By Chad Ingram
Published Oct. 25 2018
Brent Devolin won himself a second term at the helm of Minden Hills council during Monday’s municipal elections.
Devolin who was first elected to council as mayor in 2014 received a total of 1720 votes according to unofficial results from the township besting competitors Wayne Hancock and Jarrett Campbell who garnered totals of 1375 and 662 respectively.
“First really municipal elections are too darn long” Devolin said in council chambers following his win. “Elections as an incumbent are a humbling experience.”
Of runner-up Hancock Devolin said “He ran a hard campaign which I was acutely aware of.” He said Hancock had touched on some issues “that will be considered by the future term of council including myself.”
Central to Hancock’s campaign was criticism that Minden Hills council has given a contract of up to $10 million for a reconstruction of the arena and community centre to a sole bidder a criticism that has been voiced by many residents of the township.
Devolin said he was excited to work with the new council which he was happy to see includes a mixture of experienced councillors and new political blood.
Longtime Ward 1 Councillor Lisa Schell will be the township’s new deputy mayor. Veteran Deputy Mayor Cheryl Murdoch did not seek re-election.
Schell who has served three terms as a ward councillor told the paper she was excited about her new role on Haliburton County council. The upper-tier council of the county includes the mayors and deputy mayors of each of its four lower-tier municipalities.
“I am honoured to have an opportunity to sit at the county council table and look forward to working with leaders from the three other municipalities” Schell told the Times . “After hearing questions from residents I think it’s time to investigate whether there would be any benefit to amalgamation. It would be nice to either move on the process or put the idea to bed if it’s not economically feasible. I think we owe [it] to the residents of the county to have the conversation.”
Ward 1 has two seats at the council table and Schell’s counterpart during the current council term has been Councillor Jeanne Anthon who also did not seek re-election.
That left the two Ward 1 seats with no incumbents and six competitors.
New Ward 1 councillors will be Jennifer Hughey who received 1131 votes and Bob Carter who received 1101.
Dwight Thomas was next with a total of 760 votes; Clayton Cameron with 422; Richard Bradley with 359; and Rob Luke with 183.
In Ward 2 incumbent Pam Sayne reclaimed her seat beating competitor Mike Grozelle 686 votes to 240.
It was a much tighter race in Ward 3 where incumbent Jean Neville reclaimed her seat with 309 votes over 282 cast for contender Russ Duhaime. The upcoming term will be the third for Neville.
The race for the councillor-at-large chair was also a close one with incumbent Ron Nesbitt besting competitor John Teljeur. Nesbitt received 1829 votes to Teljeur’s 1778. The new council term will mark Nesbitt’s second.
Most of the candidates their supporters and members of the public gathered in Minden Hills council chambers to watch the results come in Monday night. With polls closing at 8 p.m. unofficial results came in just after 10:30 p.m.