© Star photo by Frank Gale
Mayor Tom O’Brien receives congratulations on his win from opponent Tom Rose, who had found out that he had lost to O’Brien once again.
STEPHENVILLE Despite a very close race for the mayor’s Tom O’Brien, who won the mayor race in Stephenville by 78 votes, said it’s always a good feeling to earn the right to sit at the council table.
At one point during the night he was just five votes ahead of his opponent Tom Rose and though it was his closest win yet, O’Brien said he felt confident throughout the night because of support in the community, not just during this election but during the last eight years.
O’Brien finished the night with 1,094 votes over the 1,016 garnered by Rose to win his third consecutive mayor’s seat.
He had congratulations for all the candidates that offered themselves for public office and said by doing so they were all winners. He’s now looking forward to returning back to work at the council table, including the two new councillors who were voted on Tuesday night.
“It’s great to have two younger people on council as they will bring different skill sets to the table,” O’Brien said.
The only incumbent that didn’t make it back to the council table was Cec Stein, who was knocked off by the youngest member that will be at the council table, John Finn, who finished the night with 1,149 votes in comparison to the 1,115 collected by Stein.
As sixth councillor, Finn said it felt great to get in and it was a fun few weeks leading up to the election with a really exciting campaign.
“I really learned a lot during the campaign and now look forward to contributing and being part of the team (council). As the numbers show it was a very tight race and I wasn’t sure what to expect but the numbers show what they show.”
As the youngest candidate in the race, Finn said he get a lot of youth I got out to vote and he was proud to get his peers out and engaged in the voting process. He said there was a number of people he got out to vote for their first time and he believes that is how it will have to continue.
“If we’re going to grow as a town we need youth involved and I’m certainly glad to be that youthful voice on council,” he said.
Incumbent Michael Tobin is returning to his council seat after garnering the highest number of votes with 1,291; followed closely by incumbent Don Gibbon Sr. with 1,260; then incumbent Darlene Oake with 1,247.
Oake said the win, her second, felt really good and to her a bit of a reward for what she believes had been her hard work during the past four years,
“I pledge to continue to work hard, especially in the area of recreation. My first and foremost focus is on getting the West Coast Training Centre up and running,” she said.
Oake said she plans to continue working on the growth of recreation and leisure in the town.
The other new council member to the table, who placed in fifth place amongst the councillor candidates is Justin House, who finished the night with 1,172 votes.
The other two defeated candidates were Arch Locke with 984 votes and Melvin Pollard with 753 votes.
The town of Stephenville had one poll with 18 polling divisions, 4,162 eligible voters in a population of 6,719 with a 45.4 per cent voter turnout in comparison to 49.86 per cent in the 2009 municipal election.