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Ladysmith town councillors have ‘clear mandate’ to stick with plans

Coun. Marsh Stevens, who topped the polls, says next council an ‘excellent combination’
Mayor Aaron Stone, top left, will lead a town council that will include Ray Gourlay, Amanda Jacobson, Tricia McKay, Duck Paterson, Marsh Stevens and Jeff Virtanen. (Photos submitted)

Ladysmith council is on the right track with projects and planning, says the top vote-getter from this past weekend’s election.

Voters in the Town of Ladysmith indicated satisfaction with the current council, as all incumbents were re-elected plus one new addition.

Mayor Aaron Stone was acclaimed to lead the town council and Coun. Marsh Stevens topped the polls on voting day Saturday, Oct. 15. Ray Gourlay will join council including re-elected incumbents Jeff Virtanen, Tricia McKay, Duck Paterson and Amanda Jacobson.

Stevens said heading into election day, he felt like he’d run his campaign and while he was cautiously optimistic, he also had a “whatever will be, will be” frame of mind.

“I was concerned about what kind of council we’d get and we ended up with an excellent combination, so I’m really happy,” he said.

Stevens said while detractors might say the low voter turnout, 24 per cent, was an indication that citizens have given up on their municipal government, he doesn’t think that’s largely the case.

“I think the reality is people are quite satisfied with the job we’ve been doing…” he said. “We’ve got a pretty clear mandate to go ahead with the larger plans we have.”

The campaign brought some resurgence of opposition to the town’s waterfront area plan, but work on that plan will continue, and town council will also take further steps toward a new official community plan.

Stevens said it was an odd election around the province and he’s happy and relieved with the choices made by the electorate in most places.

“In a lot of municipalities we had folks who were running on an idealogical agenda they picked up during the pandemic, let’s say … It was good to see that was, as far as I can tell, in a lot of cases, pushed back on across the province…” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and don’t need distractions that aren’t in the municipal government’s wheelhouse.”

There will be one final meeting with the current council next week and the inaugural meeting with the new council is slated to happen Nov. 1.

Complete voting results are available on the Town of Ladysmith website,

READ ALSO: Every incumbent plus one newcomer will make up Ladysmith’s next town council

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