UPDATED: Andy Morel elected mayor of Rossland

Andy Morel (Courtesy City of Rossland)

Andy Morel has been elected mayor of Rossland.

The incumbent councillor beat former councillor Kim LaFond 1,052 to 570. Current mayor Kathy Moore did not seek re-election.

“I’m obviously very pleased and a little surprised,” Morel said. “I expected it to be closer and was prepared either way.”

The council will be made up of five fresh faces and one incumbent. Maya Provencal topped the polls with 1,129, followed by Lisa Kwiatkowski (979), Jeff Weaver (952), Eliza Boyce (906), Stewart Spooner (884), and Craig Humpherys (733). Spooner is the only holdover from the present council.

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Those who missed the cut were Brian Pistak (625), Richard Kemick (620), former councillor Tim Thatcher (591), Sam Troy (470), and Paul Evants (441).

Three of the elected councillors are under the age of 30, which Morel finds exciting, given that the youngest councillor on the current council recently turned 50.

“Our community is extremely youthful, looking at our demographics and the recent census,” he says. “You don’t have to go far walking down the street: you see young families, you see the energy of the community being ramped up with an influx of families and young people. That representation is pretty obvious now at the table.”

Morel says housing, particularly seniors housing, will continue to be a major topic in the community. On the immediate horizon is the completion of Rossland Yards, a mixed-use development that will be home to the new city hall.

Morel says it will mean more room for city staff and also for the public in an expanded council chambers. The old city hall, which has been closed for a few years following a partial roof collapse had a chambers that was “quite inadequate,” Morel says. Council has been meeting at the Miners’ Hall in the interim.

Morel is in Ontario for a college reunion, but his partner kept tabs on the results for him, which came in after 11 p.m. Rossland time. He said he was torn between staying in town for the results or attending the reunion, but was happy he was able to celebrate with his classmates.

“It was a special weekend for me in so many different ways,” he said.

Rossland is the largest local municipality that does not use automated vote-tabulating machines, hence the delay in the results. Morel says it’s something the city will have to look at.

Voter turnout was 52 per cent.