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Fruitvale votes in a new mayor

Preliminary results after voting closed Saturday at 8 p.m.

The Village of Fruitvale has a new leader after Mayor Steve Morissette was voted in with 595 ballots cast in his favour.

He beat out Patricia Cecchini, who has served two terms in the head seat.

The four councillors voted in are: Vickie Fitzpatrick, Lindsay Kenny, Bill Wenman, and incumbent Bert Kniss

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Mayoral Candidates:

Stephen Morissette 595 votes

Patricia Cecchini — 196 votes

Councillor Candidates:

Vickie Fitzpatrick 519

Lindsay Kenny 465

Bert Kniss 428

Bill Wenman 399

Lila J Cresswell 373

James H Ellison 247

Tabatha M Webber 245

Carrie A Farnum 176

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Total votes cast: 798

Eligible voters: 1,465

Only 390 Fruitvale residents, or 27 per cent of eligible voters, cast a vote 2014, albeit there was no mayoral race.

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~ About Steve Morissette ~

I’m excited that in Fruitvale we have an election race including likely the youngest candidate in the area Lindsay Kenny, it’s so great to have an engaged young person.

I’m proud of what council has accomplished these past four years, Including the work the office and public works crew have done to keep our home running smoothly over the past four years, kudos to our employees past and present. We now look forward to the next four years!

My top three priorities going forward are;

Priority #1 is fiscal responsibility – We had a huge tax increase this year due to tax assessments going up an average of 17% in Fruitvale. We took that increase and we added an additional 3% which I stood alone in opposing. We must do more to reduce expenditures and generate funds.

One of our projects to generate a broader tax base is to partner with the provincial government, Columbia Basin Trust, and BC Housing to demolish the derelict Beaver Valley Middle School and to create a comprehensive plan for development of the site into multiple use housing. The thing that has been missing from this project so far is input from residents, I would like to address this.

The one project that generates revenue, the full service RV park & sani dump was an idea I had early in this term to keep people in town spending money, we need more projects like this.

Priority #2 is Team work – Council has lacked a sense of team and people disengage because they don’t feel valued. Going forward I offer that I will do my best to improve relationships and build a more cohesive team with council, employees, residents, and our neighbours. To illustrate my abilities in this regard, after I announced I was running for mayor, CUPE local 1285 representing the support workers union in our school district contacted me to ask if I wanted their support. To put it in perspective this is the union I sat across the table from in a senior management position for nearly 20 years. I am proud to be offered their support because it shows that I can work respectfully and successfully with people of different perspectives.

Priority #3 is Transparency – I think we have a lot of room for improvement on the openness and transparency of council, I’d like to initiate an informal drop in with the mayor and council once a month, a chance for anyone to drop by ask questions, and get updated on council business. I’d also like to better utilize our newsletter and social media to communicate council news.

There are a lot of intelligent, critical thinkers both running for council, on staff, and in the village at large, they need to be engaged and to feel part of the team so they feel free to share their thoughts and ideas to help us move the Village and area forward.

This election is not about choosing one leader’s vision and ideas over another. It is about choosing a leader with the ability to engage people and work with council, and with residents together on what we as a Community want to see happen. To quote an unknown author, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2018 RESULTS
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