The final numbers are in, and Mike Ruttan is the new mayor of Port Alberni. His council will be Denis Sauvé, Dan Washington (incumbent), Sharie Minions, Ron Paulson, Jack McLeman (incumbent) and Chris Alemany.
There were seven mayoral candidates and 22 council candidates vying for seats this year.
“It feels good. My campaign team worked incredibly hard and I’m happy with the way it turned out,” Ruttan said Saturday night after the results were released.
“It’s a strong mandate for me as new mayor. People are definitely looking for a change, but not completely because we do have two returning councillors. But I think it’s a good result; a balanced result.”
Ruttan said he is confident the new group will be able to work together, and that having two experienced councillors in Washington and McLeman is positive.
“We can work together well as a new council. There’s things we’re going to have to do in terms of common agreements and refocusing on city priorities. There’s going to have to be some work done on where the city’s budget is sitting.”
Ruttan won with 1,891 votes, followed by incumbent John Douglas at 1,460, Cindy Solda at 874, Kevin Wright at 776, Hira Chopra 492, Maurice Chopin 414 and Jacques Savard, 80.
Denis Sauvé garnered the most results for councillors with 2,748. Washington had 2,366, Minions (Alberni First) 2,159, Paulson (Alberni First) 2,137, McLeman (Alberni First) 1,736 and Alemany 1,679.
The public opinion question, asking if people were in favour of a 10th Avenue crossing, was voted down. Votes were 3,389 against the non-binding question, and 2,388 in favour.
In the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, Keith Wyton is the new area director in Bamfield, while John McNabb and Lucas Banton retained their seats in Beaver Creek and Cherry Creek, respectively.
The School District 70 board of trustees only saw one new face elected, Jane Jones, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation. Incumbents returning are John Bennie, Rosemarie Buchanan, Pam Craig, Pat Dahlquist and Larry Ransom.
Gaelle Frey was not re-elected.
The Sproat Lake Marine Patrol referendum question passed with 3,395 votes in favour of creating a service area for the marine patrol and 2,945 against.
More thorough results and reaction can be found in our Thursday Alberni Valley News.
With additional coverage from Katya Slepian, Alberni Valley News