Bob Maloney is Yorkton’s new Mayor.
Maloney, who was sworn in at a special meeting of Council Monday, won in what has to be termed a landslide victory polling 3,590 votes or 94.52 per cent of those cast, far outdistancing Richard Genaille who garnered 208 votes, or 5.48 per cent of those cast.
The voter turnout in the election was just shy of 27 per cent of estimated eligible voters in the city.
Maloney said the large margin of victory is not something he is going to let go to his head.
“I had a very inexperienced opponent … My head’s not going to get too big over this,” he noted of the 27-year-old Genaille. “… I congratulate him for putting his name in, and deciding to run.
The large margin of victory is not one Maloney believes will put added expectations on his term either.
“I don’t think there’s more pressure. All of us when we get into politics … know there are expectations,” he said, adding those who seek a spot on Council naturally “want to represent the community well.”
Maloney said he believes politicians put more pressure on themselves than what occurs based on the vote.
As for the campaign, Maloney said “it was very quiet.” In general terms he said voters he spoke too have been “happy with Council … Are happy with how things were going.”
At present the city is experiencing growth, and that has helped the voter mood, said Maloney, adding Council is not the reason for current expansion, but they do help expedite development.
“I think the growth would have come anyway … but a Council can set the table,” he said.
And the growth will be a focus of the next four years, suggested Maloney, managing it, and making sure it continues. He said he doesn’t see any major projects on the immediate horizon, but added that can change in a hurry, as was the case when the flood hit the city on July 1, 2010. That situation necessitated Council undertake a program to improve drainage in the city in preparation to deal with future heavy rain events.
Sitting Mayor James Wilson, who did not seek re-election to the top spot citing personal reasons, was among 10 seeking six spots on Council. He would lead the pack with 2857 votes.
The only new face in Council chambers for the new four-year term will be Randy Goulden.
Goulden has been a Councillor in the past, but lost her seat in a run for Mayor three years ago. She polled 2440 votes.
“There was a bit of a hiatus … One the voters of Yorkton asked me to take,” said Goulden with a smile after watching the poll results come in at City Hall election night (Oct. 24).
While failing at her attempt at the Mayor’s chair three years ago, Goulden said she received “a lot of encouragement to let my name stand again,” and the support carried forth to the ballot box.
Goulden said the three years away from Council may be a good thing as it has given her a different perspective of municipal politics, noting over the time she has continued to follow issues and received lots of comments from people.
“This is where people stop you on the street,” she said of municipal affairs, adding that gives Councillors a very quick response on their decisions.
Like Maloney, Goulden said the term ahead will be about how Yorkton grows.
“It’s managing the growth,” she said.
Joining Wilson and Goulden on Council are Chris Wyatt 2674 votes, Larry Pearen 2387, Les Arnelien 2105 and Ross Fisher 1953.
The lone incumbent not to be re-elected was Richard Okrainec who finished seventh with 1786 votes.
“It was a great experience. You get to meet so many different people as part of municipal government,” he said, adding he looks on his one three-year term on Council as a positive experience.
While not returning for a second term, Okrainec said the group which will make up Council will mean “the City is in just really great hands.”
It is also a group where all seven members have experience and that should mean the business of Council continues smoothly, offered Okrainec.
“I don’t think there will be a hiccup at all,” he said.
Rounding out the field were Arliss Dellow with 1699 votes, Robby Bear with 1496 and Aaron Nagy 985.