The District of West Kelowna council is going to look pretty familiar for the next three years.
Mayor Doug Findlater retained his job as mayor and all incumbent councillors—except Rosalind Neis who ran for the mayor position—kept their seats on council as well.
With 3,156 ballots with his name checked, Findlater beat out challenger Neis’s 2,126 votes.
Findlater said that the public has spoken and declared that they are happy with the job being done by mayor and council.
“The public has said this mayor and council have done a great job,” said Findlater shortly after hearing Saturday night’s results.
“But that doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels because there’s a huge job ahead of us.”
Rick de Jong was the only newcomer to earn a spot on council. According to Findlater, he’ll be a good addition to the group.
“I think Rick will fit in great. Rick’s been in leadership positions and he’s been around local government, so he’ll stand in good stead.”
The other incumbents returned to council were David Knowles, Gord Milsom, Duane Ophus, Bryden Winsby and Carol Zanon.
One early concern that Findlater expressed is the disproportionate number of women on council.
“One of the areas I’m concerned with, now (that) Rosalind is departing, is we’re down to one woman on council.
“I think that’s something that council’s going to have to talk about and address in some way. We’ll have to find a mechanism to make sure that we hear from women and their perspective as we go along.”
But Neis doesn’t regret her decision to run for mayor, even though she felt she could have likely earned her spot back on council if she had run.
“I’m very happy that I stood up for what I thought was right. I’m very happy with the situation as it is now, that I can get back to my life prior to politics,” said Neis.
“I wish the council all the best.”
When asked if she will run in the future, her answer was short and clear.
A total of 5,865 ballots were cast. With an estimated 22,266 eligible voters, that indicates a 26.34 per cent turnout, significantly lower than the 42 per cent turnout in the 2008 election.