The votes are in. There will be no change in mayor or council positions for the next four years in Vanderhoof. This somewhat doesn’t surprise me.
I have lived in Vanderhoof for about six months but I have gone to more council meetings in that time than some people have their entire lives. I see, or at least hear, the projects that the current council are working on and how they focus their energy. And for ‘small town folk’ they sure do have a lot of spunk and devotion.
When Gerry Thiessen was asked about his personal spending at the mayoral forum, he stood up for himself with ease. I knew in that moment he was the type of leader this community would keep. He made everyone in the room agree that his spending on trips to seek relationships and knowledge from ministers and politicians was well spent. He not only justified his above-average mayoral expenses but had the entire room agree with a round of applause. His invested interest shone bright and people were able to relate with everything he said right down to his spending, a feat not easily overcome. His genuine enthusiasm is known by all and his plans for the town crystal clear; Work to eliminate brownfield sites, help bring more trades education, work with developing companies to gain work and housing and beautify the town as a whole. His insight is reflected through his continued knowledge on every subject thrown at him and I think the town made a great judgment call.
Not to say Jessi Wilson was not fit for the job. As a ‘home grown’ mom that everyone knows and loves, she has the excitement and dedication. However, she feel short through knowledge of the position. Most times a mayor is elected from someone who has sat on council and knows a little more about what their getting themselves into.
As for council, I am a little surprised the two bottom votes stood at Michelle Roberge and Spencer Siemens. Although the two have no expertise on council, everyone starts somewhere. I personally thought their platforms were encouraging and energetic and both of them certainly have much to offer. I was a little concerned with how much Ms. Roberge does in the community already and if she would even have time for council. She has her hands dipped in so many pots, but that’s a worry left behind by her defeat. With a sigh of relief, she can now put 100 per cent into all the other hundred things she does. But when it comes to Mr. Siemens, there is no denying that youth are the future. To have a strong community, youth must be willing to stay and thrive. Anyone who advocates strongly on their behalf is held high in my books. Maybe next term hey Spence?
Brian Frenkel of course was at the top of the roaster for councillor and with no doubt does he do a lot for the community. I am glad he got elected because with him, Vanderhoof’s voice will reach far considering his position on provincial and community boards. Ken Young and Kevin Moutray were not too far behind him, again not a surprise. These gentlemen have great insight on education and recreation so of course they were one of my top votes as well. I thought for sure Darren Carpenter would have had more votes being such a staple for youth in Vanderhoof. I was a little shocked that John Murphy came fourth considering he didn’t show up for the forum, although he does have the experience of a long-term councillor. And of course Steve Little’s drive for a pool put him over the edge.
Overall I think Vanderhoof should be happy with the selection and I look forward to seeing what the next four years holds.