Unofficial results are in for the City of Wetaskiwin’s municipal elections. On Oct.18, 2021 approximately 36 per cent of eligible City of Wetaskiwin voters took to the polls to elect their new city council.
Incumbent Tyler Gandam has been re-elected to serve another term as Mayor of the City of Wetaskiwin, coming out on top in the mayoral race votes with 1,819 votes.
Candidate Joe Branco came second in the mayoral race with a total of 1,299 votes, and was followed by Jenn Moriartey with 180 votes and Craig Haavaldsen with 48 votes.
“I’m really happy with the results… This morning it is definitely just sinking in,” says Gandam. “I’m really looking forward to the next four years with a strong council.”
“It’s been an incredible few months. It has been a really hard but really fulfilling four years and I look forward to the next four years.”
Gandam says he is looking forward to continuing work with the levels of service review and the city budget as well as having the residents and business owner’s in the city play an integral role in that process.
“I hope they see their value in that part,” he adds. Gandam also says in the next four years he is looking forward to coming up with a long-term solution for the homelessness in the city and making sure that the community and vulnerable people are looked after.
Gandam says that, “it was really encouraging to see,” so many candidates come forward to run in this election and that he is pleased there are so many people who put their names forward and want to work together to make the city the best it can be.
The newly elected city council includes two new councillors, Bill Elliot who has previously served as City of Wetaskiwin Mayor, and Karen Aberle who will be serving her first term in public office.
“I am the only rookie, I wanted to go in and learn, and it is exciting for me really,” says Aberle on her win. “I’m looking forward to being in the community more and seeing it from a different perspective.”
Aberle says she is honoured to be one of the six councillors elected out of 16 candidates.
“That’s crazy when you think about it really. For people to have trust and hope in me I won’t ever take that for granted.”
The newly elected City of Wetaskiwin Council includes:
• Wayne Neilson (incumbent), 1,858 votes;
• Gabrielle Blatz (incumbent), 1,764 votes;
• Bill Elliot, 1,670 votes;
• Dean Billingsley (incumbent), 1,570 votes;
• Karen Aberle, 1,361 votes;
• Kevin Lonsdale (incumbent), 1,336 votes.
Incumbent re-elect Gabrielle Blatz says she is honoured and excited to serve the next four years on City of Wetaskiwin Council.
“In this election, I was one of the youngest incumbents running in all of Alberta,” says Blatz. “Wetaskiwin has always been my home, and to be elected again as a young, Mètis woman means to me that Wetaskiwin is ready to move forward with innovative, fresh perspectives.”
“I am looking forward to starting on the work that is ahead for us. We have a long road to moving Wetaskiwin forward, and with my experience and passion, I’m ready for the challenge.”
The institutional vote and special ballots have yet to be counted. Official election results will be announced on Friday Oct. 22, 2021 and the newly elected members of City of Wetaskiwin Council will be sworn into office on Monday Oct. 25, 2021.
This story has been updated to include quotes from newly re-elected Mayor Tyler Gandam.