If Terry Rysz’ enthusiasm is anything to go by, activity over the next three years in the Sicamous council chamber should be interesting – in a good way.
Rysz was still riding the high of election night when he was contacted Monday morning about the results that saw Darrell Trouton succeed Malcolm MacLeod as mayor, and himself, incumbents Fred Busch and Charlotte Hutchinson, Greg Kyllo and Joan Thomson serving on council.
A recount was required for the sixth council position, was Don Richardson’s in the unofficial tally with 376 votes, one more than Lynn Miller. A recount Tuesday afternoon put Richardson well over Miller with 424 votes.
Pleased with the mix in the slate of new candidates, Rysz is anxious to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
“One thing about having newbies on the council is that you’ve got that energy now,” says Rysz. “There was an incredible air of excitement at Greg Kyllo’s house the night we all got the word. The place was packed and everybody was high-fiving, and Greg even grabbed a hold of me and gave me a hug. He said, I’m going to give you a hug. That was amazing, that feeling of elation that we got the opportunity to maybe make a difference.”
With a somewhat more laid back tone, Trouton was obviously pleased with the results, and said he looks forward to bringing about changes with council and administration that will make them more accountable and reliable, to the public.
“I’m very confident that the council that we’re going in with over the next three years is going to make the changes needed to move our community forward and help us out of this,” said Trouton.
Asked about the implication made during the campaign that he was running to forward his own agenda, Trouton said that isn’t the case, and that he ran for the community as a whole.
“Sicamous is my home. My family is all here, my friends are all here,” said Trouton. “My personal agenda is to help my community. It’s hard to sit back and watch your community not do well.”
Kyllo, who received the most votes, said he was overwhelmed by the support he received. Impressed with the elected mix of mayor and council, Kyllo says the election results represent the electorate’s desire for change. What he found spurring this, in particular, was the new municipal hall, a building Kyllo appreciates, though he questions the political process behind it that saw council choose to borrow the necessary funds for a term of five years, thus removing the need to go to referendum.
“Well, I don’t think there’s a corporation in North America that would say it’s good fiscal policy to purchase a 50-year asset, a capital asset, and pay for it in five years,” said Kyllo. “Especially with the tough economic times that we’ve had the last three years. That’s the kind of a purchase that you finance over a long period of time”
One of the first orders of business for Kyllo, Rysz and Thomson, who was also elated with the support she received, is to establish an economic development committee that will work specifically for Sicamous.
Incumbents Charlotte Hutchinson and Fred Busch are both grateful and humbled to have received another opportunity to serve on council.
“It was a hard fought battle, I’m sure, but the people have spoken and now we need to put all that aside and work for the betterment of the community,” says Hutchinson of her election experience.
Busch says he’s sorry to have lost colleagues from the previous council, but he also looks forward to getting back to business with the new council. Busch recognized the election results as a desire for change, though he wasn’t entirely convinced it was warranted.
“But that’s the voters privilege, and we as elected officials, well, they’re the boss, so to speak, so we have to work with that and live with that,” says Busch.
The new mayor and council will be sworn in at a special meeting of council, to be held Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Sicamous’ official election results are as follows:
Council: Greg Kyllo – 697, Terry Rysz – 481, Charlotte Hutchinson – 474 , Fred Busch – 469, Joan Thomson – 423, Don Richardson – 424, Lynn Miller – 375, Terry Sinton – 346, Jerry Silva – 339, Diana Stooshnov – 287 and Kevin Kruger – 233.
In the race to represent Sicamous/Malakwa on the District #83 school board, Barry Chafe, with 609 votes, beat out Sharon Gibb with 317 votes.
Rhona Martin was acclaimed as Sicamous-Malakwa Area E director with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.