With more than a 200-vote difference, Comox Mayor Paul Ives will enter his third term in the position, defeating former Councillor Tom Grant in Saturday’s municipal election.
With 4,350 votes cast out of a possible 10,509 eligible voters, Ives received 2,276, while Grant received 1,995.
“It’s all about trust. We’ve got some new councillors and we’ve got some returning councillors. It’s all about the trust that the voters placed in us to carry on the things we said we were going to do during the election and also leading up to the election,” said Ives moments after the results were read aloud at the Comox Recreation Centre.
Ives said he was happy with the voter turnout ,which he attributed to the individuals who ran, and acknowledged his competitor’s fair race for the mayoral seat.
“(Grant ran) a really clean campaign, stood on the issues …. I respect all of the work he’s done as councillor for 12 years and I wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I know we’ll see him again as active as he is in the community. I want to give kudos to all the candidates who ran as well.”
Topping the polls for a councillor seat was incumbent Hugh MacKinnon with 2,782 votes, followed by former Councillor Russ Arnott with 2,659 votes, incumbents Barbara Price with 2,599 votes, Ken Grant with 2,463 votes, Maureen Swift with 2,275 votes and new councillor Marg Grant with 1,896 votes.
With a mix of experienced councillors and some new, Ives explained the voters of Comox always seem to bring diversity to the council table.
“I’m really pleased to see Russ Arnott back; I know he worked really hard and Marg Grant has been involved in politics for many years, but I think this is the first time she’s ever run for office herself. She’s going to be a real strength and asset given her knowledge and experience. The others that are coming back will make a good team.”
Kathleen Bell received 1,781 votes, former Councillor Don Davis received 1,708 votes, Ian Moul received 1,427 votes, and Vivienne Webster received 804 votes.
The new council will be sworn into office Dec. 1.
Ives said one of the major issues he faced during the campaign is downtown vitalization.
He added people really want to see projects go ahead and more vibrancy in the downtown core. He acknowledged while it was slow, council has made progress.
“I think that’s the other thing I’ll take from this is that people want to see a little more quicker pace on this, and I know certainly Tom Grant brought that to the force. We’ll keep working away on that, and hopefully have some results as we go forward here in the new year.”
Comox school trustee Peter Coleman retained his seat by topping the polls with 1,350 votes.
In the non-binding homelessness opinion vote which asked voters how much, if any, annual property tax would they be willing to pay to reduce homelessness, 1,831 responded they would be willing to pay up to $10 per year (for a home that is assessed at $300,000). 1,160 voters replied $0 should be spent, while 1,068 voted up to $5 per year (for a home that is assessed at $300,000).
Read full election coverage for all municipalities in Tuesday’s Comox Valley Record.