Categories: Local News

Becigneul takes trustee seat

St. Albert residents have chosen a super volunteer to be their next Catholic school trustee.

Joe Becigneul was declared the winner of the 2016 Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools trustee byelection following the close of polls Monday night.

Returning officer Deb Schlag said Becigneul earned 206 of the 460 ballots cast by St. Albert ward Catholics on Monday, or 44.8 per cent of the vote.

Becigneul will officially become a trustee with the Catholic board once he takes the oath of office during the board’s Sept. 26 meeting. He will then serve until the October 2017 general election, at which point he may stand for re-election.

Becigneul, who is also the executive director of the St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (CIVC), the referee-in-chief for St. Albert Minor Hockey, and chair of the Northern Alberta Business Incubator. He was 2013 St. Albert Volunteer Citizen of the Year. Becigneul thanked all his supporters and said he was honoured and pleased to be elected.

“I’m looking forward to this new challenge to represent the district and advocate for Catholic education.”

There were about twice as many ballots cast in this byelection than in the last one in 2009, Becigneul noted – a fact he attributed to the Holy Family Parish election forum and the strength of the candidates.

“All the issues got on the table,” he said.

“It was a great election in the sense that we got people talking.”

Becigneul said his first task would be to meet with his fellow trustees, after which they would likely dive into writing next year’s budget. The board also had to grapple with two new schools.

Runner-up Alyssa Frew congratulated Becigneul on his win, and said she would have voted for him had she not been in the race.

“I know him from church, and I know him to be a good man.”

Frew said she would likely run again for trustee at some point, but for now plans to return to teaching.

“I’m up for hire,” she said, with a laugh.

Candidate Greg Schell placed third in the election, followed by Brigitte Cecelia, Kenton Zerbin, and Moire Hogg.

Schlag said she would release the full results of the byelection Friday.

Kevin Ma: Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.