A ten-vote margin made the difference in Slocan’s mayoral race. Jessica Lunn defeated fellow incumbent councillor Hillary Elliott 88 to 78.
“I’m extremely excited,” Lunn said in an interview. “It was a phenomenal election. We had a great slate of candidates step forward and I think the public really had hard decisions to make. In terms of the mayoral race, Hillary and I were both strong candidates and you can see by the results it was close.”
Lunn has served two terms and Elllott two and a half terms. Lunn becomes the fourth female mayor in Slocan’s history — no other West Kootenay municipality has yet elected its third.
The councillors will be incumbent mayor Madeleine Perriere, former mayor Burly Van Bynen, incumbent councillor Jean Patterson, and newcomer Joel Pelletier. Perriere topped the polls with 113 votes, followed by Van Bynen with 109, Pelletier 107, and Patterson 89.
Among the unsuccessful candidates: Thomas Littley with 84, Ezra Buller with 83, incumbent Patricia McGreal with 35 and Kevin Millership with eight.
“We will definitely have a lot of experience,” Lunn said. “Burly hasn’t been on for a while, so it is stlll a shakeup. He’ll bring some new energy to the table. Madeleine and Jean both bring experience of the last two terms, so there’s continuity. Joel will provide a fresh perspective. I think it’s going to be a strong and very effective council.”
She thanked all the candidates and offered her “deep respect” to Elliott, whom she said she had been privileged to work with.
Lunn acknowledged this council is the first elected since the removal of the village’s waterfront sawmill, built 50 years ago. She said one of council’s top priorities will be looking at the budget and trying to figure out how to get by having lost a “significant percentage of our revenue.”
But she also considered it an opportunity, and said suggested the future of the site has “captured the imagination of the community. It’s quite an exciting time for Slocan. I hope we are able to connect with the site owner and build a relationship for a shared vision.”
Lunn said to date there hasn’t been much communication between the village and Brisco Wood Preservers, although the company has provided them with updates on the demolition.