Recent History – 2002
November 18, 2002
By Jamie Dirom, Daily News Staff
There will be a lot of familiar faces as Dawson Creek’s new city council gets to work.
All six incumbent candidates were re-elected in Saturday’s vote and they will be joined by one new face — Marilyn Belak.
Returning Mayor Wayne Dahlen said he was very happy to return for another three years, after 14 months in the mayor’s office.
“It feels really good,” Dahlen said.
“This last 14 months has basically been our extended campaign,” he said. “Because when you go in on a byelection, you’re still sort of testing the water.”
Dahlen said he was glad to be returning to council with five familiar faces on council, adding that he believes the city has started showing some momentum in its growth.
He said he sees the results as a message from voters that they want to see the city continue in the direction it’s been going.
“We’re looking at downtown revitalization, we’re looking at an event centre, we’re looking at holding the line on taxes,” Dahlen said, listing some of the challenges facing council as it enters the next three years.
With voter turnout down — 1,870 ballots were cast — Dahlen said he was disappointed that more people didn’t get involved.
“I’m disappointed with that. I thought it would have been higher,” he said.
Newcomer to council Marilyn Belak said she was thrilled to be voted in.
“I’m a little in shock. I’m very happy,” she said, shortly after hearing the news.
Belak said she was happy voters seemed to embrace her message.
“I’m really happy with the community — that they’re looking at the community ahead of money,” she said.
Belak said she will work to keep her perspective, which stresses maintaining the quality of life in Dawson Creek, at the forefront with council.
She added that she’s excited to be part of a council that has made an issue of building the community’s future.
Calvin Kruk led all council candidates in votes, with 1,365.
“I’m happy that people have been generally happy with me,” said Kruk.
He said he’s looking forward to working with the same basic group on council.
“Obviously I’m very happy that the people have given me an additional mandate,” Kruk said.
Brent Neumann also got strong support.
“That’s reaffirming, because certainly I know I’ve taken a few tough stands,” Neumann said.
Occasionally, he said, he’s taken positions that haven’t always been popular with his companions on council.
“Obviously, the people have liked it,” Neumann said.
Paul Gevatkoff said he thinks the results have supported what the city has done for the last three years.
“I think, basically, it supports what we’ve been doing,” he said.
Gevatkoff said he’s not too worried about a slight drop in his support.
“The change in support — there’s a lot of reasons,” Gevatkoff said, including the decline in voter turnout, which he took as a sign people are satisfied with council.
“There’s a lot of people that didn’t vote, so they’re comfortable with what’s going on,” he said.
He said he’s happy to be working with mostly familiar faces.
“I’m glad we all got back on, because I think we’ve melded pretty good over the last few years,” he said. “We’ve got a consistent direction and trend for the city, and that’s growth and being open for business.”
The Block News could not reach Couns. Bud Powell or Alvin Stedel for comment on election night.