When the dust settled, everyone that was on council when the campaign began will be returning to council when the next term begins in December. The only change is the two new members who will be filling seats vacated by retiring councillors in Ward 2 and Ward 6.
First, the mayoral race. In a fairly predictive development, Cam Guthrie was re-elected mayor with 66.57 per cent. It’s a nearly 16 per cent increase over his 2014 finish, but only about 2,600 votes more than his first election as mayor. Aggie Mlynarz finished her first municipal campaign with just over one-third of the vote at 33.43 per cent.
In Ward 2, James Gordon will be joined by Rodrigo Goller for the next four years. Gordon won handily with 30.59 per cent of the vote, increasing his share of popular support by five per cent and 19 votes. Goller easily secured a second place finish with 27.74 per cent, which was 11.5 per cent more then Jonathan Knowles who finished third.
To the south in Ward 6, Dominique O’Rourke finished in first place with 36.57 per cent of the vote, while Mark MacKinnon came in second with 27.75 per cent. O’Rourke’s first place finish eclipsed MacKinnon’s 2014 win by over three percentage points and 327 votes. Here in 2018, Stacy Cooper finished third with 17.8 per cent.
Working our way around the rest of the city, Dan Gibson and Bob Bell kept their seats in Ward 1 with 27.18 per cent and 21.16 per cent respectively. Gibson lost less than one per cent of the vote over 2014 after rallying in some of the latter polls from the ward. Bell though lost 3.3 per cent over his second place finish in 2014. First time candidates Barbara Mann and Charlene Downy finished in a very tight race for third and fourth with 17.01 per cent and 15.67 per cent respectively.
Across the border in Ward 3 it seems that Phil Allt and June Hofland were able to increase their margins without Maggie Laidlaw siphoning off votes as she did in 2014. Allt finished first with 36.74 per cent and Hofland finished second with 31.86 per cent. In the end, Patrick Sheridan ran a distant third with 15.2 per cent, followed by Jason Dodge with 12.15 per cent, who also increased his margin over 2014.
Ward 4 saw Christine Billings get 30 votes more over her 2014 election victory, and squeezed out nearly two more percentage points out of the electorate in the west end. And though Mike Salisbury won the second seat, he faced stiff competition from Indu Arora who had a strong showing late in the evening, but still needed 202 votes to beat Salisbury.
Finally, in the second most predictable outcome of the evening, Leanne Piper and Cathy Downer kept their seats in Ward 5 with 41.29 per cent and 39.14 per cent respectively. Alex Green put up a good fight taking 19.56 per cent of the vote for third place.
Incumbency was also the word in the school board races, especially the Wellington Catholic District School Board where all four incumbents were re-elected: Joe Tersigni, Marino Gazzola, Vikki Dupuis, and Sebastian Dal Bo.
There were a few changes at the Upper Grand District School Board.
Jolly Bedi won the Ward 6/Puslinch seat in a squeaker by beating incumbent Marty Fairbairn by 28 votes.
In Ward 2,3, and 4, Mike Foley will join Linda Busutill on the board winning 31.8 per cent and 30.16 per cent of the vote respectively. Busutill’s fellow incumbent Susan Moziar finished in third place with 23.59 per cent.
Mark Bailey and Martha MacNeil were re-elected for Ward 1 and 5 with 28.35 per cent and 14.9 per cent, but a late evening rally by Luke Weiler almost cost MacNeil her seat. Only 41 votes separated MacNeil and Weiler by the time all the ballots were counted.
To voter turnout, it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t the bloodbath people were worried about. In the end, 37.16 per cent of eligible voters, or 33,732 people, came out to vote. That’s 5,100 less then 2014, but better than turnout in 2010, which saw 33.91 per cent of voters cast ballots.
The affect of online voting? All told, 12,767 people voted through the internet in 2014, so the slump in voter participation looks like it can be credited, at least in part, to no internet access to voting.
Meanwhile, CTV News is reporting that online voting systems in 51 Ontario municipalities were impacted be a “glitch” that stalled voting for 90 minutes in places like Pembroke, Prince Edward County, and areas in the Muskoka Region. So don’t look for this debate to be easily resolved anytime soon.
The new council will be inaugurated on December 3.