Municipal government in Pictou County is filled with a sea of news faces for the next four years.
Dan MacGillivray is the new mayor of Stellarton. He narrowly defeated incumbent Joe Gennoe with 885 votes, compared to Gennoe’s 850 during province-wide municipal elections on Saturday.
“It feels really good,” MacGillivray said. “We worked really hard for this, and I’m happy with the results.”
MacGillivray’s previous venture into politics was in the 2006 provincial election when he contested Pictou Centre.
“I’ve always been interested in politics,” he said.
His council will consist of one incumbent and three newcomers.
Simon Lawand was returned in Ward I with 715 votes, while Bryan Knight also was elected with 606 votes. Susan Campbell with 506 votes won in Ward II, as did former council member Gary Pentz, who polled 466 votes.
Meanwhile, nine members are returning to Pictou County Municipal Council.
Two of the key contests were in reconfigured districts where sitting members were required to compete against each other.
David Parker was elected in the new District 7 with 413 votes, while former District 8 representative Leonard Fraser received 261 votes.
Sitting deputy warden Andy Thompson won the other battle of sitting members by winning District 11 with 351 votes, just 21 more than Scott Johnston. Cathy Kenny received 106 votes in the district.
Warden Ronald Baillie won personal re-election in District 4 with 421 votes, compared to 179 for Harvey Henderson and 159 for Mae MacKenzie.
Baillie’s return as warden is uncertain due to the system used that allows council members to elect their warden and deputy warden.
Elsewhere, Darla MacKeil, who won a special election last spring, was re-elected in District 3 with 450 votes, compared to 315 for Kent Corbett and 87 for Tom Hahn.
Debi Wadden was re-elected in District 2 with 531 votes, while challenger Matt Weir had 239 votes.
Larry Turner was returned to council in District 8 with 366 votes, while challenger Ben MacLean received 207 votes.
Randy Palmer also returns to council after winning District 10 with 485 votes, while Brenda Scully polled 209 votes.
Two other members – Robert Parker in District 6 and Chester Dewar in District 12 – were elected by acclamation.
Wayne Murray returned to council after an eight-year absence by winning District 5 with 510 votes. Debbie Shaw Weatherbie had 172 votes and Mike Sangster had 27.
Newcomers include Don Butler in District 1 by taking 502 votes to Don Stewart’s 302 and Peter Boyles who defeated incumbent Jamie Baillie by one vote, 256 top 255. Barb Weir had 155 votes.
Pictou will be ushering in a whole new council.
Newcomer Jim Ryan was selected as mayor with 645 votes to Shawn McNamara’s 498 votes and Cam Beaton’s 412 votes.
The council make up is all new faces as well.
Dan Currie, who served as mayor a number of years ago, garnered 1,023 votes, with Nadine LeBlanc coming in with 908 votes, Malcolm Houser 829 and Eric Daley 817 votes.
Ryan was celebrating with his family after hearing the news.
“I’m excited, I feel pretty good,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to this council, it’s all fantastic people …”
Ryan noted he had high hopes going into the election and feels his leadership and communication skills were what put him over.
New Glasgow had a close race for mayor with Henderson Paris and Nancy Dicks going head to head.
Dicks came through with 103 votes more than Paris, both of which surpassed Ken Langille and Mark Firth’s numbers by more than 1,000.
“It feels really good that hard work paid off,” Dicks said. “We had a great team, and everything we did, we did to the best of our abilities. I’m very happy for the team.”
The council will consist of veteran councillor Troy MacCulloch and newcomer John Guthro in Ward 1; veterans Clyde Fraser and Jack Lewis, both returning in Ward 2; and newcomers Joe MacDonald and Frank Proudfoot for Ward 3.
Citizens in Westville voted to stay the course. All town councillors were acclaimed. Three people ran for mayor.
Incumbent Roger MacKay maintained a comfortable lead all night over the other two candidates. MacKay had 872 votes while Pat Ryan had 212 and Alvah Mayo was in third place with 51 votes.
“Democracy is what it’s about,” MacKay said of his competition. “Mr. Mayo and Mr. Ryan put their names forward and I applaud them for doing that. I believe it just showed the hard work that I’ve done in campaigning and it showed in the end result.”
This will mark MacKay’s third term as mayor of Westville.
The town of Trenton welcomed Shannon MacInnis as their new mayor. As well as welcoming a new mayor, town residents voted in nearly an entirely new council except for returning Councillor Don Hussher.
Accompanying Hussher on council will be VJ Earle as deputy mayor because he had the highest number of votes out of all the councillor candidates. Alec Dove and Steven Stewart are the other two councillors elected to the council elect.
“It was nerve wracking but satisfying,” said MacInnins about the close race for mayor this year. The new council will be sworn in on November 8, 2016.
Read additional coverage in Wednesday’s edition of The Advocate.
PHOTOS: From the top: Stellarton’s Danny MacGillivray with family and friends; Pictou’s Jim Ryan with family; New Glasgow’s Nancy Dicks (centre) with supporters; Westville’s Roger MacKay; and Trenton’s Shannon MacInnis with family and friends.