Why this Okanagan community will never again have to pull names from a hat to elect a mayor | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why this Okanagan community will never again have to pull names from a hat to elect a mayor

FILE PHOTO - A voting place sign is seen in Vernon on municipal election day, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.
November 29, 2019 - 8:00 AM

It was just over a year ago that Peachland’s mayor was chosen when her name was pulled from a box and now the town's council has ensured that the electorate won’t see that again. 

The election oddity was sparked when then-incumbent mayor Cindy Fortin and Harry Gough both received 804 votes in the October 2018 municipal election. There was a recount, the tie was confirmed and provincial court judge Ellen Burdett then drew a name from a box to choose the new mayor.

In the incredibly unlikely event that there’s another tie in an upcoming election, Peachland council directed staff to redraw local election rules so that a run-off election will be used to determine the winner. All candidates will be able to run again.

The hat draw was contentious, and Fortin addressed that in the days that followed her win.

“To all of Peachland... whether you voted for me or not, I will serve each and every one of you to the best of my ability. We are all residents of this wonderful community, and we need to come together.

“Let's work on mending the divisions, and healing after a year of stress and divisions. We are a great community, and will always be...Peachland!"

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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