St. Stephen is a small town with a big interest in municipal politics, based on Monday night’s election results.
Nearly 60 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots, electing a new mayor and a mostly new council, with the exception of one incumbent.
John Quartermain was elected mayor of the southwestern town with 813 votes.
His challengers, Robert Tinker and Kenneth Parker had 588 votes and 393 votes respectively.
Outgoing mayor Jed Purcell did not offer for re-election.
Quartermain was elected as a councillor in 2008, but resigned in March 2009, along with then-councillor Parker in frustration over trying to get information from the town’s chief administrative officer.
The chief administrative officer, Hendrik Slegtenhorst, left the town later that year.
There were 19 candidates seeking six councillor positions this year.
John Ames earned the most votes among the council candidates at 976.
The other new councillors include:
- Allan Maceachern, 897
- Margaret Harding, 717
- R. Michael Booth, 603
- Debbie (Gullison) MacDonald, 598
Jim Maxwell, who was the deputy mayor, was the only incumbent to get re-elected with 529 ballots, just a handful more than his closest competitor, Kenneth Chase, who got 516.
Incumbents Gavin Toumishey, Ralph Williams and Barbara Ellen Donovan failed in their bids to return to council.
A total of 1,816 ballots were cast. About 4,817 people live in St. Stephen.
Some residents have expressed concerns about the cost of operating the estimated $20-million Garcelon Civic Centre, slated to open next year.
The town's tax rate is already $1.58 per $100, up 1.5 cents from 2011.
Quispamsis council mostly incumbents
In Quispamsis, it will be business as usual, with the same mayor and six incumbent councillors getting re-elected Monday.
Murray Driscoll earned a second term as mayor with 3,161 ballots.
His only challenger, Beth Fitzpatrick, got 1,655 votes.
Driscoll, a retired teacher, was elected to council in 2001 and served two terms as mayor before becoming mayor.
The councillors include:
- Libby O'Hara, 3,010
- Gary Clark, 2,936
- Beth Thompson, 2,723
- Emil Olsen, 2,667
- J. Pierre Rioux, 2,468
- Lisa Loughery, 2,412
Kirk Miller, the only newcomer, received 2,244 votes.
Daryl Bishop was the only incumbent who failed to get re-elected, with 2,148 votes.
Nearly 39 per cent of eligible voters went to the polls, casting 4,931 ballots.
Some of the recent big projects in Quispamsis have included construction of the Qplex and Kings Way Care Centre, a nursing home.
St. Martins returns to elected council
St. Martins has a fully acclaimed council and will soon be released from provincial supervision.
Last year, the New Brunswick government had to appoint a supervisor for the southern village after two members of the four-person council died while in office.
The town no longer had a quorum to hold meetings.
Bette Ann Chatteron, who was a member of the previous council, will serve as the new mayor.
Jason Garnett, Preston MacDonald and James Moran have all been acclaimed as councillors.
Jim Huttges, who was mayor, and long-time councillor Mike Gilchrist both died.