Mike Walsh, a veteran Montrose politician, will return to council following a landslide win in the village’s byelection on Saturday.
The former Montrose mayor garnered 99 votes from 164 total ballots cast, securing the one seat that’s been empty since the October resignation of Coun. Mark Reid.
Although he’s the clear winner, Walsh will sit in council chambers only as an observer until the first meeting next month.
Chief Election Officer Bryan Teasdale clarified that before the new councillor begins his duties, a period of time must past before the swearing in ceremony.
“Until the Oath of Office is taken, you can’t actually sit in,” Teasdale added. “It’s more of an observer status until he is sworn in.”
The unofficial results are posted on the village’s Facebook page: Mike Walsh, 99; Linda Bouthillier, 26; Dwayne McDonnell, 23; Don Berriault, 16. Of the total votes, 64 were cast during advanced polling opportunities and 100 on Saturday, which was General Voting Day.
“We were definitely pleased with the number of people who came out for our advance polls,” said Teasdale. “And with four people interested in running. Often in smaller municipalities (byelection positions) are filled by acclamation, and not an election, so it was nice to see people interested in pursuing that seat on council.”
Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk says he’s looking forward to working with Walsh, giving a nod to his past experience as well as to those who threw their hat into the ring.
“We had great candidates and I want to thank everybody that ran,” he said. “This shows there is interest in politics in Montrose.”
Walsh will be brought up to speed on current budget talks and upcoming village capital plans before he begins the job Feb. 1.