Election 2014: Oliver votes in new councillor

Town of Oliver: Hovanes wins mayor chair by acclamation, incumbents Doeer, Schwartzenberger and Bennest return and Veintimilla wins seat.

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes (left) in this file photo with former MLAs Bill Barisoff and John Slater looking at plans for the Frank Venables Theatre. Hovanes was acclaimed as mayor in the 2014 election.

Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes (left) in this file photo with former MLAs Bill Barisoff and John Slater looking at plans for the Frank Venables Theatre. Hovanes was acclaimed as mayor in the 2014 election.

Ron Hovanes is humbled by the fact he kept the mayor’s chair in Oliver by acclamation.

Hovanes said it’s a credit to the work done the last three years.

“I appreciate the fact that I’m going to be mayor for the next four years,” he said. “It’s been kind of a quiet election for me because I haven’t had to be out there campaigning everyday, which has been kind of nice. I look forward to the next four years.”

He’s also thrilled about his council, which includes incumbents Maureen Doerr, who received 837 votes, Larry Schwartzenberger, 758, and Jack Bennest 754. Incumbent David Mattes was not re-elected after receiving 721 votes. New to council is Petra Veintimilla, who got in with 899 votes, tops among all council members.

“Petra is young and energetic,” said Hovanes. “She worked very hard during the campaign. As much as we’re going to miss Dave Mattes, he was very much a part of our last council, a good part of our last council, I truly believe that we have a really strong council to move forward with.”

Voters also had a decision to make in a referendum on Frank Venables Theatre. They were in favour, 1,364-458 for the community to provide the administration and operation costs.

“That’s a wonderful complement to the theatre,” said Hovanes, adding that the difference in votes was almost the same percentage when they went to the electorate asking for the capital commitment for $3.8 million a few years ago. “It’s going to bode very well for the community. We probably have the nicest 400-seat theatre you are going to find anywhere. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The opportunity to bring it up to its full potential and to have some decent dollars towards the operation of the theatre is going to allow it to flourish.”

Also winning by acclamation were Andre Miller and Rick Machial for the water council.

Of the 3,724 eligible voters, 1,263 voted. That equals out to 33 per cent.