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Quinte West: Jim Harrison takes over as mayor

Harrison [1]

Quinte West Mayor-elect Jim Harrison (centre) speaks to a reporter at Quinte West city hall. Photo by Corey Jacobs

By Brittany Lane [2] and Cam Kennedy [3]

BELLEVILLE – Jim Harrison has been elected the new mayor of Quinte West.

Residents of the city cast their ballots Monday during the city’s election for a new mayor and 12-member council.

As the votes were counted once the polls closed at 8 p.m., Harrison took an early lead and never looked back.

He has a rich past in local politics, having served on Quinte West council for 23 years. His campaign revolved around overseeing the completion of the public-works building and making improvements to Trenton’s downtown firehall and police station.

In an interview with QNet News’s Corey Jacobs, Harrison said that he is thankful for the trust everyone has in him. He said he will work hard, and so will council.

Previous mayor John Williams had served two terms. He was first elected in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, but announced in September that he would not run again.

Harrison defeated Terry Cassidy, Sandra Carter, Monte Hennessy and Claud’ du-Lude for the mayor’s job

Suzanne Andres, a representative of  Quinte West’s Chamber of Commerce, said Monday night that she feels the city has been paying more attention to this election: “I think people have been more engaged this year. It seems like more people are talking about it more than four years ago,” she said.

In an interview with QNet News reporters Riley Maracle and Martin Irvine, Harrison said his previous experience on council will help any new councillors learn the ropes.

“We’ll all work together,” he said. “We’ve got to have a consensus. I’ve got to learn what they like and dislike and how I can use their talents. I want to use their strengths.”

Quinte West is separated into four wards: Trenton, Sidney, Murray and Frankford. There are representatives from each ward on council.

Incumbent councillors seeking re-election  for Ward 1 (Trenton) included Fred Kuypers, Leslie Roseblade, Sally Freeman, Doug Whitney and Bob Wannamaker. Others in the race were Duncan Armstrong, Mike Kotsovos and Steve Andrews, who have never served on council before. Trenton has five spots on the council.

Kotsovos began the night with an early lead, but Armstrong wasn’t far behind. The two were head to head for the majority of the night, but in the end Armstrong came out on top. Whitney, Kuypers and Freeman also won seats on council.

In Ward 2 (Sidney), Karen Sharpe was elected alongside Allan Dewitt, Rob MacIntosh and incumbent candidate Don Kuntze. The four won over Charles Naphan and Garry Quinn.

Ward 3 (Murray) saw previous councillor Jim Alyea and new candidate David McCue win seats. They ran against Chantal Fraser, Stacey Dunning and Garry Caume.

Keith Reid was elected again for Ward 4 with an impressive percentage against Jeff Brophy and Don Beat.

Also elected along with mayor and council are school board trustee. Acclaimed as trustees for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board are Tom Biniaris and Jim Williams, while Cyndi Dickson has been acclaimed as trustee for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. John Brisbois  (the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board),  and David Bernier (the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board) were also acclaimed. Diane Burns was acclaimed as trustee for the Conseil des Ecoles Catholiques de Langue Francaise du Centre-Est, the French separate school board.

In a race for the trustee job at the Conseil des Ecoles Publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (the French public board), Claudia Major was pitted against Rachel Laforest. Major won the seat.

At the Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud (French separate board) Chanel Tarala-Chahine dominated the polls over other candidates Roger Bideau and Olga Lambert.

Finally, at the Conseil Scolaire de Viamonde (French public board), the two candidates for the trustee’s post were Claude K. Mhuyi and Sylvie Landry. Landry was the winner.