By Brian Lawrence
Following a judicial recount, Coun. Joanna Wilson has been re-elected to Creston town council, moving five votes past Jim Karountzos, who initially won a seat in the Oct. 20 municipal election.
In the initial council vote, Wilson placed seventh with 979 votes, eight behind Karountzos’s 987. Twelve votes were added to her total in the recount, with none added to or taken from Karountzos — the only council candidate whose total stayed the same.
Approved by Judge Lynal Doerksen in Creston Law Courts on Wednesday, the recount began at 9:30 a.m. in the council chambers, overseen by Creston chief elections officer Stacey Hadley, assisted by Donna Cassel and Marsha Neufeld. The council results announced nearly 11 hours later.
Just after 4:30 p.m., Doerksen announced the final results of the mayoral election, with Wilson, councillor-elect Ellen Tzakis, council candidates Dallas Magrum and Debbie Cherkas, and mayor candidate Bill Hutchinson present. That election retained its original outcome, with Ron Toyota remaining Creston’s mayor with 970 votes (two less than Oct. 20), followed by Hutchinson with 912 (five more) and Mary Jayne Blackmore with 355 (unchanged).
At the same time, Doerksen also announced the recounted results of the fire hall borrowing referendum, which added three yes votes for a total of 1,301, and also added 11 no votes for a total of 885.
With the council race, all totals other than Karountzos’s changed by at least two votes. The final totals for the successful councillors to be inaugurated Nov. 6 are: Arnold DeBoon, 1,278 (originally 1,267); Tzakis, 1,213 (1,204); Jen Comer, 1,201 (1,191); Jim Elford 1,199 (1,190); Karen Unruh 1,124 (1,120); and Wilson, 992 (979). The unsuccessful candidates’ totals were: Jim Karountzos, 987 (originally 987); Karen Goforth, 898 (900); Trish Drinkle, 879 (881); Cherkas, 785 (786); and Magrum, 606 (609).