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Lisa Holmes new Morinville mayor pending recount

Morinville residents will have to wait until Wednesday to know for sure, but it looks like Lisa Holmes is the town's new mayor.
NEW MAYOR – Morinville’s mayor-elect Lisa Holmes was all smiles after the poll results put her on top. A recount will take place Wednesday b
NEW MAYOR – Morinville’s mayor-elect Lisa Holmes was all smiles after the poll results put her on top. A recount will take place Wednesday b

Morinville residents will have to wait until Wednesday to know for sure, but it looks like Lisa Holmes is the town's new mayor.

Holmes was declared the unofficial winner of the 2013 Morinville mayoral election Monday night, beating candidates Sheldon Fingler, Carrie Foss and Christa Naughton.

But by only the slimmest of margins: with 10 out of 10 polls reporting at 10:30 p.m., Holmes beat Fingler 1,034 to 1,016.

It was such a close vote that Paula Hittinger, acting as agent for Fingler, asked for an official recount. "I've requested the recount due to the fact that there was an 18-vote gap," she said.

The recount means that residents won't know until at least Wednesday who won the mayoral race.

Holmes was nonetheless jubilant and "over the moon" when reached at the Higher Grounds coffee shop shortly after the results were published. "This is something I've waited for a long time for."

The close race shows that there were a lot of great candidates and ideas for the electorate in this race, Holmes said. "I really hope we can now move forward into a council of teamwork and collaboration."

With just three years on council under her belt and a number of rookies expected on council (results for the council election were pending as of this writing), Holmes said that council would have to spend a lot of effort in the next few months getting its bearings. "The newcomers of our council are going to create a big learning curve."

So big, she said, that council would likely pass an interim budget this November, with a full one not happening until February.

Holmes thanked town residents for giving her the chance to serve, and vowed to govern in an open, honest, and accessible manner. "I'm looking forward to the next four years and what we can do to make Morinville stronger."

Fingler, reached at Tiny Tot Café, said he felt "absolutely fantastic" despite Monday's results. "With such a small margin separating everything, tis still a very positive race for me," he said.

"I'm greatly appreciative of the 1,016 people that supported me," he continued. "I certainly hope everything we brought forward as issues gets carried forward."

"I'm greatly appreciative of the 1,016 people that supported me," he continued. "I certainly hope everything we brought forward as issues gets carried forward."

Fingler ruled out working with Holmes this term, even in an unofficial capacity. "I don't want to take away anybody's thunder," he said.

He was also uncertain if he would run again. "We've got four years to check performance and make sure people are accountable," he said, and he would wait and see if he had to return to politics.

In the meantime, he said he would go back to his day-job at Infinite Event Services. "I've got a great wife, great kids, great friends and am part of a great community," he said. "For me, I get to go back to enjoying the rest of life."

Foss trailed the pack with 294 votes to her name.

Naughton, who unofficially dropped out of the race earlier this month, got 12 votes.

Whoever is confirmed as mayor Wednesday after the recount will be the fourth person to hold that position in the last year, following in the footsteps of Lloyd Bertschi (who resigned in November 2012), Paul Krauskopf (who died last summer), and interim mayor Gordon Boddez.

Councillors

Gordon Putnam was the top vote getter among council candidates, with 1,452 votes. He was followed by Nicole Boutestein (1,205), Barry Turner (1,145), Stephen Dafoe (952), Brennan Fitzgerald (801), and Jackie Luker (689)

Finishing below the cut-off was incumbent David Pattison, followed by Ruth Shymka, Lawrence Giffen, Wayne Gatza, Jennifer Laurence, James O'Brien, Joseph Trapani, Brandy Keenleyside and Brent Henry.


Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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