Votes are in – District of Wells elects new mayor

John (Jay) Vermette won by just less than 50 per cent of the vote

The District of Wells elected a new mayor Saturday (June 9).

John (Jay) Vermette will be sworn in as mayor after winning the majority of votes in the advance and general voting in the district’s by-election.

Vermette beat Jillian Merrick and Richard Wright in the polls, coming in with just shy of 50 per cent of the vote.

The June 9 by-election also saw a new city councillor voted in, with Diane Andreesen winning with 60 per cent of votes.

Andreesen will join the three sitting councillors Coun. Mandy Kilsby, Coun. Birch Kuch and Coun. Lindsay Kay. She beat other candidates Mark Dawson and Glenda (Buffy) Rummel. A fourth candidate, Kathy Landry, dropped out of the race for city councillor prior to the election.

The new mayor and councillor will take these seats until the B.C. general municipal elections on Oct. 20, 2018.

The District of Wells has been without a mayor since mid-February this year, when former mayor Robin Sharpe and Coun. Lorraine Kozar both resigned.

Sharpe’s last day as mayor was Feb. 16.

“I no longer wish to be a part of such a negative situation,” he wrote in a resignation letter printed in the March edition of the WellSpring.

“For 19 years, the District has functioned and made significant progress and worked well. However, over the past year, the negative attitude of a certain portion of the community has poisoned the workings of council.

“I am proud of what has been accomplished under my direction but no longer feel compelled to work for the community. Unfortunately, now I actually feel ill every time I return to town and sick to my stomach to attend council meetings; I am not able to sleep at night due to worrying because of the divisiveness.”

In her resignation letter, printed in the same edition of the WellSpring, Kozar wrote: “Due to personal reasons, I feel I can no longer represent the community.”

READ MORE: Three people vying for mayor in Wells by-election

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