TERRACE MAYOR Dave Pernarowski was comfortably returned to office Nov. 19, defeating four challengers for a second three-year term as the city’s top elected official.
His return was not in doubt when counting started after polls closed at 8 p.m.
In the end, Pernarowski received an unofficial 1082 votes compared to current city councillor Bruce Martindale, viewed as his strongest rival, who received 575 votes.
Jennifer Lewis was third with 184 while Merv Ritchie ran fourth with 143 and Don Dunster was fifth with 35.
Pernarowski ran a steady campaign, saying that Terrace was ready to benefit from a reviving northwest economy based on BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line and other projects either underway or being contemplated.
Speaking after his election victory, Pernarowski said council now needs to focus on the approaching economic boom.
“With the Northwest Transmission Line and all the projects coming, I think we will need to look at ways to start managing those impacts. There will be a lot of people coming to this area,” he said.
In particular, Pernarowski said the city needs to start pressing the provincial government for a form of revenue sharing, using the example of northeastern B.C. where regional districts and municipalities receive a share of the money the province gets from oil and gas developments. Pernarowski repeated his personal feeling that Enbridge’s planned $5.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline is too environmentally risky.
Despite his personal stance, Pernarowski said he thinks council should keep its official stance of being neutral.
“I think we should listen to all of the facts. We don’t make a decision based on passion and there’s a lot of loud talk out there right now,” he said.
Martindale said he was pleased with his results.
“I went into it thinking I would have to overcome Dave as the incumbent,” he said. “You have to work really hard to overcome an incumbent.”
Martindale said his result shows there are many in Terrace who think like him.
“It does send a message that there’s a lot of people out there who agree with my position,” he said.
Martindale, who took a strong stand against Enbridge, urged the new council to examine the neutrality position.
“Terrace will absolutely be the leader on this,” he said. “Look to Taylor [Bachrach] in Smithers… a mayor who did win and is absolutely going to be taking a solid stance.”
When asked if he was happy with his decision to run for mayor, Martindale said he is glad he made the choice.
“You have to make strong choices in your life,” he said. “And I always do.”
In the council race, with one missing advance poll, incumbent Bruce Bidgood topped the results with 1,281 votes followed by incumbents Lynne Christiansen who received 1,260 votes and Brian Downie who received 1,196 votes.
Marylin Davies, defeated in 2008, returns with 815 votes. Rounding out the council table are newcomers James Cordeiro who received 777 votes and Stacey Tyers who received 733 votes.
Tyson Hull received 647 votes followed by Chris Gee with 630 votes, Mike Ross with 541 votes, MaryAnn Freeman with 480 votes and Dan LeFrancois with 433 votes.
In 2008, Christiansen topped the polls with Bidgood coming second.
The turnout was calculated at 25 per cent, down significantly from the 35 per cent in 2008.
The new council is to be sworn in early next month. The 2012 budget tops its ‘to-do’ list.