Campbell River’s new mayor

Mayor-elect left with no time to dawdle

Election: Andy Adams has to get right to work after winning mayor’s seat on Saturday

It’s been only four days since Andy Adams learned he will become Campbell River’s new mayor, but already the three-term councillor has to get down to business.

Adams said with the municipal election being in mid-November that doesn’t leave council –  which will be full of new faces – with much time to identify its strategic priorities and prepare for financial planning which usually begins in December.

“With the election being late in the year, the timeframe for strategic planning and financial planning is really compressed so we need to bond the team very quickly and get to work,” Adams said.

The veteran councillor, who has served nine years on Campbell River council, gave up his councillor seat to take a run at the mayor’s chair. The risk paid off Saturday when Adams was elected mayor, garnering 4,370 votes. Adams unseated current mayor Walter Jakeway who finished second with 4,249 votes. Steve Wood came third in the mayoral race with 598 votes.

At an election reception at Seymour Pacific Saturday night, after Adams learned his fate, the mayor-elect thanked all of those who ran for council, and specifically thanked Jakeway for his years of service.

Jakeway said he was not “disappointed at all” with how things turned out.

“I could not have achieved my vision for Campbell River with the council elected, so I’d rather do something more enjoyable,” Jakeway said. “It would have been four years of agony. Being mayor is off my bucket list forever.”

Campbell Riverites elected an eclectic mix of councillors, and none were a part of the CHOICE group that Jakeway was supporting.

Former councillor and mayor Charlie Cornfield led the way with 4,286 votes, followed by Michele Babchuk – the outgoing chair of School District 72’s board of education – with 4,056 votes. Also elected were incumbent Larry Samson with 4,047 votes, incumbent Ron Kerr with 3,571 votes, former owner of Beaver Lumber and Work World, Marlene Wright, with 3,455 votes and Colleen Evans, president of the Chamber of Commerce, with 3,144 votes.

Claire Moglove was the only incumbent running for re-election to not be returned to council. Councillors Mary Storry and Ryan Mennie (who moved to Alberta) did not run for re-election, which opened the door for at least two new councillors.

Adams said Saturday he is eager to work with the newly elected council, which he acknowledged is a good mix of people.

“It’s going to be what I was sort of hoping for and that’s a good cross section of people from different backgrounds, different experiences, some new and with Charlie (Cornfield) – and I say this in the kindest way possible – some recycled,” Adams said. “But I’m really looking forward to Charlie’s wealth of experience.

“We’ve got a good balance, with Michele (Babchuk) with her experience on school board, Colleen (Evans) from the chamber and her experience and professionalism, Marlene (Wright) from business, Charlie (Cornfield) with forestry and being mayor, Ron (Kerr) brings that social and arts and culture background which is critically important, and Larry (Samson) is a long-time Campbell River guy that has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the community,” Adams said. “So when you put all that together, it looks very good for Campbell River.”

Adams said the message from Campbell Riverites came through loud and clear.

“The people of Campbell River have very clearly stated that taxes and restrained spending is very important and I will hear that message loud and clear and will continue on being fiscally responsible and keeping things as constrained as they can be moving forward,” Adams said.

The mayor-elect said the first order of business will be to meet with all of the councillors.

“The one thing I’ve been saying all along is it’s not up to me,” Adams said. “I’m one of seven and so the first thing I want to get going is to sit down with each of the new members of council, find out what their passion is, what their strengths are, what they want to be directly involved in, if we’re going to get into portfolios, commissions or committees, and we need to do that very quickly.”

Adams said those discussions will lead into strategic planning which will set the new council’s strategic priorities for the next four years. He said no matter what happens, “it’s going to be a team decision.”

And speaking of teams, Adams credited his campaign team, made up of Bill Matthews, a former councillor and freeman of the city, and Roy Grant, who gave up his seat on council in 2011 to run for mayor, with a job well done.

“I had an excellent team. We had a plan and we moved it forward,” Adams said. “I’m very proud of the team. It was clean, it was professional, it was what we wanted to do.”

And last, but certainly not least, Adams recognized his wife Karen for all of her support.

“I couldn’t have done this without my wife, she has been absolutely incredible and amazing,” Adams said. “I’m a very lucky man.”

The new council will be sworn in at a council meeting Dec. 2.

 

Campbell River election results

 

Mayor:

Andy Adams- 4,370 votes (Elected)

Walter Jakeway- 4,249

Steve Wood- 598

 

Councillors:

Charlie Cornfield- 4,286 votes (Elected)

Michele Babchuk- 4,056 (Elected)

Larry Samson- 4,047 (Elected)

Ron Kerr- 3,571 (Elected)

Marlene Wright- 3,455 (Elected)

Colleen Evans- 3,144 (Elected)

Claire Moglove- 2,734

Jim Parnell- 2,702

Bob Bray- 2,676

Marcia McKay- 2,634

David Christian- 2,601

Les Lengyel- 2,425

Ziggy Stewart- 2,229

Andrea Craddock- 2,042

Daryn Striga- 1,533

Todd Jones- 657

Peter Klobucar- 366