Mayor elect Rod Peters, a Lake Cowichan businessman and former councillor is excited to chosen, and raring to go on his new job. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Mayor elect Rod Peters, a Lake Cowichan businessman and former councillor is excited to chosen, and raring to go on his new job. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

VIDEO:Newly elected mayor Rod Peters is eager to get to work for Lake Cowichan

Town entrance, municipal hall are two subjects he hopes to address soon with his new council: Peters

Retired Lake Cowichan businessman and former town councillor Rod Peters was elected mayor Lake Cowichan in a tight race Saturday, Oct. 20.

It had been a clash of the titans at the Lake, with three popular candidates vying for the mayor’s chair. And, as is traditional in the community, there was a good voter turnout, with 49 per cent of eligible voters casting ballots.

But, when the whirring stopped and the computer kicked out the figures at Centennial Hall, Peters emerged as the winner with 479 votes in total: 365 on Saturday and 114 in the advance polls.

Bob Day who had been serving as a town councillor before trying for the position of mayor garnered a total of 435 votes: 302 on voting day, and 133 at the advance poll.

Incumbent mayor Ross Forrest was just behind with 408 votes in total: 308 on Saturday, and 100 in the advance polls.

Peters will be leading an experienced council as he starts his mayoralty.

Incumbents Tim McGonigle (618+207=825), Lorna Vomacka (600+196=796), and Carolyne Austin (483+168=651) were all re-elected, with former councillor Kristine Sandu (471+157=628) taking the fourth place at the table.

The other hopefuls also did well, with Rocky Wise garnering 477 total votes, Beverly North 397, Loretta Puckrin 347, and Janet Kirk, who had to withdraw still collecting 175 votes.

At the Lake, the “yes” side took both referendums, although the only figures that will count are the final, regional ones.

Peters was excited by the result and so were his supporters. Everyone was headquartered at the Riverside Inn but when it became known that he had won, there were lots of cheers from among the crowd as people hurried over to exchange hugs or shake the hand of the new mayor.

It had been very different earlier when, at the Lake’s poll, at Centennial Hall, there was quiet as both Day and Forrest heard the figures announced. However, both showed up later at the Riverside to congratulate Peters and his new council.

Peters was up for a quick interview before he got back to his supporters.

“I’m quite excited. It was a good campaign. I think now that the fun is over the hard work’s going to start but I think I’m up for it and I’m going to try my best for the taxpayers of this town.”

Peters did not use social media or anything like that for his campaign. Did he think that was part of his successful bid?

“It’s not why I was successful. I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to go on Facebook and put on there things that I might regret somewhere down the road. I just ran a campaign. My social media is face-to-face. Anybody wants to know anything, come and see me and I’ll talk to them.”

“I am excited. I may look a little bit calm but there’s a lot going on in my mind right now. I’ve got lots to deal with but I think I’m up for the task.”

Asked what he heard when he was out talking with voters, Peters said, “They said it was time for a change and they needed a businessman to be in there to control the monies and what happens in the council.”

Peters was pleased with his new council.

“I think it’s a pretty good team. I’ve worked with Tim and Lorna a lot, and I was involved with Kristine Sandhu back in the late 90s. I think we can all get along.”

What does he see as some of the number one things on his agenda?

“Right now, my number one thing is the entrance into town, South Shore Road, with the bad vision coming in. People can’t see the traffic coming. There are some left turn lanes that we need through town and we have a problem down by the high school at Stone Avenue. That’s a bit of a bear of an intersection that needs to be dealt with as immediately as possible.”

On the big subject of a new municipal hall, Peters dropped a new idea into the mix at the all-candidates meeting Oct. 15 and he wants council to look at it.

“I have put forward an idea to stop the fixing of the municipal hall and moving it [instead] into the Kingdom Hall, [located right behind Darling Tire on Neva Road]. It is almost turnkey to be a new office and it’s only about $400K where the renovations to the town hall were going to be about $1.8 million. It’s empty now and it’s for sale.”

Peters then thanked his friends and family for all their support, “especially my wife for putting up with me the last little while, and I hope not to disappoint anybody when I get in at the mayor.”

MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2018 RESULTS
Infogram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

The latest homeless count in the Valley found 129 in a 24-hour period. (File photo)
Latest homeless count reveals 129 in the Cowichan Valley

But local officials believe number is higher

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read