Vernon’s new council will have four familiar faces.
Incumbents Brian Quiring, Scott Anderson and Dalvir Nahal have been re-elected to four-year terms while outgoing Mayor Akbal Mund successfully earned a council seat.
The quartet will be joined by newcomers Kari Gares and Kelly Fehr.
Like he did in 2014, Quiring topped the polls, collect 4,120 votes, 155 fewer than the last election. Anderson received 4,108 votes, Nahal 3,891, Gares 3,878, Mund with 3,626 and Fehr with 3,512 votes.
“I’m very happy, I was not expecting to top the polls again,” said Quiring at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Saturday, where he stopped in to congratulate mayor-elect, Victor Cumming.
“I’m very thankful that the community has confidence in me. We are going to continue to do a great job. We love this community. It’s onward and upward from here.”
Gares, a mortgage broker, finished seventh in 2014.
“I’m super proud to be sitting beside every one of those councillors that are up there,” said Gares. “I know that with Kelly and myself, we’re going to add something unique and we’re going to change the whole dynamics, we really are. I think we’re going to see some pretty impressive things coming out of council over the next four years.”
Fehr, co-executive director of the Turning Points Collaborative Society (formerly John Howard Society of North Okanagan) is excited for the opportunity.
“I ran because I felt it was my civic duty,” said Fehr. “The City of Vernon has done some great work over the last four years and I had a concern it might not continue. I really wanted to ensure it was and I felt I needed to run to be a part of that. I’m excited the opportunity is there and the citizens had faith in me.”
Four years ago, Quiring topped the councillor poll with 4,275 votes, 113 votes more than the late Bob Spiers.
Nahal, in her first foray into politics, was fifth with 3,919 votes and Anderson was sixth with 3,805. Nahal was third in Saturday’s preliminary results.
“I am so grateful that the community believed in me, in the work that I’ve done and believed in me to continue the work to better this community,” said Nahal. “I’m so grateful to work with Kari, I think she’ll take over Catherine’s (outgoing councillor Lord) roll and I think Kelly is going to do a great job filling (outgoing councillor Cunningham) Juliette’s roll. I look forward to working with them.”
Anderson moved up from sixth in 2014 to second overall in the preliminary results.
“I’m honoured that the citizens of Vernon have seen it fit to re-elect me, and I seem to have gone up in the rankings this time. It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously. And, frankly, it’s nice to have it all over,” said Anderson, who also congratulated Victor Cumming for winning the mayoral race and was proud that, while they didn’t win a seat on council, the councillors he endorsed — Sherrilee Franks and Jasmine Finlay — performed well in the ballots.
Said Mund, who remains on council: “We had a good race between Darrin and Victor, but I’m glad Victor won,” Mund said. “I like what he stood for. (In 2014), I said, ‘If I don’t win, I hope you win.’
“I’m glad I can still make decisions for the City of Vernon. I think you’re going to hear my voice more than you did in the past.”
In 2014, Gares missed out on a council seat, finishing seventh, just 224 votes behind Anderson.
There were 20 challengers for the six council seats.
After the top-six, results were as follows:
Teresa Durning, 3,105; Dawn Tucker, 2,733; Jasmine Finlay, 2,592; Kevin Lepp, 2,289; Shawn Lee, 2,221; Jamie Morrow, 2,101; Sherrilee Franks, 1,944; Gord Leighton, 1,801; Rick Lavin, 1,467; David Deshane, 1,287; Lily Kerr, 1061 votes; Terry Vulcano, 879; Don Jefcoat, 821 votes; Sam Zaharia, 448 votes.
Lee, seeking council re-election in 2014, ended up 10th with 3,271 votes.
A total of 9,644 people voted in Vernon in 2014, representing 30 per cent of eligible voters.