St. Marys Journal Argus
Results in the race for Mayor of Perth South in Monday’s municipal election turned out very similar to what happened in 2010. But with the number of candidates for six spots on Township Council — three each in the Blanshard and Downie Wards — increasing from seven to 14, it was pretty much impossible for those results to resemble the previous vote.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was former St. Marys Home Hardware owner Sam Corriveau topping the polls in Blanshard Ward in an election that saw two incumbent councillors — one each in Blanshard and Downie — fail to earn re-election.
Bob Wilhelm, a 14-year veteran on Perth South Council who served the last four years as Mayor, once again defeated Roger Fuhr for the top job. The two men battled for the same position in 2010, with Wilhelm coming out on top by 205 votes.
This time around, Wilhelm — who also served as Perth County Warden in 2014 — basically doubled his margin of victory. The owner of Ulch Transport in St. Marys and a Prospect Hill resident, he earned 979 votes to Fuhr’s 245.
Liz Armstrong was the Blanshard incumbent councillor who failed in her re-election bid. She placed fourth among the seven candidates in the ward, while Corriveau earned the most votes at 477.
In second and third place, meanwhile, were the two women who split the past four years as a Blanshard councillor. Cathy Barker was elected to the position in 2010, but stepped down in 2012 citing the dysfunctional nature of the council at that time. Melinda Zurbrigg was among the people who submitted their names to take over mid-term from Barker, and was selected by a vote of Council to fill out the remainder of the four-year term.
In Monday’s vote, Barker earned 450 votes, while Zurbrigg captured 435.
Over in Downie, Bill Adams suffered a similar fate as Armstrong, losing the seat he had held for four years. Adams earned 315 votes, which wasn’t enough to stay ahead of newcomer Bill Jeffrey, a farmer from Harmony. Jeffrey’s vote count was 362.
Atop the Downie Ward polls, meanwhile, was Jim Aitcheson with 543, followed by fellow incumbent Stuart Arkett at 408.
“The people of Perth South have made their wishes well known with the results, and I think they’ve chosen to continue on a path of strong fiscal management,” Wilhelm told the Journal Argus Tuesday.
“I believe we have a very strong set of elected councillors and I think everyone will bring something to the table and we’ll have a good working relationship, and see some positive outcomes over the next four years,” the newly re-elected mayor added.
Getting some industrial development started on James Street South is a priority, Wilhelm said. And there are key decisions upcoming on the Trafalgar and Avonfoot bridges.