Residents of Old Massett went to the polls on Dec. 2, overwhelmingly returning incumbent Chief Councillor Ken Rea to the community’s top spot.
Rea was running against three other candidates for the position and received 184 of the 363 votes, giving him just over 50 per cent of the popular vote. The next closest challenger was Roger Smith, who finished with 88 votes, followed by Ronald Brown with 71 votes and Greg White with six votes.
“I have always been in touch with the community and have always felt encouraged and supported, so it is nice to see that support validated,” said Rea of the election victory, noting the next two years promise to be busy ones in the community.
“I would like to see some of the things that have been initiated finished. We have a lot of projects on the go and some of them are quite complicated — everything from energy to tourism to infrastructure in Old Massett.”
Seven candidates put their name forward in hopes of filling the four vacant councillor seats, with the two incumbents capturing the majority of the votes. With 361 people casting their ballots, Coun. John T. Jones received the most votes with 200 followed by incumbent Harold Yeltatzie with 182 votes. They will be joined in council chambers by Brandon Kallio, who received 168 votes, and Lisa Bell, who received 163 votes. The unelected candidates were not far behind, as Alfred Setso Sr. Received 158 votes, Vince Collison received 148 votes and Shane Bell received 105 votes.
The new council were elected for a two-year term that end on Dec. 7, 2015 and Rea noted there is a process underway to change the local election act which, if successful, would change the terms of the next election.