White Rock mayor-elect Darryl Walker gets a congratulatory hug after topping the polls Saturday evening. (Alex Browne photo)

Democracy Direct wins council majority: ‘We have to give the city back to the people of White Rock’

Two independent incumbent councillors – Father and Chesney – top polls

Democracy Direct’s Darryl Walker has been elected mayor of White Rock, and all four of his running mates and two independent incumbents have been elected councillors, according to unofficial results.

“I’m delighted for two reasons,” Walker told Peace Arch News at a celebration at his home. “The people in this community have worked their butts off – my fellow candidates and 50 (volunteers). I’m happy for the people of White Rock and glad that they put their trust in myself and the other candidates.

“Now comes the sticky part. We have to complete our promises and give the city back to the people of White Rock.”

Polls closed at 8 p.m. for the 2018 civic election.

With all seven ‘tabulators’ counted just before 9 p.m. – and 6,276 votes counted – unofficial results show mayoral candidate Walker with 30.19% of the vote, followed by independent Mike Peace with 27.61%. They are followed by White Rock Coalition incumbent councillor Grant Meyer (21.15%), independent Judy Higginbotham (13.04%), independent Tom Bryant (4.47%) and Garry Wolgemuth (3.54%).

Leading six councillor candidates are: independent incumbent Helen Fathers (8.44%), independent incumbent David Chesney (7.50%), Democracy Direct’s Christopher Trevelyan (7.08%), Democracy Direct’s Erika Johanson (6.44%), Democracy Direct’s Scott Kristjanson (6.10%) and Democracy Direct’s Anthony Manning (5.61%).

Three White Rock Coalition incumbents – Megan Knight (5.31%), Bill Lawrence (5.13%) and Lynne Sinclair (4.95%) – were next but did not get elected.

Fathers and Chesney were among candidates, relatives and supporters at city hall to see the final tabulation of votes by chief electoral officer Sandy Bowden, including mail-in and advanced ballots.

Speaking as soon as the results were announced, Fathers said the outcome was “brilliant.”

“I’m very happy for the city,” she added. “The community has spoken.”

Chesney, who, with Fathers had often crossed swords with other members of the White Rock Coalition-dominated council during the last four years, noted that none of the coalition had regained a seat on council.

“White Rock has spoken,” he said. “Every single one of (the coalition) has been thrown to the curb. I think you could see it in the last few days of the campaign. They were polling all along and they were getting desperate – they knew they were in a tailspin. Good riddance.”

Democracy Direct candidates expressed surprise at their win at Walker’s celebration, but said they felt they had been given a clear mandate.

“White Rock is the big winner here,” Kristjanson told PAN. “I’m shocked surprised and delighted – we can have the city back, we can have clean water, we can slow down development and we can have an OCP that is written by the people for the residents. We want to make sure it works for developers and make sure it works for the people.”

“It’s a great (result) for White Rock,” said Johanson, who said the victory had been a long time coming. “It’s been a hard struggle of two years for me, first with the Democracy Direct Society and then with Democracy Direct White Rock.”

“The residents have given us a clear message – they don’t like the way the city is going and they want a vision,” Manning told PAN.

“That starts with our platform,” said Trevelyan, who had earlier been the only one of the Democracy Direct candidates waiting for results at city hall.

“I’m surprised. I think this was a vote for real change and dramatic change in this city,” he said, shortly after the results were announced.

The polling stations closed at 8 p.m. at the three White Rock polling stations at Centennial Arena, the White Rock Community Centre and the Kent Street Activity Centre. By shortly after 9 p.m. the results were clear.

The race for mayor was between Tom Bryant (independent); Judy Higginbotham (former 25-year Surrey councillor and former federal Liberal candidate); Grant Meyer (White Rock Coalition, incumbent councillor); Mike Pearce (independent, former mayor of Penticton and Quesnel); Darryl Walker (Democracy Direct White Rock) and Garry Wolgemuth (independent).

With six councillors to be elected, candidates included Michael Armstrong (independent), Moti Bali (independent), David Chesney (incumbent, independent), Helen Fathers (incumbent, independent), Andy Gibney (independent), Heather Hildred (independent), Erika Johanson (Democracy Direct White Rock), Zachary Johnson (independent), Ernie Klassen (White Rock Coalition), Megan Knight (incumbent, White Rock Coalition) and Scott Kristjanson (Democracy Direct White Rock).

Also on the ballot are Christian Lane (independent), Bill Lawrence (incumbent, White Rock Coalition), Fiona Macdermid (independent), Anthony Manning (Democracy Direct White Rock), Mia Pedersen (independent), Jeffery Simpson (independent), Lynne Sinclair (incumbent, White Rock Coalition), Balbir Thind (White Rock Coalition), Christopher Trevelyan (Democracy Direct White Rock), Ken Wushke (independent) and Nerissa Yan (White Rock Coalition).

MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2018 RESULTS
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White Rock councillors-elect, Democracy Direct’s Christopher Trevelyan, Erika Johanson, Anthony Manning and Scott Kristjanson, celebrate at mayor-elect Darryl Walker’s home. (Alex Browne photo)

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