Panasiuk scores decisive win

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

High Prairie voters have clearly decided on a new direction as challenger Brian Panasiuk easily defeated incumbent mayor Linda Cox in the Oct. 18 municipal election.

Panasiuk polled 63.9 per cent of the votes in defeating Cox 415-234. Panasiuk was first elected to council in the Oct 21, 2013 municipal election and served with Cox on council the last four years.

Cox was first elected in a byelection on Dec. 18, 2012 after defeating Michael Smith 262-222, then defeated Crystal Sekulich in the 2013 election 423-363. The 786 votes cast in the 2013 election were far more than the 649 cast last week.

Voters did not opt for change in selecting councillors. Challenger Judy Stenhouse placed sixth of nine candidates to win a seat on council while the five incumbents placed first through fifth including Donna Deynaka [459], Arlen Quartly [450], Debbie Rose [434], Michael Long [414], and Brian Gilroy [352].

Challengers Barry Sharkawi [270], Aaron Klassen [226], and Ross Burgar [86] suffered defeat.

In Big Lakes County, voters opted for some change after electing two new councillors and one former councillor.

In Grouard, former councillor Fern Welch is back after defeating five challengers. She received 40 of 111 votes cast. Incumbent Frank Sutherland received only 13 votes.

In Joussard, newcomer Richard Simard easily defeated incumbent Ed Podollan 106-46 while Angela Paul received 376 votes.

In Enilda – Big Meadow, Donald Bissell defeated incumbent Ron Matula 68-66. The vote was confirmed by a recount.

In Kinuso, incumbent Ken Killen easily defeated Scott Astle 172-46, and in Faust it was the same with Robert Nygaard defeating Chris Brown 111-43.

Elected by acclamation to county council were David Marx in Heart River – Salt Prairie, Ken Matthews in Gilwood North – Triangle, Donald Charrois in Banana Belt – High Prairie East, and Ann Stewart in Sunset House – Gilwood South.

In High Prairie School Division, the local High Prairie area also re-elected its two incumbent trustees. Tammy Henkel and Joyce Dvornek defeated three challengers.

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