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Morinville mixes old and new in council election

Morinville council will be a mix of familiar and new as three incumbents will return and three newcomers will take seats at the table. Gordon Boddez, Paul Krauskopf and Ben Van De Walle will all return to council chambers.

Morinville council will be a mix of familiar and new as three incumbents will return and three newcomers will take seats at the table.

Gordon Boddez, Paul Krauskopf and Ben Van De Walle will all return to council chambers. They will be joined by newcomers Lisa Holmes, Nicole Boutestein and David Pattison.

After a prolonged night of ballot counting results in the race were finally released around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Boddez was the top vote getter with 1,088, followed by Krauskopf with 1,050, Homes with 1,007, Boutestein at 913, Pattison with 812 and Van De Walle with 777.

Just narrowly missing a return to council was incumbent Donna Phinney who grabbed 758 votes. Behind her was Jackie Luker-Chevalier with 683, Kerry Knight had 672 and Lucie Roy brought in 593.

All of the councillors will join incumbent Mayor Lloyd Bertschi who, with 964 votes, bested challenger Joseph Trapani (823 votes).

Phinney said the results were obviously not what she had hoped for, but life goes on.

“I am proud of what I have accomplished over the last six years.”

Due to the close nature of the final vote, Phinney said she had been encouraged to seek a recount and asked the returning officer to perform one.

If the results are the same, she won’t seek another run in 2013.

Returning officer Jennifer Maskoske acknowledged receiving the recount request and said she was considering it, but as of press time had not yet decided whether one would go ahead.

The council vote was not announced until 12:30 a.m., more than four hours after the polls closed. Maskoske said ballot counters took their time because they wanted to be sure they were absolutely correct.

“It was longer than some people would have wanted, but they were just taking their time to make sure they had it right.”

Krauskopf said he was pleased with the results and is looking forward to getting to work.

“I think we have a good council I think we should be able to get things done.”

Boddez was also happy to be returning to council.

“I was pleased with the support I got from the community.”

Both men say the town’s number-one priority has to be economic development, to bring more businesses to town to help balance property taxes between business and residents.

“It is not an easy thing to deal with and I think we have to be creative and look for some new strategies.”

Krauskopf said there were plenty of new ideas presented on how to solve the town’s economic development problems, but now is the time to start putting them into place.

Newcomer Nicole Boutestein said her first priority would be to learn the ropes, but she is eager to jump right in.

Ultimately, she was not 100 per cent sure she would be elected and is glad that results tipped in her favour.

“To me it was unexpected.”

Win or lose, the campaign was a good one and that everyone had brought good ideas to the table, she added.

“I think everyone who ran should be proud of themselves.”