The Tsawwassen First Nation has a new chief.
Bryce Williams defeated incumbent Kim Baird in the First Nation's government election Wednesday.
The vote was 78 to 69 in the stunning victory for Williams, a carver in his early 20s who was a member of the TFN executive council.
He was Baird's only challenger in the race.
TFN members also selected 12 members for their government's legislature.
Unchallenged in the previous election, Baird, who was first elected in 1999, was seeking a seventh term as TFN chief.
The 42-year-old following the vote simply announced on Twitter "I lost."
She helped negotiate B.C. 's first urban treaty under the BC treaty process and was at the helm for announcements of major development projects, which will change the face of her First Nation as well as the region.
In a recent newsletter highlighting her government's many initiatives, Baird noted they were looking for ways to improve their communications within their organization and community-wide.
"It's no secret that when we are pushing on so many fronts, some things may slip between the cracks. I think our main focus in the short term is to try to stabilize our organization. We have many vacancies and the need to implement the organizational efficiency review we undertook. This is not only important for the workload of our existing staff, but also to provide better services to the community," she said.
Saying it's clear her community was undergoing many changes, Baird noted their other short-term focus needed to be getting some projects underway and some revenue generated. That requires finalization of infrastructure, primarily sewer and roadwork, she said.
In the same newsletter, TFN CAO Doug Raines commented the TFN must negotiate an agreement with Metro Vancouver and the Corporation of Delta for provision of sewer services, a thorny issue since Delta has stated it doesn't have the extra capacity.
The TFN is also working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for both short-term and long-term road improvements.
In an interview with the Optimist last December, Baird said there were "mixed feelings" among TFN members about the rapid changes
It's not clear how the election of Williams as chief will impact some of the ambitious growth plans put forward by his predecessor.
In a recent community bulletin, it was noted that during a members' retreat, a "very frank and useful discussion" about treaty distributions was started.
In total, 260 TFN members were eligible to vote of the population of 439 members. A total of 148 members voted, for a turnout of 57 per cent.
The new chief, legislators and executive council will be sworn in September 22, as the Tsawwassen government will be
entering another three-year term.
This week's vote was the second since the historic 2007 treaty that gave Tsawwassen the powers of self-government, while freeing up hundreds of acres of settlement lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve for residential, commercial and industrial development.