Knut Bjorndal, far right, is the new Mayor of Port Edward, here he is picutred at the all candidates forum on Oct. 9. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Knut Bjorndal is the new mayor of Port Edward

Winning by just 10 votes, Bjorndal unseats long-time mayor Dave MacDonald

Knut Bjorndal is set to be the new mayor of Port Edward.

Bjorndal received 113 votes to defeat Dave MacDonald (103 votes), who has served as mayor since 2005.

“It’s kind of overwhelming, we worked hard, my wife and I,” said Bjorndal outside Port Edward’s community centre following the vote count. “We went door-to-door, we met a lot of people and we heard a lot of things. I’m really pleased that the people of Port Edward have chosen me and now the hard work begins.”

Dan Franzen (175 votes), Murray Kristoff (168 votes), James Brown (145 votes), Christine MacKenzie (143) will join Bjorndal on council.

“I know that I can work with the present council,” Bjorndal said. “I’ve worked with them in the past and we’ve got a lot of work to do. My job’s just begun.”

Bjorndal ran on a platform of improving infrastructure, resolving issues of coal dust and train whistling issues in the district and promoting residential growth.

Perhaps the most debated issue during the election was the future of the Ridley Island Tax Sharing Agreement between Port Edward and Prince Rupert. Bjorndal said he doesn’t want to negotiate the agreement with Prince Rupert on Facebook or through the Northern View, but he would be willing to work with Prince Rupert’s newly elected council.

“I know Lee Brain quite well, and I can work with Lee and I know two or three of the councillors so we can work together,” he said. “We may not agree on everything and we may agree to disagree, but we’ve got to face this issue.”

MacDonald was re-elected to be mayor of Port Edward in 2014 with 74 per cent of the votes. He said he was happy with the work he has accomplished in his time as mayor, but sad that time was coming to an end.

“The community gave me all these years to help Port Edward and I feel great about that,” he said. “Congratulations to Knut and I hope he will continue on with all the hard work council has done in the last number of years.”

Port Edward councillor candidates

James Brown [incumbent] – 175

Dan Franzen [incumbent] -175

Murray Kristoff – 168

Christine MacKenzie [incumbent] -143

Grant Moore [incumbent] – 125

READ about the CANDIDATES here.

READ MORE: All candidates agree, Ridley Island tax agreement stays



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