Peter Busse is Lillooet’s new mayor, defeating incumbent Marg Lampman by 460 votes (53.9 per cent) to 394 votes (46.1 per cent).
Busse is a retired mining engineer and executive who has lived in Lillooet for 13 years. This is his first venture into municipal politics; he previously served on a school board in northern Ontario.
The mayor-elect told the News he felt much different the day after the election than he did on election day.
“It’s encouraging to know that I’ve attained the position and that I have the support. It’s definitely different. I’m buoyed and happy with the outcome and I really appreciate the support,” stated Busse. “I don’t take anything for granted.”
He added that his next steps would include meeting with “a myriad of people – obviously the elected council and staff. I don’t intend to make any pronouncements until after that.”
Busse said he also hoped to focus on gaining support regionally and provincially, but was not sure if he could do all that prior to council’s swearing-in on Nov. 5.
“It’s not only locally that I have to contact people. There are a number of people I want to meet with in the next short while and take my guidance from that when I meet with council.”
He concluded, “I’m so appreciative of the people who lent their support and voted. I certainly won’t let them down.”
Marg Lampman was seeking a second term as mayor after four terms as a councillor.
The News spoke with Lampman on Sunday, Oct. 21. “It’s been a pleasure to serve the community of Lillooet the past four years,” said Lampman. ”We’ve come a long way and I wish the community well.”
In the race for the four Councillor positions, incumbent Laurie Hopfl topped the polls with 679 votes (79.5 per cent), followed by another incumbent, Barb Wiebe, who received 630 votes (73.8 per cent). Political newcomers Jen Leach (576 votes and 67.4 per cent) and Jamie Longhurst-Howe (458 votes and 53.6 per cent) will also serve on council.
Other council candidates were: Vera Busse – 284 votes or 33.3 per cent
Former mayor Ted Anchor – 182 votes or 21.3 per cent
Norman O’Connell – 182 votes or 21.3 per cent
Bonnie Rounds – 151 votes or 17,7 oer cent
Ken Rhodes – 70 votes or 8.2 per cent
Incumbent school trustee Orra Storkan was re-elected for a second term on the School District 74 (Gold Trail) Board of Education. She received 636 votes (75.2 per cent), defeating challenger Carl Pawlychka, who received 209.
A longtime advocate for parents and students, Storkan was first elected to the Board of Education in an April 2017 by-election.
“I’m excited to be the trustee again and I look forward to the next four years,” she told the News Oct. 21.
“During the campaign, I did meet with a lot of people. I did hear their concerns and frustrations. I know that communication is an issue for the board and I will continue to push for improvement and better relations in this area. As always, I’m available and I appreciate hearing from the community and they can reach out to me at any time.”
She added that she felt she had an advantage in the campaign because she’s well-known in the community “and people understand the work I’ve done over the past 25 years. I thought they would appreciate it and I’m glad they did.”
There were 854 votes cast in the District of Lillooet Council election. The total votes cast in the School Board election were 845. Total eligible voters were approximately 1,800.
A winner was not declared in the race for Area A Electoral Director on the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District until later on Sunday, Oct. 21.
The victor was John Courchesne with 67 votes. Karen Playfair was runner-up with 43 votes and Allan Moritz received eight votes.
Voters in Area A cast ballots in Gold Bridge and in Lillooet.
The SLRD posted on its website Saturday night that it needed to collect and combine the Lillooet ballots with the Gold Bridge ballots. “The SLRD recognizes the importance of determining the preliminary election results for the Electoral Area A Director but at the same time the importance of maintaining the secrecy of the ballots cast in Lillooet must be taken into account.”