Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A close ending to a clean campaign

The Daily News provided some background on the election results and the reaction of the candidates as election name came to an end on Saturday night.

From the acknowledgment of a highly competitive but clean campaign for the mayoralty to the introduction of a pair of new members to Prince Rupert city council, the Daily provided a few printed snapshots of the night’s events.

The election story was featured as Monday’s front page, headline story for the day.
He edges out rival Don Scott in race for top local government post
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Monday, November 17, 2008
Pages one and three

Former mayor Jack Mussallem was Saturday's biggest winner, taking the city's top job by just under 200 votes over fellow former-mayor Don Scott.

"Thank you to all those people who supported me," Mussallem said after his victory.

"I look forward to working with the council on a variety of city issues over the next three years. I want to thank my opponent for running a clean campaign in the spirit of friendship as our families are pioneers that have been friends for three generations."

Mussallem garnered 1,838 votes compared to the 1,646 votes for Don Scott.

According to Civicinfo.net, this year's voter turnout was 41.45 per cent, which is below 2005, when 46 per cent of eligible voters took up the opportunity to have their voice heard.

However, the city did do considerably better than Vancouver (30 per cent) and Victoria (22 per cent).

See upcoming editions of the Daily News for details on the vote in Port Edward and from other communities and for results from the school board.

Both Mussallem and Scott avoided trying to smear each other in public during the campaign, citing friendship and mutual respect for the absence of the traditional one-ups that are often seen in political campaigns.

Both, having been mayors before - Mussallem was mayor from 1995 to 1999, Scott from 1999 to 2003 - they felt the public would be best served by a campaign that focused on local issues rather than name-calling and negative advertising.

That was something Scott echoed after the election results were clear, just past 10:30 p.m.

"Congratulations to Jack" he said.

"We ran a fair campaign, there was no mud-slinging."

"Prince Rupert has been managed well to date," added Scott.

"I can't see any new issues. We've got some incumbents and some new in the mix. I think we'll have a good council."

And the women are in, too.

With all six seats around the council table up for grabs during Saturday's municipal election, it turns out that voters in Prince Rupert feel confident that women - and one man - will be able to help new mayor-to-be Jack Mussallem run the city during the next three years.

However, of those who ran, the biggest vote-getter was the lone male to win a city council seat.
Nelson Kinney took in 1,892 votes, meaning he will sit a second term on council with Joy Thorkelson, Shelia Gordon-Payne and Kathy Bedard.

The two newcomers to city council bring with them a touch of controversy as Anna Ashley and Gina Garon - two members of the informal Concerned Citizens of Prince Rupert - each won a seat.

It was just over two months ago that both Ashley and Garon petitioned city council to have Mayor Herb Pond censured and city manager Gord Howie relieved of his duties following the discovery of a city-issued contract for employment services that was not put to open tender - in contravention of normal municipal rules.

Garon beat incumbent city councillor Tony Briglio by 53 votes to take the final seat on council.

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