Voters painted new faces into the Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland council pictures, but didn’t rip up the canvases and start over.
The most prominent change is Courtenay mayor-elect Larry Jangula, who edged Greg Phelps. Jangula is hardly a new face, though, after his many years as a councillor.
Running a meeting and showing leadership as a mayor are different than being a councillor. Jangula will draw on his experience and knowledge of the community.
Ronna-Rae Leonard and Doug Hillian are back to represent left-wing issues, although it looks like they’ll be minority voices. Manno Theos and Jon Ambler were re-elected handily, while fellow Common Sense endorsees Starr Winchester and Bill Anglin will ensure business issues are heard.
Paul Ives held onto the mayor’s job in Comox by defeating Bernie Poole — by an even slimmer margin than in the Courtenay mayoral race. Ives said he heard the Common Sense mantra of limiting spending and taxes.
Common Sense-endorsed Tom Grant and Ken Grant topped the polls in Comox councillor voting and political newcomer Maureen Swift was a strong fourth. Patti Fletcher and Hugh MacKinnon are back and so is conservationist Barbara Price.
Expect council to record more 4-3 votes in the next three years instead of 5-2 (as the Grants were consistently outvoted in the past three years).
Gwyn Sproule and Kate Greening were re-elected to Cumberland council, which was guaranteed to have two new people to replace Bronco Moncrief and Leslie Baird, who ran unopposed to replace Mayor Fred Bates.
As the swing vote on the current council, Baird usually sided with Bates and Moncrief. With Roger Kishi and fellow newcomer Conner Copeman joining council, the dynamic has changed significantly.
Time will tell, but it looks like council in the village will be less sympathetic to developers.
And Rick Grinham’s experience will be invaluable to a school board with several new people.