Although both had to overcome significant challenges from first-time candidates, the incumbent West Perth/Perth South/Town of St. Marys school board trustees in both the Avon Maitland and Huron-Perth Catholic systems emerged victorious in Monday’s municipal election.
St. Marys resident Lynette Geddes, seeking her second term, topped the polls in all three municipalities, but Wildwood-area resident Elizabeth Clifford wasn’t very far behind in any of them. Geddes’ largest margin of victory was in West Perth, where she earned 993 votes to Clifford’s 682. In Perth South, the margin was 517-485; in St. Marys, it was 845 votes for Geddes versus 777 for Clifford.
Twenty-eight year veteran Catholic trustee Bernard Murray, originally of the Gore of Downie but now retired from farming and living in Stratford, was able to keep his seat for what he says will be his final term.
Challenger Teresa Ann De Wetering was triumphant in her home municipality of West Perth, capturing 258 votes to Murray’s 246. But Murray earned slightly more votes in the two other jurisdictions: 120-68 in Perth South and 152-130 in St. Marys.
All results are unofficial.
Rates of voter turn-out remained roughly equal in both St. Marys and Perth South, compared to the previous municipal election in 2010. In St. Marys, this year’s turn-out was 54.86 per cent of eligible voters; in Perth South, this year’s rate was 45.47 per cent of eligible voters.
The voter turn-out this year in Zorra Township was 48.41 per cent of eligible voters; in Thames Centre this year, it was 50.9 per cent of eligible voters.
St. Marys advance poll
As election-watchers awaited the final results of Monday’s Town of St. Marys elections at the Pyramid Centre, the first numbers to show up on the screen were from the Oct. 25 advance poll. And they provided what turned out to be a fairly accurate preview of what was to come.
Al Strathdee, eventually elected as Mayor, earned 279 votes to incumbent Steve Grose’s 82.
Among councillor candidates, newcomer Jim Craigmile topped the advance polling with 234 votes, followed closely by veteran incumbent Bill Osborne — who eventually topped the overall vote count — with 228. In the race for sixth place, meanwhile, incumbent Tony Winter was behind challenger Al Tucker by 11 votes. Winter ultimately won.