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Toyota returns for fourth term

Creston Mayor Ron Toyota will be working with three incumbents and three new councillors.
Creston Mayor Ron Toytoa returns for fourth term. (Photo submitted)

Creston Mayor Ron Toyota will be working with three incumbents and three new councillors on a Town Council that will be overseeing construction of a new fire hall, voters decided in Saturday’s municipal election and referendum.

The referendum to borrow for new fire hall won handily, by a margin of 1298 to 874, after about 60 percent of voters defeated a similar borrowing proposal previously.

Toyota is returned for a fourth term, but by his narrowest margin. He captured 972 votes, according to Stacey Hadley, Chief Elections Officer. He defeated former Town of Creston manager Bill Hutchinson, who had a reported 907 votes. Newcomer Mary Jayne Blackmore finished a distant third with 355 votes.

Retired Conservation Officer Arnold De Boon will be serving his first term on Town Council. He topped the voting, tallying 1267 votes. Ellen Tzakis, a vocal anti-referendum candidate, finished second with 1204 votes. Three incumbent Town Councillors have also been re-elected. Jen Comer (1191), Jim Elford (1190) and Karen Unruh (1120) have been returned for another four-year term. All were unequivocal in their support of the fire hall borrowing referendum, as were Toyota and De Boon. The six-person Town Council will be rounded out by businessman Jim Karountzos, who served as a Town Councillor more than a decade ago. He picked up 987 votes.

“I look forward to working with this Council so that we can keep up the momentum of change that we have accomplished in the last 10 years,” Toyota said on Saturday night. “I am disappointed, of course, to lose Councillor Joanna Wilson, who has been part of the three very positive terms in which I have been honoured to be mayor.”

The voting counts are unofficial until declared otherwise by Hadley.