It was a tough choice for many voters in the Town of Lake Cowichan Saturday as two of the community’s most committed public servants were both contending for the role of mayor.
Residents had their choice of incumbent mayor Bob Day and longtime councillor Tim McGonigle, who was the only other one to challenge for the seat.
Voters packed Centennial Hall throughout the day to cast their ballots and in the end, McGonigle edged out Day 498 votes to 444, according to the preliminary results.
“I’m doing OK now that it’s over,” the victor said with a laugh. “I’m thankful for the support that I’ve received from family, friends and especially my colleagues at the table but I also want to send a huge shout out to Bob Day,” McGonigle continued. “Mayor Day led us through two very difficult years and got us to where we are today and he’s a huge assett to the community. “
McGonigle celebrated with family and friends and a few supporters Saturday night.
“It was either going to be a retirement party or a celebration party,” he said. “Now the work begins.”
Running for council were incumbents Carolyne Austin, Kristine Sandhu and Lorna Vomacka. Also running for seats were local businessman Aaron Frisby and bookkeeper Bill Garrett. With McGonigle leaving his councillor seat to run for mayor, there was room for a new councillor in the group.
Tube Shack owner Aaron Frisby is that new councillor, having earned 516 votes.
“I think others went up to the polls to actually watch the count,” Frisby said Saturday night. “I hit refresh on my computer a world record amount of times. I’m pretty excited to get to work and excited with councillors that were elected,” he added. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves.”
Sandhu’s 650 votes gave her the highest percentage of votes received with 68.2 per cent while Vomacka had 596 votes for 62.5 per cent of the vote.
Austin earned 536 votes, or 56.2 per cent of the votes while newcomer Frisby had 54.1 per cent of the votes.
Garrett earned 487 votes narrowly missing out on a seat.
Of the estimated 2,823 eligible voters in the jurisdiction, 953 ballots were cast.