McNeil-Smith ousts incumbent for Sidney mayor’s seat

Cliff McNeil-Smith resoundly defeated the incumbent Mayor Steve Price, 3,740 to 929 to claim Sidney’s lead seat.

McNeil-Smith earned nearly 80 per cent of the vote.

Peter Wainwright says the results were decisive and the way forward looks promising, one of two incumbents also re-elected to council. McNeil-Smith says both will provide stability while the four newcomers will bring new energy and perspectives.

“It couldn’t have gone better. We have a great team and it’s time to get to work,” says councillor elect Barbara Fallot.

McNeil-Smith, while at a party at Tanner’s Books, said he was excited. Predictable 4-3 vote splits happened, and emphasized that he would increase public consultation on large projects.

“I think it’ll be a very strong council. I’m excited to be working with the new team.”

Price said he was surprised at the gulf, particularly for the incumbent. He said he was surprised that some newcomers who ran minimal advertising beat candidates with four years of name recognition and a long advertising campaign.

When asked if he would do differently, he said he wouldn’t. He said after 10 years on council, four as mayor, he will “spend more time on the retirement end of things. Everything’s fine.”

Preliminary results also give council seats went to Barbara Fallot, 3,341, Peter Wainwright 3,144, Terri O’Keeffe 3,088, Sara Duncan 3,072, Chad Rintoul 2,794, Scott Garnett 2,378

Cam McLennan (1,394), Jordan Templeman (1270), Stephen Weller (1108), Greg Lynn (844) didn’t make the cut.

Incumbent councillors Tim Chad, Mervyn Lougher-Goodey, and Erin Bremner-Mitchell did not seek re-election.

Weller, a first-time candidate, said after the results that he was okay despite the result.

“I thought I was recognizable in the Town, but obviously Sidney wants to go in a completely different direction,” said Weller.

Weller said it will be an interesting four years, but “I think the honeymoon will be over for these guys in about six months when they have to really start making some tough decisions.”

“Good luck to the new crew. We’ll be watching very carefully on what’s going on,” he said.

Referring to McNeil-Smith’s campaign slogan, Weller said, “‘Cliff Listens,’ so he’s going to have to listen to me eventually.”

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