Thursday, November 20, 2008

Representation by Acclamation

Election Day on Haida Gwaii wasn’t quite as entertaining or dramatic as that of Prince Rupert, as two of the Islands mayors were returned to office by acclamation.

Queen Charlotte City mayor Carol Kulesha and Masset Mayor Barry Pages both faced no challengers to office and will serve out their three year terms confident that their residents are more than satisfied with their leadership.

The Daily News provided details of Election Day on the Charlottes as the headline front page story in Wednesday’s paper.

Two Mayors returned to their posts without having to face down any challengers
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Pages one and five

Saturday night was a night on Haida Gwaii in which the proclamation was acclamation as both the mayor of Queen Charlotte City and the mayor of Masset were returned to their posts without votes.

QCC Mayor Carol Kulesha and Masset Mayor Barry Pages were returned their posts after no one challenged them during the local municipal election.

“It is a great feeling that the community supports the efforts I have been trying to accomplish,” said Kulesha who also joked that being acclaimed “was a very relaxing way to run an election.”

Kulesha said she wasn’t surprised that only one seat changed on council because it indicates the community is on-side with the direction of the village council is headed.

She said that even with acclamation, her mandate would be determined after discussion current issues with the new council, but she also added she did not expect things to greatly differ from the pervious council.

“It will be the same mandate as before in that we are doing our very best to be an open and transparent council, in that we bring our views to council and do our best.”

The election did see winners and loser elsewhere, however, with many council seats reclaimed and others taken by newcomers.

In QCC, newcomer Leslie Johnson took Eric Ross’s seat and actually accumulated the most votes on the island, grabbing 213 out of a possible 613 votes. Joining Johnson will be returnees, Greg Martin, Kristen Olsen and Gladys Noddin.

In Masset, where 42 per cent of possible voters showed up on Saturday there was a little old and little new.

Pages, who has sat on council for the past 15 years, agreed with Kulesha that an acclimation was an indication of contend voters.

“It’s been an honour to represent the community over the years,” said Pages.

“I think that being acclaimed might be showing we are doing the right things,” said Pages.

Mayor Pages will be rejoined by Ed Woode and Andrew Merilees but will have two brand-new councilors in Stephen Grosse and Ian Edwards.

Grosse and Edwards take the seats of incumbent councilors Marlene Liddle and Brent Buell who both decided not to run again.

Pages said the main issue Masset’s council would be facing during the next little while will be getting the recreation building replaced.

While Pages did not divulge any fiscal numbers on how much that might cost, he said most of the funding would have to come from senior levels of government.

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