Newly elected councillors say citizens voted for change

Diane Crocker
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CORNER BROOK  Change was the big word throughout the campaign leading up to Tuesday’s municipal election in Corner Brook and change is just what the results of voting brought.

For Bernd Staeben the results were not unexpected and something he foresaw with the high voter turnout at polls throughout the day.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of anxiety about where we’re going, how we’re going to get there and also the reputation of our city,” said Staeben after securing the most votes with 3,232 votes.

Staeben, who previously served on council, led by 321 over his nearest competitor, Linda Chaisson.

Chaisson was the only incumbent councillor to retain a seat on council with 2,911 votes. Next to her were newcomers Keith Cormier with 2,736 votes and Tony Buckle with 2,687 votes. Rounding out council are two other former councillors, Josh Carey, who polled 2,553 votes and Mary Ann Murphy, who took in 2,475 votes. A total of 38,581 votes were cast in the election.

While checking in on the results at city hall, Staeben said being elected again was humbling for him and thanked both the team who worked for him and the citizens of Corner Brook. And now that he is elected, he said change is something that he will work for.

“I recognize fully the challenges that we face as a community and this is going to require some time and some patience and a lot of hard work to change the way we do our business and to change the perception of the city by our residents.”

Change is also something that Chaisson pointed to as helping in her win.

“I guess I’ve sort of started the change process over the last four years,” she said. “Where I am today is because I’ve listened to the people and I’ve took their wants and their needs to city hall. I’ve asked tough questions. I’ve gotten answers for the people and I’ve always been available to them.”

That, she said, is something that will continue.

Chaisson was in the Hutchings Room at city hall for most of the night watching as the polls came in. At times she seemed shocked as the numbers showed her to be the only incumbent likely to retain their seat.

After the last poll came in she said she was excited to retain her seat. But she said she was also sad to see some of her fellow councillors go and expressed appreciation for all the work they put into being councillors.

Cormier said he felt the voters of the city delivered a message for the new council and staff at city hall and again that message was about change.

“It’s a clear message that I heard at the doors; that they want change. They want a change of attitude and they want a change in the regulations.”

Cormier said the people of the city want to see it move ahead and not slip further behind.

“If people in the city have a problem that they want to get addressed, phone me. The people of Corner Brook need a voice on city council and I hope to be that voice.”

As the only other newcomer to council, Buckle also wasn’t surprised by the results.

“I knew there was going to be a fairly big change.”

And he’s excited to be a part of it. Buckle said he has the time and the energy to devote to the job. First up for him will be to make good on a couple of campaign promises — the first to spend time at the Mountain View Retirement Centre and the second to see that roads in the city are fixed.

“The hospital is my main priority and I’m going to keep on everyone until we get that started.”

For Carey the results of the election left him feeling humble, and he felt the electorate had spoken loud and clear. Like the others, he felt the message they sent was that change is needed.

Carey said his first priority will be to work on economic development in the city.

“The permitting issue has to be dealt with immediately and I think council needs to deal with that within its first four-month term.”

Other city results

Llew Hounsell, 2455

Gerard Lee, 2136

Priscilla Boutcher, 2036

Donna Luther, 1953

Gary Kelly, 1932

Leo Bruce, 1855

Trent Quinton, 1824

Dave Wells, 1370

Paul Wylezol, 1291

John Evans, 1089

Danny Park, 1064

Chris Noseworthy, 970

Tom Stewart, 840

Glen Keeling, 641

Shawn Street, 531

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Recent comments

  • Sylvia
    September 25, 2013 - 11:43

    With a new slate of Councillors in place , you can be sure that everyone will be watching & waiting to see action in Corner Brook. Our vote is one of the most powerful privileges that we have, so please, Mayor & councillors, respect the honor that we have bestowed on you and prove that you are really worthy.

  • shirley v fudge
    September 25, 2013 - 07:52

    it was an excellent electon

  • Bill
    September 25, 2013 - 06:34

    ...... Let the games begin !

  • Reg Carter, Business man/X-C Skier
    September 25, 2013 - 06:09

    If I could add to Mr. Cormier's comment I would suggest that we need some serious changes in administration in order to change the attitude and the regulations that will support and help business develop in our beautiful City.