Mas­sive voter turnout in Up­per Is­land Cove

Long­time mayor Ge­orge Adams sur­vives chal­lenge for top post; three fe­males elected for first time

The Compass - - MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2013 - BY TERRY ROBERTS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Res­i­dents of Up­per Is­land Cove flocked to the polls in large num­bers on Tues­day in what many are call­ing the most ex­cit­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion to take place in the town in many years.

And when the fi­nal tal­lies were re­leased, more than three hours af­ter the polls closed at 8 p.m., it re­vealed a new-look coun­cil, in­clud­ing three fe­males.

“We were very pleased with the turnout,” said re­turn­ing of­fi­cer Neil Shute.

Some 1,021 res­i­dents cast bal­lots, ac­count­ing for an im­pres­sive 77 per cent of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers. That’s up from 60 per cent in 2009.

Vot­ers were drawn to the polls by a hotly con­tested mayor’s race, and a sep­a­rate bal­lot for coun­cil that in­cluded 10 solid can­di­dates.

Ob­servers were pre­dict­ing that long­time mayor Ge­orge Adams would be in tough against coun­cil­lor Craig Mercer for the top elected post, but in the end Adams cruised to vic­tory by a mar­gin of 222 votes.

Adams said he was hum­bled by the out­pour­ing of sup­port and looks for­ward to di­rect­ing another four years of growth and im­prove­ment in the town.

As for his con­vinc­ing vic­tory, he at­trib­uted it to what he be­lieves is a strong level of sat­is­fac­tion with his lead­er­ship, and a ded­i­cated group of cam­paign vol­un­teers.

“They worked dili­gently to en­sure the mes­sage got out and to get sup­port­ers to polls,” he said.

Adams is 67 years-of-age, and hinted this would likely be his last cam­paign for elected of­fice, though he em­pha­sized, “right now I want to fo­cus on the present.”

A fe­male pres­ence

The gen­der break­down was another no­table out­come of elec­tion. For the first time, coun­cil will in­clude three fe­males, in­clud­ing in­cum­bent Eve­lyn Adams (no re­la­tion to the mayor), who gar­nered the most votes of any can­di­date. She will be joined by new­comer Cindy Dob­bin and in­cum­bent Kim Mercer.

Up­per Is­land Cove was in­cor­po­rated in 1965, but did not elect its first fe­male un­til 1981 when Ada Mug­ford earned a coun­cil seat.

In the elec­tions that fol­lowed, there would gen­er­ally be one fe­male on coun­cil, though in 2009 the town elected two fe­males.

The trend is a pos­i­tive one, said Adams.

“To have three males and and three fe­male coun­cil­lors is a mar­velous op­por­tu­nity in run­ning any coun­cil,” said Mayor Adams.

“I think we have the mak­ings of a fine in­com­ing coun­cil.”

Adams com­mended Craig Mercer for what he called a hard-fought and clean cam­paign, and also con­grat­u­lated the win­ning can­di­dates.

The newly elected coun­cil will be sworn in dur­ing its first meet­ing on Mon­day, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Coun­cil will se­lect a deputy mayor at that time.

Mean­while, the fol­low­ing is a break­down of the re­sults in Up­per Is­land Cove:

• Mayor — * Ge­orge Adams (in­cum­bent mayor), 620; * Craig Mercer (in­cum­bent coun­cil­lor), 398;

• Coun­cil­lors — * Eve­lyn Adams (752), Steven Gree­ley (603), Cindy Dob­bin (597), Dar­ren Mercer (473), Philip Lun­dri­gan (470) and * Kim Mercer (449);

• Un­suc­cess­ful can­di­dates — * Valen­tine Slaney (432), John Lynch (419), * Wal­ter Linthorne (377) and Daniel Coombs (356).

• Note — * de­notes in­cum­bent can­di­date

Ge­orge Adams has been re-elected as mayor of Up­per Is­land Cove.

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