Peachland residents voted for change today. Voters elected Patrick Van Minsel Peachland’s next mayor.
Van Minsel won with 1,104 votes, followed by Keith Fielding with 983 votes. Incumbent Cindy Fortin ended the night with the lowest share of the vote, receiving just 293 votes.
Fielding and Fortin had each served two terms as Peachland’s mayor, Fielding from 2008 to 2011 and 2011 to 2014 and Fortin from 2014 to 2018 and 2018 to 2022; Fortin also served one term as a councillor before running for the mayor’s seat.
Fielding made an unsuccessful bid for re-election in 2014, when he was ousted by Cindy Fortin before returning to council chambers in 2018 as a councillor.
Following the announcement of today’s election results, the View spoke to Van Minsel about what this means for Peachland.
“First of all, I want to thank all of the candidates for running because it’s always very hard to put your name forward and do all of the work,” said Van Minsel. “I want to acknowledge my team that worked very hard for me. This is their doing and I want to thank all of the voters who came out and put their confidence in me.”
Van Minsel said he would also like to thank Cindy Fortin for her past eight years as mayor and Keith Fielding for his dedication to this town.
“What I see in this is I got more votes than I expected, so that’s very good. I also acknowledge that Keith Fielding got almost 1,000 votes and that means that people are expecting certain things from this council and I did tell people that we were going to work within the first year in getting some heights and setbacks for Beach Avenue frontage and we will do that,” said Van Minsel.
Political newcomer Randey Brophy was elected to council with the largest share of the vote (1,382), followed by Rick Ingram (1,208), incumbent Terry Condon (1,157), Dave Collins (1,091), Keith Thom (1,081), and Alena Glasman (978).
This will be Condon’s sixth term on Peachland council.
Council incumbents Mike Kent and Pam Cunningham were not re-elected; they received 779 and 725 votes respectively.
Candidate Rainer Udala received 759 votes, Moira Goodman received 724 votes, Kevin Bennett received 688 votes and Nick Walsh received 643 votes.
Peachland resident Lisa Guderyan was elected school trustee with 940 votes, beating candidates Gordon Wiebe (808) and Karrie Fehr (296).
Peachland residents were also presented with a referendum question and voted to support the borrowing of up to $17.5 million for a protective services building. 1,729 voted in favour; 588 voted no.
The last general election took place on Oct. 20, 2018, when there was a tie vote for mayor between Cindy Fortin and Harry Gough with 804 votes each. The result was decided by pulling a name from the box. At that time Van Minsel was elected to council with the highest vote of 1,094, followed by Pete Coolio with 1,073, Terry Condon with 1,029, Pam Cunningham with 1,022, Keith Fielding with 998 and Mike Kent with 996.