Newcomer Anna Purcell received the most votes of any Nelson city council hopeful in this year’s municipal election with a final tally of 2,424.
She will be joined in city council chambers by incumbents Bob Adams and Robin Cherbo, as well as former councillor Janice Morrison and newcomers Valerie Warminton and Michael Daily, all of whom will be serving under Nelson’s first female mayor Deb Kozak.
“Completely shocked, I’m stunned,” Purcell said. “After this moment I’m going to have a bath with a glass of wine. I’m really excited to work with everybody. There’s a great group of people, a change in mayor, and we’re really going to have to learn how to work with each other.”
Newcomer Michael Dailly received 2,167 votes and finished second.
“I’m really grateful for the trust that the voters of Nelson have put in me. And it feels like a big responsibility. The job is to step up and do what I said I was going to do now.”
Dailly’s first priority is affordable housing, and finding ways to “work with the business community and all the groups” to be more inclusive.
Incumbent Robin Cherbo had the next most, with 2,015 votes.
“I’m happy to be re-elected. We’ve got lots of work left to do in this city,” said Cherbo, who expressed his disappointment at Dooley’s loss.
“I’ve worked with Deb for the last 9 years, so I don’t see a problem. We’ll have to obviously work out where everybody fits. All the people elected will be good councillors, including my old buddy Bob Adams.”
Adams received 1,973 votes.
“It’s going to be totally different. I don’t know how or why but it’s going to be very different,” said Adams, who said he was surprised by Dooley’s loss but unshaken by the news.
“Yes, I was surprised but these things happen all the time. Surprises come and surprises go. I’ve known Deb a long time and I think she’ll be fine. It’s a different position than anything she’s done before and she’ll have to make some firm decisions.”
His advice to Kozak: “Listen to all the councillors”.
Newcomer Valerie Warmington received 1,853, and former Nelson councillor Janice Morrison has returned after a 12-year absence with 1,797 votes.
“I’m glad to be back on council,” said Morrison. “I told many people I had a preferred candidate, and unfortunately John Dooley lost. But I was quite happy to have Deb Kozak.”
Morrison expressed disappointment that issues unrelated to municipal elections came up during the campaign. She believes they drew attention away from the real issues.
“I’ve held a number of positions around the table in the past and I have a good idea of how they work. I’m looking forward to making sure Nelson moves forward,” she said.
She said she wants to continue the “good work done to date”.
The three candidates who just missed the cut were Justin Pelant, John Paolozzi and Jason Peil with 1,687, 1,501 and 1,203 votes each.
Among the unsuccessful candidates, Justin Pelant had 1,687; John Paolozzi 1,501; Jason Peil 1,203; Brian Shields 798, Jeff Shecter 454, and Charles Jeanes 421.
The preliminary turnout count was 50.7 per cent. 4,011 people cast ballots for mayor this year compared to 2,376 in 2011. That number is expected to go up slightly.