Newly elected Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit admitted to some anxious moments as election day progressed prior to winning the mayor’s position on November 15.
“I had a fair bit of confidence going into the day, but I did feel some anxious moments,” Jakubeit said recently. “There were long lineups all day, and I found myself wondering if I had done enough to win the voters.”
We know by now he came out on top and he believes he got support from all generations.
“I visited the seniors centres, where there seemed to be a movement towards electing younger politicians,” he said. “They seemed to like my campaign.”
Jakubeit said he thought he could beat opponent John Vassilaki in the race, but never considered the vote spread would be as large as it was (Jakubeit took 5,126 votes to Vassilaki’s 3,012).
“It was a very humbling, exciting and proud moment,” Jakubeit said, after hearing the final tally.
When asked whether or not he thought youth played a role in the election, Jakubeit said he felt the electorate wanted a “younger vision on council,” noting the statistics indicated a number of new, but not necessarily more youthful, voters took part in this year’s election.
“I’ve been joking that only in Penticton could my win be considered part of a movement towards youth,” said Jakubeit, who turned 44 on Nov. 23.
After the new council is sworn in Dec. 1, he said the first piece of business will be discussions about city committees and getting to know all members of council.
On Dec. 3, council will receive their initial orientation as well as their budget binders, with budget discussions beginning on Dec. 8. He indicated talks could be pushed into January, as councillors work toward building strategic priorities into the budget.
“Many people talked of ‘economic vibrancy’ during the campaign,” said Jakubeit, adding council’s first year would be spent creating a strategy with the goal of implementation during the second year.
“I’m looking forward to a new council, with four new faces. I’d like to channel our energy and passion into the best model to move Penticton forward," he said. "I don’t want to see us moving in seven different directions.”
Penticton's new mayor has been married to wife Leanne for 23 years. The couple have two children and are recent grandparents.
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