With the closest mayoral race in the Valley decided by a slim 54-vote margin, current Mayor Paul Ives was re-elected in Comox Saturday night.
“We didn’t leave anything to chance,” said Ives Saturday immediately after the unofficial results were released. “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, a lawyer, received 2,163 votes compared to challenger and real estate agent Bernie Poole’s 2,109 votes.
Poole said despite the loss, he is satisfied with the result.
“I didn’t hit all of the doors; I thought I would have fared a bit better. I knew it was going to be close. All of the experts told me when you’re going up against an incumbent it’s tough — it really is,” he noted, and added it is too early to consider another attempt at running for the position in three years.
“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 said he doesn’t believe Comox Valley Common Sense group — which emphasized keeping taxes down by limiting spending — who endorsed him, did not play a factor in the vote.
Ives saw their impact on the election differently.
“One of the biggest factors in this election was the Common Sense group and 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,” he said. “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 said the reality of fiscal responsibility means turning to partnerships more than ever.
“The economic action plans of a couple of years ago aren’t going to be there and we’re going to have to make our own economic action plans for Comox and Courtenay with a lot more partnerships and a lot more co-operative efforts,” he noted.
“It’s not going to be an easy three years ahead, but I think we’ve got some pretty solid people there that know how to crunch the bottom line and how to make things happen. It’s going to be very interesting.”
Ives added following the results, he was planning to return home to celebrate the hard work which went into his campaign.
“A lot of hard work went in, a lot of signs, a lot of brochures and people were knocking and knocking and knocking. I’m glad we did it. It kept us focus and it’s where we are today.”
The new council gets sworn in at a special meeting Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in Comox council chambers.
e-Paul Ives 2163
Bernie Poole 2109