Fraser Tolmie will be the new mayor of Moose Jaw.
Tolmie, who lost the 2012 race to Deb Higgins by about 600 votes, soundly defeated her this time. He was also up against Corey LaBuick, Dennis Brigham and Robert Thomas for the mayor’s chair.
Tolmie said his campaign team was driven.
“I’ve been door knocking, we’ve been engaging with residents. We’ve done everything we did last time but we did it with more gusto [this year]. I’m very proud of my campaign team.”
Tolmie said one of his first goals as mayor is to bring more teamwork to council chambers.
“We’ve been engaging with the residents, and one of the things we’ve noticed is that people feel divided,” Tolmie said. “One of the things we need to do is we have to understand what our purpose is and understanding what our purpose as mayor, as councillors, as servants for the community is. Once we understand that purpose, we have to share our values.”
The voters in Moose Jaw were also casting their ballots for the referendum. By an overwhelming majority, people voted in favour of replacing water and sewer mains from general city-wide revenues and/or reserve funds, and not from local improvement project special assessments.
Originally, the city decided to use a Local Improvement Program, which would have property owners pay for about 30 per cent of the project — about $7,400 for the average lot. The backlash for the plan triggered a referendum.
A total of 79 per cent of voters (8361) were for the referendum while 21 were against (2186).
Tolmie credited some of his victory to his stance on the controversial plan.
“I was for the resolution,” Tolmie said. “From the beginning I said that I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled.”
There will be some fresh faces at city hall this year.
While Tolmie isn’t new to city hall, having served as a councillor, he’s got a new gig as mayor. Joining Tolmie in learning the ropes will be Crystal Froese who gathered the most votes for council, followed by Scott McMann and Chris Warren.
Returning for another term and offering some veteran support will be Don Mitchell, Brian Swanson and Dawn Luhning who narrowly defeated incumbent Heather Eby by 332 votes.