Mayor Paul Ives narrowly turned away a challenge by Bernie Poole to remain mayor of Comox, according to final unofficial voting results.
Ives, a lawyer, was re-elected by a slim 54-vote margin over Poole, a real estate agent. The totals were 2,163 to 2,109.
“We knocked on all the doors we could get to, and it certainly was close, and it’s good to see a solid turnout and I’m looking forward to working with a new council once we get sworn in,” Ives reacted. “There’s a few new faces and I’ll be sad to lose a couple of them (incumbents).
“It’s quite an interesting mix,” he commented about the new council. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”
“I knew it was going to be close,” Poole said. “All of the experts told me when you’re going up against an incumbent it’s tough – it really is. I knew it was going to be close. But I’m pleased with my result. I would be much happier if I had won, that’s for sure, because I really wanted to win.”
Poole was endorsed by the Comox Valley Common Sense group, which emphasized keeping taxes down by limiting spending. Poole said he didn’t think the endorsement played any factor in the Comox vote.
Ives saw it differently.
“One of the biggest factors in this election was the Common Sense group and it expressed a message. I think there’s a message there for sure around fiscal responsibility that this council and in Courtenay will have to pay attention to.
“It’s an issue we’ve been paying attention to in the last couple of years. I’m sure that’s a message as much as anything – to keep moving forward but to keep an eye on the bottom line. It’s going to be tight in the next few years,” Ives concluded.
Tom Grant (2,381) and Ken Grant (2,366) topped the council vote tallies. Re-elected incumbents are Patti Fletcher (2,320) and Hugh MacKinnon (2,082), who will be joined on council by Maureen Swift (2,164) and former Comox councillor Barbara Price (2,040).
All were elected to three-year terms.
Newcomer Dan Jackson fell 31 ballots short of the sixth and final council seat with 2,009 votes. Incumbents Russ Arnott (1,985) and Marcia Turner (1,524) were not re-elected.
Former councillor Don Davis (1,301), Dave Procter (1,277) and Terry Chester (1,164) also fell short.
A total of 10,520 people were eligible to vote. The 4,342 voters represented a 41.2 per-cent turnout.