Mount Pearl returned all six incumbent councillors to city hall on Tuesday night, with Travis Faulkner — leader of a slate of affiliated candidates — dismissed the results as a popularity contest.
Jim Locke, returned as deputy mayor for having received the most votes, said he wasn’t surprised at the result.
“I covered 8,000 doors during my campaign. I and my helpers went around, and overwhelmingly people said they were quite satisfied with the work of the existing council. So, quite frankly, I’m not surprised that all six are returning.”
Locke said he’s just one of six people responsible for the electoral success.
“We work as a team, and that’s the way we function around the council table. That’s the way we function in public,” he said. “I’m sharing in the glory of the entire incumbent council that came in.”
Defeated candidate Travis Faulkner, who led a group of affiliated candidates, was disappointed, calling it “Randy Simms’ town” instead of a city that belongs to the citizens.
“It’s a popularity contest. That’s all it is. This is not an election won on business sense,” he said, and criticized what he called overspending, including a trip earlier this year by Mayor Randy Simms and Coun. Dave Aker to Vancouver for the annual meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. “It’s hard to compete against people who are teachers and are popular. What I don’t understand — is anybody looking at what they’re doing? Can someone explain to me, how do you vote for some people who don’t mind wasting taxpayer dollars to go to a conference in Vancouver?”
Locke said the results speak for themselves. Each re-elected councillor received more votes than all six candidates in Faulkner’s group combined.
“They claimed there was need of a change in Mount Pearl, but obviously a large majority of the electorate in Mount Pearl didn’t agree with that,” he said.
Re-elected Coun. Paula Tessier said the results reflect Mount Pearl residents’ satisfaction with the job council did over the past four years.
“It’s right back to work again,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of things happening in Mount Pearl. We’ve got our multiplex which is under construction. We’ve got some redevelopments that are happening — St. David’s field, for example, is redeveloping into a beautiful centre-city park. We have some work that we’re doing with our seniors’ independence group. So it’s right back to business as usual.”