The Municipal election in North Grenville saw the return of the previous Mayor and Council in a convincing display of approval by residents. At the time of writing, the results were still unofficial, but still clear and unlikely to change. In the contest for Mayor, Nancy Peckford won 4,410 votes, while challenger Colleen Lynas received 1,446.
There was a similarly emphatic win for the four members of Council. John Barclay topped the poll with 3,438 votes, followed by Doreen O’Sullivan with 3,201, Deb Wilson with 3,032, and Kristin Strackerjan with 2,592.
The closest challenger, Mitch Bloom was indeed very close behind at 2,556 votes. The remaining candidates were Andre Rancourt with 1,985, Chelsea McIntyre with 1,675, Chris Wilson with 1,671, and Robert Bowden with 835.
In the only contested position for Trustee for the English Public School Board, Lisa Swan retained her seat with 3,558 votes, with Heidi Piper-Ward getting 1,905 votes and John Palmer with 1,383.
Given North Grenville’s population growth since the last municipal election in 2018, it will be interesting to see what the voter turnout was this time around.
With the votes for Councillor spread over nine candidates in this election, it is hard to calculate the number of voters, as each individual could vote for up to four candidates. But the total number of votes cast for Mayor, 5,856, is a little lower than in 2018, when 5,930 votes were cast for a slate of four candidates.
In that election, an entirely new Council was elected to replace the previous one. The re-elected Council this time actually has only three of the six members from 2018, as one Councillor voted in then resigned very shortly afterwards, to be replaced by Kristin Strackerjan. Jim McManaman resigned earlier this year and Deb Wilson was appointed in his place after a series of candidate interviews.
This election campaign was often unpleasant, but the success of the incumbents reflects at least a general satisfaction with the way in which they managed the affairs of the Municipality through the challenges of the past four years. North Grenville made it through the pandemic in remarkably good shape financially, and the uproar that has been ongoing for the past two years over the proposed prison in Kemptville was expected to take a heavy toll on the support incumbents would receive in the matter of votes.
In a surprise upset in Merrickville-Wolford, Doug Struthers failed to get re-elected as Mayor, coming last in a field of three. The new Mayor is Mike Cameron, Deputy Mayor in the last Council, who won with 680 votes. Anne Barr, another experienced candidate, was second with 621 votes, while Doug Struthers received 235. The two Councillors elected for Merrickville Ward are Margaret Gural (388) and Mark Oldfield (324), while Wolford Ward will be represented by Ronnie Maitland (567) and Stephen Ireland (424).