New Cumberland council looking ahead to challenges

Gwyn Sproule topped the polls for the second straight time, one of two councillors re-elected in Cumberland at Saturday's election.

Gwyn Sproule topped the polls for the second straight time, one of two councillors re-elected in Cumberland at Saturday’s election.

Sproule tallied 585 votes to earn a fourth term while Kate Greening was elected to a second term with 544 ballots.

“I feel very honored that the people have chosen to keep me in council,” Sproule said.

Newcomer Roger Kishi was second in voting with 553 votes. Conner Copeman claimed the fourth and final seat with 515.

“I think it will be a good team,” Greening said. “I think the hard issues that’ll be coming down the pike are water, sewer and garbage.”

Sproule expects the new team will continue to upgrade the community plan, promote tourism and provide services for children and youth.

“Hopefully we’ll get a skateboard park,” she said. “I think we’ve got a team that’s going to be looking at more public participation. It’s clear that we have a very interested population.

“I’d really like to see some way that we can get some kind of economic development,” Sproule added. “I don’t know what body is going to promote our industrial land. We need to get taxes other than just from residential sources.”

Kishi was “positively optimistic” while awaiting results Saturday at the Masonic Hall.

“Conner and I are not strangers to council chambers,” he said. “We’ve been involved in the community and been attending meetings. Through the campaign I identified the village is going to have a number of challenges, but in my eyes I think the challenges can also be looked at as opportunities as well for the village. We’ll get to that council table and get down to business in early December.”

Kishi expects he and Copeman will be in knee deep as they get up to speed with council life.

“Maybe hip deep by January,” he quipped. “We still do have to deal with the issues around infrastructure — water and sewer — and development is still a big issue. I think there’ll be some interesting discussions going on in the next little while.”

Copeman finished just 10 ballots ahead of Scott Easterbrook.

“It was a nail-biter,” said Copeman, 22, who grew up in Cumberland. “The votes kept swinging back and forth for a while.”

He wanted to savour the moment Saturday night before worrying about council business.

“It was an enjoyable experience while I was incurring, and I wouldn’t want it to speed up any faster but at the same time it’s nice to have it over.”

Former councillor Leona Castle had 336 votes, Bruce Barnes finished with 235, Todd Riley earned 216 and Eric Kozak had 120 votes.

Leslie Baird, who did not run for re-election as a councillor, will succeed Mayor Fred Bates, who did not seek re-election. Neither did veteran councillor Bronco Moncrief, opening a second seat on council. All terms are for three years.

Candidates have until Monday to apply to the courts for a judicial recount.

e-Gwyn Sproule        585

e-Roger Kishi            553

e-Kate Greening        544

e-Conner Copeman    515

Scott Easterbrook    505

Leona Castle            336

Bruce Barnes            235

Todd Riley                216

Eric Kozak            120

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com