The mayor and mayor elect of Sicamous were both brimming with optimism Monday, following the Oct. 15 municipal election.
Both were back at work on Monday morning, Oct. 17, Terry Rysz in the mayor’s office at district hall and mayor-elect Colleen Anderson at Old Town Bay Marina.
“I’m pretty pumped right now,” said Anderson of the election results.
In the five-way race for Sicamous mayor, preliminary results showed Anderson received 344 votes or 35.8 per cent of the vote, compared to Rysz’s 254 votes, or 26.4 per cent. Brenda Dalzell received 175 votes (18.2 per cent), Mike Sheehan 124 votes (12.9 per cent) and Larry Emery 62 votes (6.4 per cent).
Of the 11 candidates seeking the six councillor seats in Sicamous, elected to council were incumbent Gord Bushell with 581 votes (60.4 per cent), incumbent Bob Evans with 561 votes (58.3 per cent), Ian Baillie with 547 votes (56.9 per cent), Pam Beech with 498 votes (51.8 per cent), incumbent Malcolm Makayev with 487 votes (50.6 per cent) and Siobhan Rich with 473 votes (49.2 per cent).
“I was nervous on election night, don’t get me wrong,” said Anderson. “I mean, Terry served eight years and he’s done a good job… I was happy with the results. I don’t know how else to put it. It was pretty exciting and pretty humbling because you have the support of your community and that feels good.”
Anderson was also happy with the elected councillors she’ll be working with.
“I think it’s a pretty solid team,” said Anderson. “And that’s exactly what it is. It’s a team. I’m not naive enough to think I’m the boss of Sicamous or the boss of council. I’m one vote.”
Rysz said he was disappointed on election night when he first heard the results, but after having some time to digest them, he felt somewhat relieved. And, reflecting on his 11 years at the council table, eight as mayor, he’s proud of what he and council were able to accomplish in that time for the community.
“One major project, replacing the bridge over the Eagle River, I think that’s substantial when it comes to building out that side of the community,” said Rysz. “The industrial site is building out, the Beach Park was major, putting in a day care facility was major. I was on council when we built the water treatment plant… We put sidewalks in throughout the community, we paved a lot of streets.
“I think we were a responsible government when it came to handling taxation and I see a change in Sicamous, especially in the last five to six years, where now developers are looking at coming to Sicamous and wanting to invest here.”
Rysz said he’s also proud of the councillors and district staff he’s worked with.
With the number of people who were running for mayor, Rysz said he wasn’t completely surprised by the results. But his focus now is the work, and the council ahead.
“I still have another three weeks here in my term and I’m in my office right now and I’m going to be here right until the very last day, the very last hour, and I’m going to continue to do my job to the best of my ability, and at the same time, I’m going to encourage the new council and the new mayor to do the very best job they can on behalf of the people here…,” said Rysz. “You’ve got to encourage them to do the very best they can when they’re doing the decision making.
“It’s not an easy job; it’s probably one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had in my life, but it was totally worth doing. I’m glad I did it and I have no regrets.”
In the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), preliminary results show longtime Electoral Area E (Rural Sicamous/Malakwa/Swansea Point) director Rhona Martin being reelected with 172 votes, defeating Natalie G. Sorkilmo by just four votes. Leslie Johnson and Dan Letendre trailed the two front-runners.
The CSRD’s Chief Election Officer will be reviewing the vote on Tuesday, Oct. 18 (after press time), and a declaration of official results will be made before 4 p.m. on Oct. 19.
Sicamous’ new mayor and council will be sworn in at the inaugural council meeting on Nov. 9.
”I think Sicamous is in good shape,” said Anderson. “I think that’s a pretty solid council and I think we’re going to work well together.”
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