The Village of Telkwa has a new mayor for the next four years — and his name is Darcy Repen.
Repen defeated mayoral candidate and councillor Rimas Zitkauskas with 283 votes, 104 more votes than Zitkauskas and 240 more than Vicky Rokstad, according to unofficial results that were released late Saturday night.
“It’s super exciting and I think the most exciting part for me was the number of people who turned out to vote,” said Repen, who watched the results trickle in from the village office.
During this election, 508 people cast their votes out of 1,024 eligible voters, according to unofficial results. That is a 49 per cent turnout.
In the 2011 election, the voter turnout rate was 35 per cent with only 298 votes cast.
“The people are ready for a change in the government and a change in the approach,” said Repen. “I really feel like people do want to participate in the village and the government and in the decision-making process and that was a key to my platform.”
Once he is sworn into office, Repen hopes to begin engaging with the community.
“My number one priority is getting in place a mechanism so that we can engage the people that are here with that government process,” he said.
Not only does the village have a new mayor, but there are three new faces joining council this term as well.
Leroy Dekens, the owner of RaceTrac Gas Station, was elected with 370 votes, the most that any councillor or mayoral candidate received.
“I was happy. [I’m] interested to see how everything is going to go. I’m very happy for the support that I got,” said Dekens.
“I think the Village of Telkwa wants some change and I think it’s a good thing. Hopefully I can live up to what they want.”
All for Less owner Coralee Karrer and Annette Morgan will also be joining the ranks after receiving 274 and 239 votes, respectively.
Brad Layton rounds out the pack, returning for a second term after receiving 229 votes, only seven votes more than councillor Rick Fuerst.
Layton will be the only one with previous council experience.
John McDivitt received 204 votes, while outgoing mayor Carman Graf received 192.
In the race for school trustee for Electoral Area 3 Telkwa/Quick, Billie Jean Beaubien ousted incumbent Judy McIntosh by a mere three votes.
“There was a big cheer on the airplane. We’re pretty excited. A little nervous, but I think it will be good,” said Beaubien who was on a flight back from Fort Lauderdale when she found out she won.
“It could have been [McIntosh] just as easy, I think it was just maybe a few extra people that I knew. I wasn’t even here to vote for myself.”
According to the Elections B.C. guidebook, after the final count, the district electoral officer must ask for a judicial recount if the candidates are separated by less than 1/500 of the total ballots considered.
The last day for applications asking for a judicial recount is on Nov. 24.