St. Albert and Sturgeon residents stuck by their incumbents in Monday’s trustee elections, but did pick three new faces to fill some empty seats.
In addition to voting for mayors and councillors, thousands of St. Albert and Sturgeon-area residents cast ballots Monday to pick representatives for the St. Albert Public, Greater St. Albert Catholic and Sturgeon Public school boards.
Each board had one vacant seat on account of past trustees not running again.
Some 27 per cent of St. Albert Public voters cast ballots to elect five trustees to their board, reports board spokesperson Paula Power.
Replacing outgoing trustee Gerry Martins is Stanley Haroun, whose name some may recognize from previous St. Albert council elections. He took home about 14 per cent (5,252) of the vote.
Haroun thanked residents for their support and said he looked forward to serving with a very professional team of trustees. He hoped to focus on mental health, drug abuse, and cyberbullying in the upcoming term.
Re-elected were Glenys Edwards (6,834), Sheri Wright (6,821), Cheryl Dumont (5,958), and Kim Armstrong (5,761). Candidates Calli Stromner and Marcus Hoople placed sixth and seventh, respectively.
Edwards said she was grateful for the public’s support, adding that she got about 2,000 more votes than she did back in 2013. She suspected that high interest in the St. Albert council race bolstered turnout for the board elections, as did the board’s new school.
Edwards said the top item on the board’s agenda was to find a replacement for outgoing superintendent Barry Wowk. The board was also awaiting a study from the province to determine if it should build a new high school or expand its current ones.
Armstrong said she was excited to continue working on the board’s transformation as it neared 10,000 students, adding that they had a solid crew in place to handle it.
Wright thanked her supporters, and said the board had a busy time ahead with the provincial curriculum review, picking a new superintendent, and addressing its need for more high-school space on its plate.
Dumont said she was delighted and honoured to be re-elected.
Janine Pequin beat Lynn Shaw 433 to 168 to take the vacant Redwater/Coronado seat on the Sturgeon School board.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity,” she said, and eager to learn the ropes as a new trustee.
Pequin joins Misty Featherley, Liz Kohle, Terry Jewell, Tasha Oatway-McLay and Shane Sherwin on the board, all of who were acclaimed.
On the Catholic board, Greg Schell filled Rosaline McEvoy’s old seat, earning some 3,687 votes to beat Brigitte Cecelia (2,501) and Austin Gerein (2,093).
“I feel as though I’ve climbed Mount Everest,” Schell said Tuesday as he was out collecting election signs. He attributed his win to the month-and-a-half of nights he spent knocking on doors.
Re-elected in the St. Albert ward were Joe Becigneul (3,840), Joan Crockett (4,660), and Serena Shaw (4,358).
Shaw, who planned to seek re-election as board chair, said she felt blessed that she could continue to serve the community, and estimated that about a thousand more people turned out to vote in the board election this time compared to 2013. (Official turnout numbers were not available.) The board would soon be busy with opening two new schools and finishing two major renovations this term, and would likely have to tweak its ward boundaries to accommodate the many new 4-by-4s that had joined the district.
Becigneul said there weren’t a lot of hot issues this election, and that he was pleased to be back on the board.
Incumbent Cathy Proulx held her seat in the Legal ward, earning 228 votes to Jodi-Lynn Champagne’s 151. Proulx could not be reached for comment.
They join Morinville ward incumbents René Tremblay and Noreen Radford, who won by acclamation.