Kings County, N.B.

The majority of voters in Kings County were against forming a rural community. (Google Maps)

Five local service districts in Kings County have rejected the idea of forming a rural community.

A rural community is not quite a town but something more than a local service district with a mayor and council members.

The results of a plebiscite held yesterday found 1,422 voters in Cardwell, Hammonds, Studholm, Sussex and Waterford elected to keep the status quo.

Only 433 people voted in favour of incorporation.

"Government, since they formed the regions here in the province, have downloaded responsibilities and they always told us, 'We're in charge of taxes, you people will supply the services.' And rightfully so," said Leroy Armstrong, who chaired the group against changes to the municipal structure.

"So at the end of the day, they were downloading responsibilities into the regions and you had no one to go to but the region.

"The minister would not talk to us, so having said that, the same would have happened in this situation — the people in local areas would not have any say, it would be run by the council and the mayor."

Meanwhile, the majority of voters in Cocagne elected to band together and form a rural community.

The final count was 806 in favour of incorporation, with 341 against.

The New Brunswick government is encouraging local service districts to merge with neighbouring communities.

Eight by-elections were also held for council seats across the province Monday.

The newest member of Fredericton city council is John MacDermid who captured the Ward 10 seat, defeating Owen Marshall 476 votes to 295.

In Perth-Andover, there was a tie. David Hoyt and Cindy McLaughlin each received 163 votes while Alton Morrell got 106. A recount is now being organized.

There were six other byelections for council seats around the province. The winners were:

  • Andrew Hawkes, Blackville
  • France Hache, Bertrand
  • Janice Savoie, Kedgwick
  • Conrad Godin, Ste-Marie-St-Raphaël
  • Pierre Ouelette, Saint-François-de-Madawaska
  • Luc Levasseur, Rivière-Verte