Jackson wins fifth term

Popular incumbent leads long list of familiar faces to earn support in municipal election

In a mostly status quo election, it's only fitting delta council and the dealt school board are familiar faces.

Saturday's municipal election saw Mayor Lois Jackson win a fifth term, returning with her Delta Independent Voters Association (DIVA) slate intact. Incumbents Ian Paton, who topped the polls for council, Robert Campbell and Scott Hamilton, all with DIVA, are back. Veteran councillor Bruce McDonald also returns.

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Jeannie Kanakos, who previously served on council from 2005 to 2008, is a familiar face who made a return Saturday. Newcomer Sylvia Bishop, who finished second to Paton in last year's by-election, also won a council seat.

First-term councillor Anne Peterson is out after finishing seventh in the council race.

The school board has three new but also familiar faces with former Delta Teachers' Association president Val Windsor, former District Parent Advisory Council chair Donna Burke and retired Delta teacher Nick Kanakos (who's married to Jeannie Kanakos) all elected Saturday.

Incumbents Janet Shauntz and Brenda Bennett-Schneider were not returned, finishing eighth and ninth, respectively. Trustee God Masi did not run for re-election.

Meanwhile, incumbents Laura Dixon and Fabian Milat, who finished first and second in the polls, respectively, as well as Dale Saip and Simon Truelove were all re-elected.

Milat also ran for council, but finished eighth in that race.

Jackson, who was first elected mayor in 1999, received 43.17 per cent of the popular vote, well ahead of former councillor Krista Engelland (26.47), Heather King (22.98) and John Meech (7.39). Jackson finished almost 4,000 votes ahead of her nearest challenger. Although she finished behind Engelland and King at most Tsawwassen polls, Jackson won handily in Ladner and, once again, dominated in North Delta.

At municipal hall on election night, Jackson sat with her family and nervously watched as the results came in, even though it was becoming clear she would be reelected, especially when the North Delta numbers appeared.

Although she dropped from 52 per cent of the vote in 2008, when she also beat Engelland, Jackson's margin of victory was bigger this time around.

An elated Jackson said she was thankful for the hard work by her campaign team and the community's continued confidence.

"I couldn't be happier to bring us all back and bringing in everybody as strong as we did is very gratifying," she said.

"It was a long election period for all of us this time and everyone really worked hard... We're looking forward to getting back to the grindstone and getting work done for the people of Delta."

Kanakos, who along with Dixon was endorsed by McDonald, said it's looking like "a really strong council" and she's happy to be back.

As far as the school board, unlike the 2008 election when the board was acclaimed after only seven candidates filed nomination papers, 20 were in the running this year.

The school board, which has been grappling with budget challenges and cutbacks due to declining enrollment for several years, was recently warned to expect an even bigger enrollment drop and deficit situation next year.

"Unfortunately, we're shrinking as the size of the district decreases, but we anticipate those challenges," said Dixon.

"We have so much good work going on with respect to our (Delta district) Vision and the new policy coming on board," she said.

"In my view, the goal is, even though we know we're shrinking as a district, that we'll keep the quality of the programming high. That's what Delta is known for and that's what we'll continue to strive to do."

Voter turnout Saturday was 33.83 per cent, up slightly from the 31.34 per cent that voted three years ago.

sgyarmati@delta-optimist.com

2011 MUNICIPAL ELECTION WINNERS

Mayor:

Lois Jackson 10,044

Council:

Ian Paton 12,530

Sylvia Bishop 12,229

Bruce McDonald 12,132

Scott Hamilton 11,770

Jeannie Kanakos 10,314

Robert Campbell 10,078

School Board:

Laura Dixon 9,602

Fabian Milat 9,088 Dale Saip 8,801

Val Windsor 8,485

Nick Kanakos 8,136

Simon Truelove 7,993

Donna Burke 7,087

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