Ball takes mayors seat after nail-biter race

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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Mayor-elect Dean Ball's fingernails may be slightly shorter today after a 3 1/2 hour wait Tuesday night.
That was how long it took for Ball to be declared the new mayor of Deer Lake.
Ball called the evening a "nail biter" where he garnered 848 of the 1,850 votes cast.
Ralph Nichols followed with 758 and Larry Hall came third with 244 votes.
Nichols and Ball were neck and neck as the poll numbers crept onto the tally board throughout the evening in the recreation centre where the entrance was filled with about 70 community members looking on.
Ball, previously the town's deputy mayor and possessing almost 20 years' experience in municipal politics, said he felt "absolutely fantastic" with the outcome.
"It was a close race. I gotta thank Larry Hall first of all. Larry's been for the last four years on council … Ralph put up a good fight here tonight. The people of Deer Lake spoke and it was a nail-bitter for a while, but I certainly appreciate it. I had fun tonight and I'm looking forward to the next four years."
"I'd like to congratulate all those who won the election," Nichols said. "It was a clean election and I'm quite proud that so many people turned out. I'm quite happy with the results."
Kerry Jones is the only member of council returning to the same role. He garnered a total of 885 votes.
"Obviously I feel great. I'm glad that the citizens of Deer Lake have confidence in me and have given me a chance at another four years. By the looks of things, it looks like we're going to have a fine council to work with," Jones said.
"We should work as a team because there are a lot of big decisions coming up for Deer Lake and we'll just have to work hard and get them done," he said.
Jones will be joined on council by Perry Compton with 715 votes, Elmo Bingle who won 716 votes, Barry Manuel with 899 votes, Sheila Mercer who won 935 votes and Sandra Pinksen who swept up 1,078 votes.
Pinksen had tears in her eyes as she expressed her gratitude for confidence the community has instilled in her.
"I'm really overwhelmed to know that the people of Deer Lake have that much faith and confidence in me to put me in this position. I don't know what to say. I'm just so thankful that I had 11 women that canvassed with me and they really put their hearts and souls into it and they were behind me all the way. So tonight, to see the results, I'm so happy that the people of Deer Lake put that much confidence in me. And I will do my best to be their representative," she said.
Another new face to council is Barry Manuel who works at a pharmacy in town.
"It's quite a thrill, actually, to win on my first election. It's always something I was interested in and I think I can do great things for the town. Having a youth on the council never hurts. I do consider myself a youth," said 35-year-old Manuel, the youngest member on this year's council.
It was even an enjoyable experience for people who didn't get a seat on council. Angela Parsons said she would do it all over again.
"I'm very happy with the results. It was a tight race," said Parsons, who missed a council seat by only 81 votes coming in with 634.
Junior Pinksen released the official voter-turnout numbers for the evening at 48 per cent, down three percentage points from the last election, which brought out 51 per cent of eligible voters.

The Western Star

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Larry Hall, Western Star

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