When the final voting count came in after a day’s extension, there were some close races in Saugeen Shores.
The position for Deputy Mayor was a close call with Don Matheson winning with 3,068 votes over Diane Huber’s 2,876. “This win is bittersweet,” said Matheson. “We are losing a valuable member of Council in Diane. It was tough. I knew it was going to close because we are both locals and each of us knows vast amounts of people and it came right down to the very end. I was out knocking on doors right up until yesterday. When you have two people from the same town who are so involved in so many things, it splits it right down the middle and it’s tough. It was tight, very tight.”
The Vice Deputy Mayor’s position however, was a run-away for former Councilor Mike Myatt who won handily with 3,754, more than double the next candidate Jim Stark’s numbers at 1,485. “The number of people who supported me in my campaign was truly remarkable and humbling,” said Myatt. “We knocked on some 5,500 doors and my wife, Jean was right there with me. There are a lot of things that have to happen as we are the fastest growing community in Grey Bruce. We have an aging pool, we need long-term care beds and affordable housing. There are some new faces around the table and I’m sure we’ll work in unison with a common goal to get things done. It was a great slate of candidates and it takes a lot of courage to run. It’s not an easy thing but you can leave with your head held high if you say, ‘I’ve done my best’.”
Although there were four candidates in the Port Elgin ward, it was really a three way race between Mini Jacques (1,025), Jami Smith (1,585) and Kristan Shrider (1,736), all newcomers in the race for Council.
Southampton Ward has two experienced returning Councilors, Cheryl Grace and John Rich, while Saugeen Township Ward has Dave Myette returning with newcomer Mat Carr only 29 votes ahead of Pat Jilesen. “The people who helped me with my campaign were wonderful,” said Myette, “and I’m honoured to be able to continue for the next four years for the people of Saugeen Shores and Saugeen Township. I hope to get to sit beside Cheryl Grace again because we’ve developed a bit of a rapport and she’s very smart and I learned a lot from her. Matt is new and he’ll have a lot to learn and will have to pick up and learn the procedures but we’ll get on.”
One of the closest races was for Public School Trustee with newcomer Katie Lutz defeating former trustee Kevin Larson by only 46 votes (3,811 – 3,765)
Mayor acclaimed, Luke Charbonneau, said that it was a really great election as there were so many candidates with so many ideas. “There were no one-issue candidates or no-one out in left field. They all brought ideas to the table and it made it very difficult to call. It’s going to be a great council.” When it came to the system breakdown that required an extra day for voting, Charbonneau credited staff with doing an exceptional job in dealing with the issue. “There were some 50 municipalities across the province that had the same problem and our staff dealt with the issue and made the right call so that everyone had the opportunity to cast a vote. Now, we have a result that we can have confidence in. Their job was to deliver and they did that.”
Council will officially be sworn in on December 3rd.
Happy winning Candidates