Dawson Creek re-elects incumbents and three new faces to city council

 

All three incumbents – Cheryl Shuman, Sue Kenny and Terry McFadyen – were re-elected on Saturday. Joining them will be newcomers Duncan Malkinson, Charlie Parslow and Shaely Wilbur.

“I haven’t been this excited in a long time, I will say that!” said Malkinson, who at the ripe old age of 18, is no doubt one of the youngest city councilors to be elected in Dawson Creek and perhaps in the entire province.

Malkinson received 867 votes, the second most among candidates behind Parslow. He attributed that to going door-to-door to meet voters where they lived, and getting young voters engaged.

“It’s just meeting them face-to-face. There’s no better way to intrude upon somebody’s consciousness than to meet them face-to-face, and that was the emphasis of my advertising and my campaign,” he said.

He said he is glad to have the experience of the incumbents to help him along, adding that he is very excited to get to work.

“I’m looking forward to it all. I’m looking forward to the meetings, learning with people, meeting everybody and representing everybody’s best interests as well as I possibly can.”

Wilbur ran her campaign on a message of changing the direction at City Hall, but she said she is excited to work with the incumbents despite of their disagreements on many issues.

“I’ve always said that the incumbents do a really good job, they represent who they represent very well. What I wanted to bring to the table was a different balance, and I get to bring that to the table, so I’m excited – I’m excited to work with them, to learn what they know and maybe even teach them some things.”

Wilbur received 721 votes, and she attributed her successful campaign to working hard and engaging the public in a variety of ways. She said as a councilor, that community engagement will continue through social media and regular meetings with constituents.

She added while there will certainly be lively debates in council, she also believes there are many areas of common ground that she shares with the other councilors.

“I think the new people on council will bring some different ideas and aspects that maybe the incumbents weren’t ware of, so I think together we’re going to be a strong team and we will move this community forward for everyone.”

Shuman said she was very pleased with the results of the election, although she was disappointed with the low voter turnout. She said she feels the fact that Mayor Mike Bernier wasn’t challenged in the election, and that all three incumbents were re-elected, was at least some indication that voters were happy with the direction the previous council had staked for the community.

However, she said the three new councilors will no doubt bring different opinions and perspectives to council chambers.

“I think there’s a really great mix of demographics – age groups, women, and that kind of thing,” she said.

She said the campaign was harder this time as an incumbent, especially with some of the negativity directed her way from some of her critics, but she is looking forward to moving the city ahead in a positive direction over the next three years.

Kenny said she is also very pleased to be serving on council for a second term. 

“It’s great to be re-elected, and it’s an honour to have people vote for you and trust you,” she said. “I’m humbled that people believe in me and want to see me in there again.”

She said there may have been some strategy on the part of voters to re-elect the incumbents given that three seats were going to newcomers anyway, so as to avoid any difficult transitions by voting in an entirely new council. However, she said she welcomes her three new colleagues and the different ideas they will bring to council.

“I think we’re going to have some pretty good debates going on in the councilor chambers, and I think we will have some fresh input and ideas. Debate is good.”

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