Wilfried Vicktor is once again taking over Hope’s top job.
The former mayor, councillor and school trustee earned 913 votes from residents in Saturday’s municipal election, while Lloyd Forman received 556, Glen Ogren 268 and Cindy Young 110.
“While waiting for the results, I thought to myself whatever the result, I’ve never felt this connected to Hope,” said Vicktor. “I was excited by the level and diversity of support. I thought it might be a little closer, but I’m glad it was not. I’m looking forward to four years of working for the community. We have the team in place and I’m there to bring out the best in them.”
The new mayor plans to sit down with councillors over the next couple weeks to find out where their passions lie and set up committees that will address some of the campaign issues. Vicktor is committed to improving communication with the public and hopes to get council meetings televised again soon and uploaded to the district website so residents are aware of what’s going on and can provide feedback. From a budget perspective, he would also like to see council plan four years in advance.
“I just see the potential of Hope. We’re doing relatively well now, but I feel we can do so much better,” said Vicktor. “High taxes were a huge concern in the campaign. Personally I think very small predictable increases are probably a more prudent way to do business. It’s very important that the public can plan their future as well.”
Outgoing mayor Susan Johnston, who decided not to seek re-election this year, says her departure from office is bittersweet but she’s looking forward to spending more time with family.
“I loved my job. I will miss it but I look forward to the next path that I plan to take,” she added. “I’m hoping (the new mayor and council) will be cohesive and they’ll work together in the best interest of the whole community. We set the groundwork over the last three years and I would like to see all of that be followed through and come to fruition.”
At the council table, Bob Erickson, Dusty Smith and Heather Stewin will join incumbents Gerry Dyble, Donna Kropp and Scott Medlock. Current councillors Tim Hudie, Peter Robb and Ron Smith did not seek re-election this year.
Council results were: Scott Medlock (1,199), Dusty Smith (1,112), Gerry Dyble (1,095), Heather Stewin (988), Bob Erickson (806), Donna Kropp (803), Ryan Mohle (697), Hondo Stroyan (534), Donna Burns (511), Matt Steberl (460), Stuart Hartmann (399), Kellen Zerr (144), and Robert Haley (142).
The Hope referendum was defeated on Saturday, with 915 votes against reducing the number of councillors from six to four and 858 votes supporting the change.
Voter turnout was up about 14 per cent this year, with an overall 1,847 ballots cast out of 4,724 eligible voters. In 2011, there were 1,624 ballots cast out of 4,809 eligible voters.
The new mayor and council will officially be sworn in on Dec. 1 at district hall in the council chambers.