Summerland: Waterman elected as mayor

Summerland’s electorate voted for a change on Saturday as only one member of the previous municipal council was returned to the table.

On Nov. 15

Summerland’s electorate voted for a change on Saturday as only one member of the previous municipal council was returned to the table.

Peter Waterman, who had served as a councillor, was elected mayor with 1,197 votes out of the 4,428 ballots cast in the five-way mayoral race.

There are an estimated 8,600 eligible voters in Summerland.

Roch Fortin, the second-place finisher, garnered 1,120 votes, just 77 less than Waterman’s total.

David Gregory, a former Summerland councillor and mayor, finished with 1,005 votes, while Orv Robson, a member of the current council, had 1,003. Christopher Boisvert-Gilman was the fifth-place finisher with 103 votes.

Waterman has set out goals for the first 100 days of the new council.

He plans to introduce a motion to withdraw the application to remove land from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The land exchange, approved by council earlier this year, is before the Agricultural Land Commission.

It calls for the removal of 80.34 hectares of land within the land reserve near the core of the community, while 91.7 hectares in the Prairie Valley area would be added to the land reserve.

At public hearings in spring, there was strong opposition to the proposed land exchange, including a petition signed by more than 1,200 Summerlanders.

In addition, Waterman plans to organize a mayor’s task force on the local economy.

The mayor’s task force will require participation from all facets of the community, Waterman said.

“We will be discussing how we can work together to make things happen in Summerland,” he said. “We have a tremendous opportunity here.”

Among the councillor candidates, Toni Boot  was elected with 2,819 votes, followed by Erin Trainer with 2,214, Erin Carlson with 2,096, Richard Barkwill with 1,843, Janet Peake with 1,707 and Doug Holmes with 1,650.

While Peake has served at the municipal level in Ontario, the rest of the councillors who were elected have not served on councils in the past.

Those elected see the outcome of the vote as a call for a new direction at the council table.

“It was an indication that we needed a change,” Boot said.

Carlson, who had earlier been a vocal opponent of the Urban Growth Plan, said the election results show the public’s disapproval of the plan.

“We just had a little referendum,” she said.

Trainer said the outcome of the vote also means a heavy responsibility for those who were elected.

“Now the hard work begins,” she said.

Peake said the mix on the new council will be exciting. She said she has never before worked with this many women on a municipal council.

Holmes said the council members represent a range of different experiences and personalities.

“We all have something to offer,” he said. “If you have clever people around the table, you’re going to work it out and do what’s best for the community.”

The remaining candidates were John Dorn with 1,605 votes, Denise MacDonald with 1,469, incumbent Robert Hacking with 1,461, incumbent Martin Van Alphen with 1,449, Joel Gregg with 1,330, incumbent Bruce Hallquist with 1,276, Mark Smed with 855, Ken Rodocker with 560, Daniel Papadopolous with 205 and Marty Fisher with 181.

The new council will take office at the beginning of December.

The next municipal election will be in October, 2018.