Outgoing Port Edward councillors say farewell

Port Edward bid farewell to two district councillors on Dec. 1, including one who served the community for almost two decades.

Port Edward bid farewell to two district councillors on Dec. 1, including one who served the community for almost two decades.

Councillors Murray Kristoff and Knut Bjorndal were both unsuccessful in their re-election bid, bringing an end to Kristoff’s 18-year run as councillor and Bjorndal’s six years of service.

Kristoff, who acknowledged guidance from current Mayor Dave MacDonald and former Mayor Ed Wampler, said he knows the future is bright for the community.

“People on the street ask if I’m sad. I ran and of course I’m not happy with the decision, but the voters voted. The council that we have here, you can certainly drive the bus. We are in great hands, I tell people that every single day … I am truly pleased the three of you are still here and I know you will do a great job and keep everyone’s interest at heart. I am not worried in the least,” he said in an address to MacDonald and councillors Dan Franzen and Christine MacKenzie.

“The last two terms we really got some momentum. Our job is never done, but we completed seemingly everything we wanted to try and go for. I am proud to have been part of this council for so many years, but particularly in these past few terms when there has been such tremendous growth.”

Bjorndal echoed many of those sentiments in his farewell address, pointing to just how much the council has accomplished in the past two terms.

“I believe that the last three years have been one of the most defining in our history and I am proud to have been part of the work of these councils. In the last three years we have grown the tax base of the district by hundreds of thousands of dollars, created a positive bank balance of approximately $6 million, built a new school and created an updated and future-looking Official Community Plan. Going forward, the previous two councils I have been part of have chartered a course that will leave Port Edward well-positioned for planned future growth,” he said.

“I am confident the new council will continue the course the previous councils have chartered and that Port Edward will continue to benefit from the foundation we have laid.”

While Bjorndal was not at the meeting, Mayor Dave MacDonald presented Kristoff with an engraved watch to mark his 18 years on council.

“I’m sad to see anyone go … but any one of us could leave with our heads held high.”