Jim Parsons is to be commended on the victory and both he and Charles Pender deserve praise for the quality and organization behind their efforts to win the popular vote in Corner Brook.
The campaign was a battle, yes, but it was also the most high profile campaigning this city has likely ever seen. To see interest such as this at the municipal level — which often takes a backseat to provincial and federal campaigns — was invigorating. We should also be thankful technology kept us abreast of every move and the candidates remained accessible and always eager.
This is not to say there wasn't some minor pettiness or silly accusations during the campaign as politics always brings out the worst in the people. Thankfully it never got out of hand and we weren't forced into the gutter for weeks of mudslinging.
True to Corner Brook history, an incumbent mayor was not to be. And, whether the people of Corner Brook had real issues with Pender's leadership or they felt a change just as good as the rest, the trend of booting out mayors continued.
Now, Parsons has his work cut out for him. He is taking over the same city, with the same challenges and the same exodus of youth. He inherited a stagnant economy and a shrinking tax base. He has to contend with the same struggles as most Newfoundland towns, albeit in a time where the next economic saviour doesn't seem to be around any corners.
It is a tough job he has ahead. But, given the campaign and the thought put into it, he appears to be up to that challenge.
His greatest challenge now won't be the individual projects of initiatives of the city but working with his team on council to govern and not appease, to maintain vision into a horizon that spans well beyond the few weeks of a campaign.
He's lucky to have some fine people on council to make it work, including enough succession in returning councillors to draw on the background needed.
Let's hope we see all those sitting around the table offer their owner perspectives without fear, leave their differences in the chamber and make decisions that are researched, unbiased and have the greater good of the city at heart.