Bill Lawrence

White Rock elects Bill Lawrence

City businessman beats eight other candidates for lone councillor position.

Bill Lawrence is White Rock’s newest city councillor.

City officials announced unofficial results of Saturday’s vote at 8:42 p.m., just 42 minutes after the polls closed.

Lawrence will take the seat formerly held by longtime-councillor Mary-Wade Anderson, who died at age 84 on June 26, while serving her fifth term representing the city.

Nine candidates had vied for the seat (in finishing order): Lawrence (620 votes), Dave Chesney (490), Megan Knight (482), Pat Petrala (233), Grant O’Kane (165), Graham Wood (99), Bruce McWilliam (90), Scott Kristjanson (45) and Tom Willman (28).

Voter turnout – at 15 per cent – was slightly lower than that seen in the city’s last byelection, held in 2009 to fill the seat left vacant following James Coleridge’s removal from office by the B.C. Supreme Court. That year, voter turnout was 16 per cent.

In advance byelection polls, held Oct. 24 and 30, 374 votes were cast. Thirty-seven ballots were filled out during a special mobile vote on Oct. 29.

In total, 2,252 votes were cast.

Lawrence owns two city businesses, the Sandpiper Pub on Marine Drive and Sandpiper Liquor Store on Johnston Road.

In an all-candidates questionnaire for Peace Arch News during the campaign, Lawrence listed his top three issues as: replace/upgrade infrastructure; property taxes and future development.

He also advised he would be focusing on revenue-generating alternatives to current pay-parking policies, property-tax credits for seniors on fixed incomes, and festivals.

“Council needs representation from small business in White Rock,” he wrote. “Advantages include getting the point of view from one of the important sectors within our community… the business owners. Second, I bring experience from a large multinational company and that from a grass roots small business employing people within the community.”

Official byelection results will be declared on Nov. 7.

Candidates have until Nov. 12 to take down their election signs.

The 2012 byelection was projected to cost the city $40,000. The final tab has not yet been calculated.

More to come…


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