The City of Penticton has a new mayor and his name is Julius Bloomfield.
Bloomfield received the most votes with 3,374, well ahead of outgoing mayor John Vassilaki who only received 2,052 votes.
“I respect the people of Penticton for what they’ve done,” said Bloomfield on Saturday night. “I respect them for the trust that they’ve shown to me and I intend to repay that 110 per cent.”
New to politics community activist Jason Reynen was only 219 votes away from winning the mayor’s seat. The founder of Clean Streets Penticton received 3,155 votes.
“Congratulations to Jason for coming out of the gate like that with a very strong showing,” Bloomfield said on Reynen. “He’s got a future in politics.”
Bloomfield, a realtor, has served one term as a city councillor and ran on a campaign of taking a self-described more measured and thoughtful approach.
“The public expects change, and they’re just about demanding it from this vote,” Penticton’s new mayor said. “This was a very dramatic vote for change.
Crime, homelessness and affordable housing are the very first things Bloomfield says he wants to deal with as mayor.
“These are the very first things I want council focused on and get a strategic plan in place,” he said.
Five people were vying for the mayor’s chair. Penticton resident Owen Hayward received 826 votes and local businessman Corey Hounslow received 492.
Hayward, Hounslow and Reynen have no prior political experience.
Beyond the mayor’s chair, there has been a complete shake up around the council table. Voters clearly wanted to see change with only two incumbents keeping their seats.
Voters have chosen a much younger council as well.
Six councillors were voted in from a field of 16 candidates.
At the top of the council count is lawyer Amelia Boultbee with 5,618 of the votes, followed by incumbent James Miller who has 4,488 votes.
Next to recieve the highest votes is past Downtown Penticton BIA president Ryan Graham with 4,366.
Former councillor Helena Konanz got in with 3,673 votes and incumbent Campbell Watt with 3,653 votes. Isaac Gilbert will take the sixth seat at council with 3,309.
Around 8:40 p.m. election officials began counting and tallying the ballots at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, where a number of candidates were there waiting for the results.
All Penticton school trustees incumbents were re-elected:
Shelley Clarke topped the polls with 4,138 votes
James Palanio (4,043 votes)
Tracy Van Raes (4,061 votes)
Barb Sheppard (3,370 votes)
Two candidates were running to unseat a trustee; Kate Hansen and Lynn Kelsey.
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