Thompsonites have spoken, and Colleen Smook is now the Mayor-Elect.
Smook, who is coming off a four-year term on City Council that saw her spend a year as Deputy Mayor, received 1223 votes yesterday. Those votes represent 44.15% of the 2770 ballots cast for the role of mayor.
Ron Matechuk, who is also coming off of four years serving on council, led the mayoral race after the advance poll numbers came in. That changed as soon as the first of the Election Day numbers came in, as Smook took the lead and didn’t look back. Once all the votes were tallied, Smook won over Matechuk by 264 votes.
Penny Byer, who spent multiple terms on council before this election, finished third with 18.74% of the vote. Ryan Brady came in fourth place, with only 69 votes in his favour.
Mayor-Elect Smook spoke to Arctic Radio News shortly after winning the election, and said that it is both exciting and humbling to have been chosen by the people of Thompson.
When asked about the difference between this and her previous unsuccessful bid for the top job, Smook said that she thinks it was mainly her experience over the past four years on council. She said that her passion for the City of Thompson, however, is just as strong then as it is now.
Smook, who will become the first female mayor in the history of Thompson, said that she will be getting to work before she is sworn in. The Mayor-Elect said that she plans on reaching out to those elected to council, with hopes of talking to all eight and trying to start out on the right foot.
More votes were cast for council candidates than mayor, with Les Ellsworth, Kathy Valentino and Jeff Fountain each receiving over 1240 votes each.
Brian Lundmark, Earl Colbourne, Duncan Wong and Judy Kolada round out the remaining members of council that were elected last night.
The eighth and final council seat is still technically vacant, as both Chiew Chong and Andre Proulx tied with 1008 votes each.
City Manager Anthony McInnis spoke to Arctic Radio News earlier today during City Beat, and said that the City of Thompson is currently discussing the situation with the Province. McInnis said that once a decision has been made as to how to proceed, they will let the public know.
On the school board side, all three incumbent who ran were easily re-elected. Guido Oliviera received 1610 votes, while Leslie Tucker and Don McDonald received 1529 and 1332 votes respectively.
Joining them on the board will be Michelle Tomashewski, Lindsay Anderson, Samantha Chartrand and Saima Aziz.
According to the City, 37.5% (2785) of the 7422 eligible voters turned out to cast a ballot. Despite those numbers showing 278 les votes than those cast in the last election, the percentage of voters actually rose from 2014, when turnout sat at 33.14%.
The new mayor and council will be officially sworn in on November 7th at City Hall.