Civic Info BC throughout Saturday night, though not all jurisdictions were available as of midnight. Neither the District of Port Hardy nor the Town of Port McNeill, both of which featured contested positions for mayor and council, had posted results until early Sunday.

In the District of Port Hardy, Bood, who served as Mayor until 2008, reclaimed the job over Janet Dorward, who has served on council since being elected in 2011.

Meanwhile, the top two vote-getters in a field of 13 council candidates were newcomers Dennis Dugas and Pat Corbett-Labatt. But they will join a trio of incumbents on the six-member council — John Tidbury, Rick Marcotte and Jesse Hemphill — along with fellow first-time councillor Fred Robertson.

Each will serve a four-year term, the result of provincial legislation that increases the length of terms for municipal office from the three-year terms that had been in place for decades.

The Town of Port McNeill featured a unique scenario in which all four members of the outgoing council were to be replaced. But two of those spots went to former councillors Shelley Downey and Aaron Frost, who both served through 2011. Downey ran for mayor that year and failed to unseat Gerry Furney, who went on to complete 39 years on the job before retiring this fall; while Frost had stepped aside for professional development reasons.

They are joined by first-time candidates Jay Dixon, the principal of North Island Secondary School and the top vote-getter, and Graham MacDonald, a small businessman and promoter of non-timber forest products.

Ackland, who served as Deputy Mayor to Furney during the most recent term, outdueled fellow councillor Gaby Wickstrom in a two-person mayor’s race.

The seven spots on the School District 85 Board of Trustees were filled by six incumbents and one former trustee who returns to the board. Under restructuring of electoral areas approved by the province earlier this year, Port McNeill was to increase its membership to two members from one. There, three-term incumbent Werner Manke was joined by former trustee Lyn Skrlac, who returns to the board. Meanwhile, the outlying municipalities of Alert Bay and Port Alice, along with the the former Eastern Zone that included Malcolm Island, voted for two trustee representatives. Previously, the three jurisdictions each had their own individual trustee on the board. Incumbents Carol Prescott of Port Alice and Eric Hunter of Alert Bay were returned, while Lawrie Garrett of Sointula fell victim to the restructuring and was left off the board.

The three positions for Area 1, which comprises the ‘North’ zone of Port Hardy and Coal Harbour, were all filled by acclimation in October, with incumbents Jeff Field and Leightan Wishart of Port Hardy and Danita Schmidt of Coal Harbour all returning for another term on the Board.

The closest election of the day came in the Regional District of Mount Waddington, where incumbent Andrew Hory of Coal Harbour appeared to retain his spot as Electoral Area C director by a  one-vote margin over challenger Patrick Horgan.

In unofficial results posted late Saturday night by Civic Info BC, Hory was credited with 117 votes to 116 for Horgan in their duel for Electoral Area C representative on the RDMW Board.

If that count holds up, Hory will rejoin three other returning area directors who all ran unopposed. Heidi Soltau of Sointula (Area A), Phil Wainwright of Winter Harbour (Area B) and Dave Rushton of Woss (Area D) were all acclaimed for their board positions shortly after the close of nominations.

Unofficial results were posted Saturday night for two other North Island municipalities.

In Alert Bay, first-time candidate Dennis Buchanan was the clear front-runner among seven council candidates with 157 votes. He will join returning councillors Kane Gordon (133) and Wendy White (107), along with fellow first-time candidate Lisanne Granger (103) on the four-member council.

Michael Berry returns as mayor of the Village by acclimation.

Also returning by acclimation is Port Alice Mayor Jan Allen, who will work with a council that underwent something of a shakeup.

Newcomer Marnie Chase was the runaway top vote-getter for Port Alice Council with 230 votes. The other three successful candidates to the four-person council were closely bunched in balloting, with first-timers Christine Martin (175 votes) and Doug Worthington (165) bracketing returning councillor David Stewart (171).

Marc Brackett, along with Stewart the only incumbent running for council, finished a distant fifth with 142 votes and will not return.

Election Results:

 

Alert Bay

Mayor Candidate(s)

Michael Berry

 

 

 

Councillor Candidate(s)(4)

Dennis Buchanan 157

Kane Gordon 133

Wendy White 107

Lisanne Granger 103

Kim Mercer 95

Duncan Williams 84

David Faren 49

 

 

 

Port Alice

Mayor Candidate(s)

Jan Allen

 

 

 

Councillor Candidate(s)(4)

Marnie Chase 230

Christine Martin 175

David Stewart 171

Doug Worthington 165

Marc Brackett 142

 

 

 

Port Hardy

Mayor Candidate(s)

Hank Bood 746

Janet Dorward 534

 

 

 

Councillor Candidate(s)(6)

Dennis Dugas 839

Pat Corbett-Labatt 801

John Tidbury 656

Rick Marcotte 610

Fred Robertson 585

Jessie Hemphill 493

Leightan Wishart 490

Debbie Perkovich 450

Shelley Siemens 441

Eric Ralph 374

Rodney Romas 328

Shelley Quist 175

Graham Richards 149

 

 

 

Port McNeill

Mayor Candidate(s)

Shirley Ackland 614

Gaby Wickstrom 406

 

 

 

Councillor Candidate(s)(4)

Jay Dixon 745

Shelley Downey 690

Aaron Frost 653

Graham Macdonald 553

Jason Clark 442

Alannah Nicols 182

 

 

 

MWRD

Director Candidate(s)

Electoral Area A

Heidi Soltau

 

 

 

Electoral Area B

Philip Wainwright

 

 

 

Electoral Area C (1)

Andrew Hory 117

Patrick Horgan 116

 

 

 

Electoral Area D

Dave Rushton

 

 

 

School District 85

Trustee Candidate(s)

 

 

 

Area 1(3)

Leightan Wishart

Danita Schmidt

Jeff Field

 

 

 

Area 2(2)

Carol Prescott 346

Eric Hunter 203

CW Petersen 193

Lawrie Garrett 120

 

 

 

Area 3(2)

Werner Manke 606

Lyn Skrlac 557

David Jack 442

Rod Sherrell 381

 

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