New Mayor for Strathmore
Michael Ell was elected as Strathmore's new mayor beating out incumbent Steve Grajczyk 1,513 to 1,022.
Monday’s municipal elections had a few interesting turns as there was a large voter turn out, two new incoming councillors, and the residents elected Michael Ell as the new Mayor for the town of Strathmore.
“I just got the news, I’m quite excited and surprised and humbled. It’s amazing that they would think that much of me to have that confidence in me,” said Ell.
Now that the dust from the campaign trail has settled, the real work begins at the next town meeting; where the mayor and councillors will take on their first order of business.
“Well one of the things I want to do is sit down with all of the council and administration, I want find out what our priorities are and where we are situated... We need to find out those things so we can do some planning. I want sit down and start listening to people so we know where we need to go,” said Ell.
Throughout the campaign, he gained perspective into the concerns of the residents.
“I was pleased with what the people were saying to me while I was doing my door knocking and talking with them. I was getting a lot of encouragement and ideas from them. I was really pleased with what the people had to say,” said Ell.
Ell campaigned on fiscal responsibility, reporting expenses publicly, lobbying for extended care for the seniors, communication with community groups and neighbouring municipalities, and informed planning.
Ell was a mayoral candidate during the 2010 elections and was runner up with 736 votes.
There was a large turn out for Monday night’s election, voters showed up in droves to show support for their favourite candidates. Many were turned away after the 8 p.m. deadline.
“There were many times today that it was clean out the front door and past the sidewalk. It was very busy right through, sometimes during day it slowed down a bit but there was people throughout the whole day. Tonight was really busy from 6 p.m. on. ,”said Dwight Stanford, Chief Administrative Officer for the town.
Although the results are unofficial, returning and new councillors can celebrate a victory well deserved. Incumbents returning to council are Pat Fule, Bob Sobol, Rocky Blokland, and John Rempel. New councillor’s Denise Peterson and Brad Walls will also serve for this new term.
The total votes went to Pat Fule with 1888, Brad Walls with 1520, Denise Peterson with 1362,Bob Sobol with 1252, Rocky Blokland with 1148, John Rempel with 1008.
Dave Hamilton was the closest to council cutoff with 983, Mark Giesbrecht with 968, Doug Clarke with 903, Telisa Tebutt with 796, Alan Auger with 597, Robert Antonisse with 426, and John M. Whieldon with 418.
The incumbents and candidates had put in many hours speaking to various groups around town and participated in two forums, one hosted by the Strathmore Standard, speaking on their respective platforms.
Another familiar name, Brad Walls, will be returning to council after a three-year hiatus. “I’m very humbled and honored to be back at the table working for the citizens of Strathmore. There is a ton of people I need to thank; the voters, my campaign team who put in a lot of work and to them I owe a huge thank you, and my family for all their support,” said Walls. “I was really impressed with the response from the citizen’s as they seemed to be very embracing to hear I was running again.”
He said the first area of priority is the budget and would like to begin as soon as possible to get the town on the right track.
“The first area I’d like to tackle is to trim the budget, and I’d like to start working on that with the new council and see what the previous council was thinking and working with administration to make that a high priority,” said Walls.
Stay tuned to the Strathmore Standard and StrathmoreStandard.com for features on all of this term's council.