Midway through her victory celebration at the Legion last night, newly elected mayor Deb Kozak took the mic and invited everyone in the room who had ever been on Nelson City Council to come up and stand with her. There were incumbent councillors Donna Macdonald, Paula Kiss, and Candace Batycki; former councillors Margaret Stacy and Michelle Mungall; former mayor Dave Elliott; and re-elected councillor Bob Adams. (“I don't know why you're hiding back there sweetie,” she said to Adams. “Come on up. Welcome to woman power. You are going to have such a good time with us.”)
That moment can be seen in the three-minute video above.
In an interview after having just received the news that she had defeated John Dooley by just under 300 votes, Kozak said, “I went into this knowing it would be close. Now that the numbers are in I am elated and surprised. I thought we would be closer.”
“The first thing I am going to do,” she said, “is sit down with the new council and we are going to talk about what they have heard from people during the campaign, where they have heard our community is sitting right now."
John Dooley was gracious in defeat.
“It was critical that whoever took over was experienced,” he said. “Deb and I have been together for a long time on council. Much of what we put in place, Deb was part of it.
“This week I have had my five grandchildren around me. When I got the results I looked around at them and said, ‘There’s still lots to do.’
“I have had a tough week with my brother passing away. Now I will have a chance to deal with that.”
Topping the city council poll at 2424 votes, newcomer Anna Purcell said, “I am in shock. I can not believe the numbers. I had no idea.”
Asked what she had done right to garner such a vote count, Purcell laughed and said, “I have no idea!”
The second place finisher was Michael Dailly, with 2167 votes. “I am honoured to be trusted by the people of Nelson,” he said. “I worked hard, I started early, and my team knocked on almost every door in town. And without my wife this would not have happened.”
Here are the unofficial numbers:
Deb Kozak: 1756
John Dooley: 1475
Pat Severyn: 780
Council (6 positions)
Anna Purcell: 2424
Michael Dailly: 2167
Robin Cherbo: 2015
Bob Adams: 1973
Valerie Warmington: 1873
Janice Morrison: 1797
Justin Pelant: 1687
John Paolozzi: 1501
Jason Peil: 1203
Brian Shields: 798
Jeff Shecter: 454
Charles Jeanes: 451
School board (2 positions)
Curtis Bendig: 2090
Bill Maslechko: 1872
Bob Abrahmans: 1209
The current city council will sit until the official swearing in of the new council on December 8.
There is no word yet from the election officials about the voter turnout, other than that it was much higher than in the 2011 election.
Click on the photos below to enlarge them.