Recent History – 1999
Nov. 22, 1999
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
By an overwhelming margin, incumbent Blair Lekstrom was re-elected mayor of Dawson Creek while all but one of the six council members will be a new face. Lekstrom attracted 2,621 votes during the civic elections on Saturday, well ahead of challengers Bill Kusk, 301 votes, and David Twombly, 24 votes.
“It appears that the overwhelming majority of people share a vision that I have for the city of Dawson Creek and that’s something I’m very proud of,” Lekstrom said. “It’s an honour to be in that kind of step with the people out there you’re representing.”
Lekstrom was also encouraged by the strong voter turn-out, at 49.1 per cent. “That says a lot about the community, about the involvement of everyone, whether it be in community clubs or whatever, everybody cares.”
Mayoral challenger Bill Kusk congratulated all the winners and thanked his supporters and campaign contributors. He also credited the large number of candidates with helping to get the voters out.
“We do not necessarily have to be elected to have influence,” he said. “Just speak out on the issues, where you are in favour of the issues or not.”
Amongst those running for council, Calvin Kruk won the most votes at 1,376.
“I was really hoping that I’d get in the top six obviously, but to come out where I did was pretty overwhelming,” Kruk said.
Those also wining seats on council are Mike Caisley, followed by Bud Powell, Paul Gevatkoff, Bob Gibbs and Alvin Stedel.
Gibbs is the only incumbent to return to council. Incumbents Marcheta Leoppky finished seventh and Frank Grant was eighth and won’t return to council.
Lekstrom said the new council members will mean new ideas and among his first tasks will be to meet with them. “I want to sit down with the new council and have some talks and see what their visions are and meld them all together and get down to work,” he said.
Gibbs expressed confidence in the newcomers. “You’re right, I’m the only one back there, but it’s not that complicated, and I think it’s important to be yourself rather than fall into a general guide, so I don’t really think that it’s a big deal.”
Both Grant and Leoppky said they’ll miss council, but they’ll also have more free time now. As for advice to new council members, Grant said they should make a point of not missing any meetings, while Leoppky stressed that they should do their homework.
“Don’t be afraid to ask,” Leoppky said. “Spend some time with your portfolio.
“Get the minutes of the last year’s meetings, find out how this group or the other has been operating. What their vision is, what their goals are, what their problems are, and try and be that liaison for them between council.”
Leoppky said it’s unfortunate that no women were elected to council.
“We do have a different perspective, there’s no doubt about it,” she said, adding that women consider the social aspects more. “Everything’s not just a cold and hard business issue.”
Lekstrom said he’ll miss Grant and Leoppky. “They’ve put their heart and soul into making Dawson Creek a better place to live and they accomplished that,” he said.
City Council Results
Blair Lekstrom 2,621 89%
Calvin Kruk 1,376
Mike Caisley 1,354
Bud Powell 1,265
Paul Gevatkoff 1,255
Bob Gibbs 1,235
Alvin Stedel 1,194