Larry Jangula will be serving his second term as Mayor of Courtenay.
According to preliminary results in Saturday’s election, he collected 3,483 votes. His opponent, Jon Ambler, garnered 2,502 votes.
“I’m sort of in shock,” Jangula said, noting a new-look council with the exception of Manno Theos and Doug Hillian, who finished second and fifth in the vote for six council seats. “We have a mixture of young people and some seasoned people. We’re going to work together and bring the city forward.”
Newcomer David Frisch topped the polls with 3,671 votes, followed by Theos at 3,033. Two other new members of council — Bob Wells and Rebecca Lennox — were third and fourth in voting at 2,985 and 2,835 respectively. Hillian retained his seat on council with 2,592 votes while Erik Eriksson — who had served a previous term on council — was sixth in the polls with 2,448 votes.
The other candidates finished as follows: Starr Winchester (2,333), Bill Anglin (1,900), Marcus Felgenhauer (1,800), Dan Doerksen (1,722), George Knox (1,452), Terry Chaney (1,351) and Stu MacInnis (1,196).
“The people have put together the team that they want to govern Courtenay for the next four years,” said Ambler, who served the last two terms as a councillor. “That’s the people’s choice and I respect that.”
Jangula hopes the Maple Pool issue will be settled shortly. The city is embroiled in a legal battle with the owners of the campsite, which provides low-rent housing for 50-some at-risk individuals. Technically, zoning prohibits the couple from housing people on the property.
“That was the number-one issue in every area of Courtenay,” said Jangula, who had his knuckles rapped by council when he spoke about the issue after an in-camera meeting. “I think the fact the Freedom of Information request is going forward is actually a positive thing. I think all elected people should sooner or later be held accountable for their decisions, whether they’re in open council or in camera.
“If council decided, for example — and I can’t speak for council – to drop the court case, leave it legally non-conforming, let the Friends of Maple Pool do some things to bring it up to more of a standard, I don’t think anyone would be unhappy with that in the community. That’s what I would love to see happen.”
Jangula says the city also needs to move on the proposed Braidwood Road supportive housing project — on which council has been pushing senior levels of government.
“It’s definitely a concern and a very important thing,” Jangula said. “And I think the other thing is about accountability of tax money, about how we spend tax money — about respect for the taxpayers’ dollars.”
Janice Caton and Cliff Boldt won the two Courtenay seats for school trustee, earning 2,265 and 1,784 votes respectively.
Officials estimate voter turnout in Courtenay was about 20 per cent higher than the last election.
As for the referendum question on dealing with homelessness (How much annual property tax would you be willing to pay to reduce homelessness?); 2,444 respondents said they would be willing to pay up to $10 a year; 1,588 said $0; 1,275 said up to $5 per year.