While voters in Nanaimo went with a mayor they knew, voters in Lantzville chose new leadership in Saturday’s municipal election.
Challenger Jack deJong beat incumbent Colin Haime for the mayor’s seat at the town council table. DeJong won with 52 per cent of votes cast, 711 out of 1,273, to Haime’s 548.
Haime was the first and only mayor in Lantzville, which incorporated in 2003, until Saturday. Joining deJong on council are incumbent councillors Joe Bratkowski, Brian Dempsey and Denise Haime, as well as new faces Jennifer Millbank, Graham Savage and Andrew Mostad.
DeJong said three issues dominated the election – water, taxes and the agricultural land-use bylaw. He said the latter was overdone and should have been dealt with simply under the nuisance bylaw.
“Everyone agreed that wasn’t handled too well,” he said.
Mostad, one of the new councillors, said the agricultural debate highlighted problems with transparency and accountability on council.
“That issue was very emblematic of the issues facing Lantzville,” he said. “The first thing we do is engage the different stakeholders on this issue.”
Agriculture isn’t the only issue facing Lantzville in the coming years, as deJong points to a tax base of 1,500 people that hasn’t grown in several years.
The town won’t be able to grow until a new source of water is secured, likely through an agreement with the City of Nanaimo.
“Essentially, [development] is not being done because we have no water,” deJong said.
He also wants to focus on the town’s core, where he sees too many ‘for lease’ signs in storefronts.
“This is neither a big community nor a rich community,” he said. “I have a lot of work.”
For more information on election results, please visit www.lantzville.ca.
Jack deJong 711
Colin Haime 548*
Jennifer Millbank 702
Joe Bratkowski 660*
Graham Savage 591
Denise Haime 574*
Brian Dempsey 567*
Andrew Mostad 549
Jordan Gail 525
Jamie Wallace 513
Warren Griffey 473*
John Dunn 472
Michael Geselbracht 435
Doug Parkhurst 423*
Bold – elected; * – incumbent