Janice Morrison became Nelson’s new mayor by handily beating incumbent mayor John Dooley in the Oct. 15 municipal election.
Morrison earned 1,562 votes, finishing well ahead of Dooley’s 915. John Buffery finished third, not far behind Dooley with 897 votes.
Dooley had been vying for his fifth term as Nelson’s mayor.
Morrison was first elected to council in 1999, then did not run for the next three elections, and was elected again in 2014 and 2018. She has recently retired from her job as a physical therapist with Interior Health.
After the results became clear on election night, Dooley said he believed Morrison is a worthy successor. He said he didn’t believe he lost due to protest voting, only that Nelson residents opted for someone who had also done their time at city hall.
“If somebody other than Janice was running, I probably would still be the mayor,” said Dooley. “But they were changing to somebody that had experience who will be able to do the job. So it wasn’t a big shift for some people to go over there.”
Tom Prior and Mike Zeabin also ran for mayor.
Three incumbent councillors – Keith Page, Rik Logtenberg, and Jesse Woodward – were all re-elected.
Joining them are three newcomers: Kate Tait, who works for Selkirk College and who topped the polls; Leslie Payne, who nearly doubled her votes after an unsuccessful bid for council in 2018; and Nelson Boxing Club owner and former city sports ambassador Jesse Pineiro.
Other council candidates were Glenn Sutherland, Ainsleah Hastings, Brenton Raby and Kyle Wilkinson.
In Area E of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Cheryl Graham was elected as director, and in Area G, Hans Cunningham, who has represented the area since 1996, was re-elected.