Doreen Lambert has been returned as Councillor for the Village of Ashcroft, according to the final results of the by-election held on Aug. 10.
Lambert (144 votes) was one of three candidates for the position, which was left vacant when Jackie Tegart resigned following her provincial election win in May. The other two candidates were Jessica Clement (128) and Alf Trill (96).
“I’m feeling tired,” said Lambert, the day after her victory. “Yesterday was a long day. I’m looking forward to a new challenge, a new experience. I’ll need some guidance until I find my feet, though.”
She feels that she is more than a one-issue candidate. “The Village faces more issues than just the branding,” she said. “I think our biggest issue is that we need a council that listens, that doesn’t just pay lip service to people’s concerns.
“We’re working for the people, the taxpayers. We have to listen to them.”
A total of 369 votes were cast for the three candidates, representing approximately 27% of the Village’s registered voters. This contrasts with the last by-election for Village council, in 2003, when Councillor Peter Rolston passed away a year into his term. A total of 694 votes were cast on that occasion.
Turnout for the four advance voting days was strong, with more people voting during the advance polls (186) than on voting day itself (183). This contrasts with previous years, when advance voters accounted for as few as 10% of votes cast.
All three candidates were disappointed by the low turnout. Doreen Lambert would like to have seen more people voting, but added, “I’m grateful to all who came out, regardless of who they voted for.”
Jessica Clement was disappointed by the low numbers. “It was sad to see,” she said. “I don’t know if it was because it was summer, or because it was only for a one-year term, but it was too bad more people didn’t turn out.”
Alf Trill also felt that the timing of the election played a part in the low turnout. “It’s summer, people are busy,” he said, adding that other factors probably played a part. “It was a Saturday election, and the heat was probably an issue, and it was jut after the August long weekend. It was probably a bad week to have an election.”
This was Clement’s first time running for council, and she plans to stand again in next year’s election. “I’ll keep going to council meetings, see what’s going on, talk to people, and try again in 2014.” Trill – who served on council from 2005-8 – also plans to run again next year. In the meantime, he wishes the new councillor all the best. “She’ll do a good job. She put in the time and effort to get elected, so I know she’ll put in the time and effort as a councillor.”