Of the four municipal councillors that sat on Fort St. James council for the last three years, only one will return to council this month after the municipal election ushered in three new councillors to the chamber.
The election was held on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Fort St. James with voting available from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Fort St. James District office.
Results gathered from civicinfo.bc.ca showed that councillor Dave Birdi had managed to hold on to his position receiving the most support with a total vote count of 255.
Following suit were former and now present councillors Brenda Gouglas, with 208 votes and Kris Nielsen with 200 votes.
Underdog and newcomer to office Brad Miller managed to take Russel Gingirch’s seat after he beat the former councillor by 16 votes with a total of 195 to Gingrich’s 179.
School Board 91 area 6’s new trustee is Lucille Duncan who was elected against rival Alexandra Luggi with a total of 167 votes compared to 149.
Councillors spoke to the results with Birdi saying,
“I am grateful to everyone for re-electing me and giving me the opportunity to serve the community for a third term… I look forward to continue to work with the community along with my colleagues on the council and the Mayor and serve in the best interest of Fort St. James.”
Gouglas also commented saying,
“I would like to say thank you to councillors Gingrich, Burdeniuk and Willick for their service to our community during their term on council. I look forward to working with Mayor MacDougall, Councillors Nielsen, Birdi and Miller over the next four years. My biggest thank you goes to the voters who have put their trust in me once again.”
Miller, the newcomer also commented on his win saying,
“I would like to say congratulations councillors, I feel we are all winners and thank the town for their support. I’m really excited moving forward.”
At press time, Gingrich and Nielsen did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.
Voter turnout was markedly low for the 2014 election with Civic B.C. reporting that of the 932 voters eligible in Fort St. James, only 325 people actually turned out to the polls.
This number is down from the last election in 2011 which saw 529 voters cast a ballot out of the 1129 eligible in town that year.
Rob MacDougall, who ran unopposed this election, remains in office as mayor.
Tom Greenaway, representative for the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako area C also remains in office.