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Mayor and incumbents returned to council; most voted by internet; turnout higher than provincial average

UPDATE: County Clerk Catalina Blumenberg has certified the results of the 2022 municipal election.

There were 3,531 people who voted in person on election day, while 827 people voted in-person on advanced voting day. Most, 6,904 people voted by internet.

The voter turnout in Prince Edward County was above the provincial average of 34 per cent and higher than neighbouring municipalities.

She states 11,262 of 23,935 eligible electors – or 47.05 per cent of the total electorate – cast their ballots in this year’s municipal election.

In 2018, 10,032 of 23,164 eligible electors – or 43.31 per cent of the total electorate – cast their ballots.

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Mayor Steve Ferguson with thumbs up on being returned to council, along with (from left) Phil Prinzen, Phil St.-Jean, Bill Roberts and John Hirsch. (Also returning, but not shown here, are Kate MacNaughton, Brad Nieman and Janice Maynard). The six new faces are Corey Engeldorfer, Roy Pennell, Sam Grosso, Sam Brandorhorst, Chris Braney and David Harrison)

By Olivia Timm and Sue Capon
Steve Ferguson has been returned to the mayor’s seat in Prince Edward County for a second term – with all seven incumbent councillors running, and six new faces.

Voter turnout at 47.05 per cent (ll,262 ballots) was higher than 2018’s election where 43 per cent of voters (10,032) cast ballots.

The results are considered unofficial until County Clerk Catalina Blumenberg declares them official, expected to be Wednesday afternoon.

With 41.5 per cent of the vote (4634 ballots), Ferguson won the seat over former councillors Terry Shortt at 3199 votes, and Dianne O’Brien at 3122 votes. The fourth contender for mayor, Kyle Mayne, ended with 202 votes.

Ferguson said he felt great about the win following his nearly six month campaign.

“What I grossly underestimated was the amount of time necessary to perform the job of being the mayor while also campaigning,” he said, adding “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.

“As I said throughout the campaign, we’ve got affordable housing issues, we’ve got doctor recruitment and a whole bunch of things we have to address. We’ve got preservation of our history and our heritage and agriculture. All kinds of things that are top of mind with a lot of people, but the one thing we cannot lose is the preservation of Prince Edward County and the importance of this place.”

Ferguson says he’s looking forward to continuing work on the challenges, “and the work starts tomorrow.” He also looks forward to connecting with the members of the new council.

“We’re going to sit down and get to know each other a little bit. Then we’re going to have a conversation about the objectives they want to achieve during the next four years and how we go about approaching them; and providing solutions for those particular issues. I think from what I have seen of the results, there is going to be a lot of agreement as to how we move forward.”

“We’ve got a great slate of candidates that stepped forward during the election and I hope they take from this the motivation to get involved in other committees and other things we can do going forward, because we are going to need their help.”

Shortt, who has served four terms on previous councils, congratulated Ferguson and noted he enjoys politics and would “likely get involved with some committees moving forward.” He said he was thankful for the support of community and family.

Phil St.-Jean and Kate MacNaughton will return as councillors for Picton with 835 and 814 votes respectively. Jane Lesslie was close in third with 808 votes, followed by Peter Morch with 458 and Phil Adie with 212.

Phil Prinzen and Brad Nieman will return to their Bloomfield/Hallowell seats with 1239 and 1186 votes respectively. Contender Sarah Moffatt earned 1069 votes.

With no incumbent running in Wellington, Corey Engelsdorfer won the ward’s single seat with 634 votes, ahead of Jennifer Cobb at 480 and Heather Norlock at 100.

Incumbent Janice Maynard led the three seats for Ameliasburgh with 1143 votes, followed by former councillor Roy Pennell at 980 votes and new face Sam Grosso at 915 votes. Bill Tkach had 817 votes; Paul Boyd 749.

With no incumbent running in Athol, Sam Branderhorst is the new face of the ward with 356 votes followed by Elis Ziegler with 148, Tom Harrison with 139 and Bob Rogers with 126.

Bill Roberts was returned to his seat in Sophiasburgh with 777 votes over Paul Drake’s 221 votes.

Of the three new faces running in Hillier, Chris Braney wins the ward with 488 votes, over Dee Hazell at 196 and Paul VanHaarlem at 147.

A closer race for North Marysburgh’s seat sees David Harrison win the ward with 488 votes over Ben Thornton’s 455.

Incumbent John Hirsch keeps his seat in South Marysburgh with 357 votes, over Ryan Kreutzwiser with 307.

Stacey Lewis will be the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board trustee for wards 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9 with 2738 votes, over Judith Burfoot’s 2501 votes.

Rachael Prinzen will be the school board’s trustee for wards 3, 4, 6 and 7 with 2886 votes. Hale Ferguson was second with 766, followed by Sarah Bobas with 529.

Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board trustee Jacqueline Fernandes was acclaimed. The French Public – Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario trustee Rachel Laforest was acclaimed. French Separate – Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est trustee Michel Charron was acclaimed.

Candidates, their family members, friends and former councillors chatted in small groups as they awaited delayed election night results at the Wellington Community Centre.

Online voting was extended until 8:30 p.m. due to “an earlier issue” with the online voting system. Later, the County’s main website crashed, but the tallies finally arrived long after other municipalities had declared their winners.

In Belleville, Neil Ellis won the mayor’s seat with 59.3 per cent of the vote (9194 votes) over incumbent Mitch Panciuk at 36.4 per cent (5654 votes). Voter turnout was 39.6 per cent.

In Quinte West, Jim Harrison returns to the mayor’s seat winning 54.3 per cent of the vote (5655) over Karen Sharpe in second with 44.7 per cent (4664). Voter turnout was 29.7 per cent there.

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