A vote for change is the message heard loud and clear in Trail, where three new councillors joined three returning politicians.
Preliminary election results released by the City of Trail brought back incumbent councillors Robert Cacchioni, Gord DeRosa and Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson and added Rick Georgetti, Kevin Jolly and Sean Mackinlay to the mix.
“It was a well-fought race,” said Jolly, who received the strongest results with 1407 votes from the 1865 Trail residents who made their way to the polling station early or on election day, Saturday.
“I felt that the entire time there was constant pressure to keep campaigning because the other candidates certainly weren’t letting up and it was fun right until the end.”
Jolly was surprised by the results that put him in the lead against some tough competition, which also included incumbent councillor Fred Romano, John Carter, Bryan Deferro and Ray Furlotte.
“It feels good,” he said. “I feel that people connected with the message I was offering and now with that comes a lot of responsibility to deliver on that and basically the work starts today,” he added.
It was a tight race between Romano, Deferro and Mackinlay, who edged out that latter by three votes.
“I had a feeling that it was going to be close near the end,” said Mackinlay, general manager of The Spot and Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza in Trail.
“I had my suspicions about a few people that were going to be near the front, as they were, and near the back of the bus, as I was.”
Unlike his counterparts, who put up signs urging residents to pick them on election day, the 30-year-old stuck with purely meeting some business owners and residents in person and keeping a strong online presence.
“You don’t need to run a high-powered, high-budget campaign to really put your ideas forward,” said Mackinlay.
He was encouraged that his effort to introduce new ideas generated a buzz in the city, in which he’s only lived for two years.
“I think that a lot of people had said that yes there are people who have lived here for a long time and it gives them strong roots in the community, but there is also the need for outside ideas to come in,” he said.
Cacchioni knows all too well how democracy works, noting a loss in two elections in the past by narrow margins.
There are several responsibilities council faces, he said, adding that downtown revitalization is important but not the “be all and end all.”
“I think the message was people wanted change,” he agreed. “But now that change has occurred and you now have a number of individuals who’ve made a number of statements . . . we’d hope that those who gained the confidence of the voters (follow through).”
Cacchioni admitted he is disappointed to see Romano, a long-time councillor, voted out.
Romano served council for six terms and said this is the first time he’s witnessed, “special interest groups control the results.”
“I enjoyed my time serving the residents of Trail over those years – it is not an easy job,” he said. “With my free time, I will spend more time with my family. The days that I rush home for a council meeting when I am visiting my kids in Kelowna are over.”
Voter turnout sprung up to about 31 per cent from 27 per cent in 2008.
“It takes a great deal of courage to put your name out there and run for a position,” said Cacchioni.
Jolly agreed, extending a handshake to outgoing councillors Al Graham, Jack Balfour and Romano.
“They’ve all done their community proud and they can walk away with their heads held high.