By Marianne Curtis
On October 27, voters went to the polls to elect new municipal representatives and school board trustee for the upcoming four years. Some municipalities saw little change while others experienced stunning upsets in areas where ratepayers demanded the biggest changes.
It’s business as usual in the RM of Ste. Anne reeve after Art Bergmann retained his seat for a third term. He is joined by five of his previous councilors including councilors Renald Courcelles, Jake Reimer, Dan Brunel, Roger Massicotte, and Lauri Evans.
“This is proof that this council is working well for the municipality,” stated Bergmann. “Very little time will be needed to get up to speed and carry on with business.”
Bergmann noted that while Paul Saindon may appear to be just joining this council, he has served on council for several terms until losing during the last election by only two votes.
In a stunning upset, the RM of Ritchot did not fair as well. Mayor Bob Stefaniuk was acclaimed and none of the councilors seeking reelection were successful. His new council consists of Elmer Hywarren, Ernie Dumaine, Jackie Schwark and Jeannot Robert.
In the RM of Tache, William Danychuk retained his seat at mayor, a position he has held for three decades. Councilors Jacque Trudeau, Robert Koop, David Menard were acclaimed and Ross Deschambault, Steven Stein, Bill Heather and Andy Rivard were elected. The only incumbent councilor that did not get reelected was Ron Tardiff.
The RM of La Broquerie elected Claude Lussier as their new reeve. Former councilor Jean Gagnon and former reeve Marielle Wiebe who both vied for the position were ousted with a surprising tied vote of 329 ballots each.
“It is a great feeling to be elected,” stated Lussier. “Now we can start writing a new history for the RM of La Broquerie.” He added that “the past is the past” and the newly elected council will focus on moving forward instead of looking back.
A number of veteran councilors will be joining him including Ron Hamilton, Wilfred Chabot, Cornie Goertzen and Ron Vielfaure. They are joined by newcomers Darrel Unger and Kenny Taillaire.
RM of Hanover’s reeve Stan Toews was acclaimed along with councilors Bernie Stahn, Bob Brandt, and Henry Funk. Voters selected Dylan Barkman, Clif Bakx and Peter Hiebert to join them and only two are new faces on council.
“This should allow our council to pick up where it left off,” says Toews. “New councilors bring new perspectives around the table.”
De Salaberry reeve Ron Musick is returning for a second term, even though he was not sure if he wanted to seek re-election in the first place.
“It feels great to have gained the confidence of my municipality for a second term. I see elections as a sort of performance appraisal or report card on the members who have been in office in the last four years,” Musick says.
Also returning to the table is Germain Roy, Marc Hamonic, Marc Marion and Gerry Maynard along with newcomers Andre Carbonneau and Patrick Catellier. Bruno Hebert was not reelected.
In the RM of Piney, residents elected Duane Boutang as their new reeve and Earl Sawka was the one incumbent councilor was reelected. Sian Barrow, Don Winnicky and Michael Patrick are all new to municipal politics.
RM of Stuartburn reeve Jim Swidersky retained his seat despite competition from David Kiansky and Dan Bodz and Ed Penner were reelected by acclimation. John Gawronsky and Konrad Narth are joining the veteran councilors.
The RM of Reynolds has only two familiar faces left on council. Residents elected a new reeve and David Turchyn claimed the seat. Joining him is Garry Gaetz, Curtis Buley, John Miscavitch, Michael Turchyn, Maurice Yaremchuk, Florence Campbell and Jim Colbert. Gaetz and Yaremchuk are the only returning members of council.
Overall, voter turnout ranged up to sixty percent depending on the area. Most candidates received support but a provincial first happened in the RM of Reynolds when candidate Kathie Boznianin captured only one vote.