There will be some familiar voices and new ones at the Penticton Indian Band council table in the new year along with some surprising absences.
On Wednesday, the band held an election to select eight councillors to join Chief John Kruger for the next four years. Kruger was re-elected to his position in a separate election on Oct. 24.
Caxasket Joseph Pierre, who was elected as the band’s youngest councillor in 2008, was returned to his seat at the table, leading the polls with 165 votes.
“Elections are a very humbling experience and I would like to thank my community for re-electing me for another four years,” said Pierre in a message posted to Facebook, adding that he was surprised and happy to have received such strong support. “I am very happy to be able to continue the work I have been doing.”
But Joan Phillip, wife of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, is not returning to the council table, nor is Laurie Wilson, who held the social development portfolio. Joan Gabriel, who held the health and wellness portfolio, chose not to run for re-election.
Newcomers Clint George (160), Dolly Kruger (142) and Smukaxen Inez Pierre (139) will be joining Pierre at the council table, along with Travis Kruger (161), Tim Lezard (137), Clinton Gabriel (128) and Kevin Gabriel (124).
At the band’s councillor nomination meeting on Oct. 30, 15 people accepted nominations but three withdrew before polling, leaving a field of 12 candidates.