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Saugeen Shores Mayor Elect Luke Charbonneau (centre), standing with Vice-Deputy Mayor Elect Mike Myatt (left) and Deputy Mayor Elect Don Matheson on the extended election night October 23 at Lakeshore Recreation in Port Elgin.

Hub Staff

With polls finally closed, the unofficial results for the 2018 Saugeen Shores Municipal Election were announced October 23 online and at Lakeshore Recreation.

With current Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau acclaimed to the Mayor's chair, the race for Deputy Mayor came down to long-time Councillor and current Vice-Deputy Mayor Diane Huber and current Southampton Ward Councillor Don Matheson. With 192 votes separating the two, SDSS teacher Don Matheson came out on top with 3,068 to Huber’s 2,876 votes.

Matheson, who attended the results gathering at Lakeshore Recreation October 23 called his win bitter sweet. “We’re losing a valued member of Council in [Huber]," he said. "I knew it was going to be a split everywhere we went because we’re both locals," he added.

Current Saugeen Ward Councillor Mike Myatt was elected to the Vice-Deputy Mayor's role which is being vacated by Huber, against former Saugeen Township Councillor (2008-2014) Taun Frosst and Jim Stark. Myatt received 3,754 votes with Stark receiving 1,485 and Frosst with 705. After learning the results, Myatt was congratulated by his family and thanked his supporters, volunteers as well as his wife Jean, who he referred to as a "trooper". Myatt said he was up for new challenges and that he couldn't be happier with the results.

The Port Elgin Ward had two seats up for grabs in Council Chambers as current Port Elgin Ward Councillor Neil Menage chose not to run for the next term and Councillor John Rich ran instead for the Southampton Ward, where he and incumbent Cheryl Grace took the most votes. Grace received 1,582 votes, Rich received 1,273 and Stanley Kollontay came away with 871 votes.

Two first time politicians Kristan Shrider and Jami Smith were elected to represent the Port Elgin Ward with Shrider receiving 1,736 votes and Smith just behind with 1,585. Also running in Port Elgin were Dianne Mini Jacques who saw 1,025 votes and Paul Seaman with 607.

The Saugeen Township Ward was a tight race with incumbent Dave Myette winning the most votes at 855. Joining Myette will be Matt Carr with 604 votes. Also running in Saugeen were Patrick Jilesen who received 575 votes and Mary Foley who had 248.

“I’m really having a hard time with the words,” said Myette following his win. "My supporters, the people who helped me with the campaign have been wonderful and I'm just honoured to continue for the next four years to represent the people of Saugeen Shores and Saugeen Township," he said.

Mayor Elect and current Deputy Mayor Luke Charbonneau said  he was really excited and looking forward to working alongside the new and re-elected councillors, all of whom will be sworn in December 3. “The whole slate of candidates were really outstanding and so we had no choice but to get an outstanding slate of councillors," he said.

Charbonneau added it was a great election with many candidates and some really great ideas.

"[The candidates] all had things that they brought to the table, and in my own mind, really difficult to call," he said. When asked about the 24 hour delay following technical issues with the new online voting system, Charbonneau said it was unfortunate and praised Town's efforts and professionalism in handling the matter. “Our staff dealt with that issue and made the right call in holding it over until 8 p.m. tonight so that everybody could have a chance to cast the vote," he said.

In an October 23 statement from the Town of Saugeen Shores, 240 electors voted between the original October 22 8 p.m. cut-off which resulted in a total 47.55% percent voter turnout. The final number of voters was not available at the time of publishing. 

For English Public School Board Trustee, a combined Saugeen Shores and Arran-Elderslie position, Katie Lutz received 3,811 votes over Kevin Larson's 3,765. Present at the October 23 event at Lakeshore Recreation, Lutz said the main focus of her campaign was mental health for students and staff. "There are a lot of great community organizations," she said, adding that she also supports broad education including the arts, music and physical activity.

"I'm still in shock," said Lutz after the win, adding that she's not one who "wins things easily."

At the time of publishing, the English Separate School Board Trustee, a combined position for six municipalities including Arran-Elderslie, Chatsworth, Georgian Bluffs, Northern Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores and South Bruce Peninsula, were still only showing partial results with Michael Lemme at 762 and Jeff Gautreau at 412.

Editor's Update: These results were made official with no changes

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Newly elected Port Elgin Ward Councillors Jami Smith (left) and Kristan Shrider at Lakeshore Recreation October 23.

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Another four years for Southampton Ward Councillor Cheryl Grace who celebrated her win with her husband Mike in Port Elgin.

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Public English School Board Trustee for Arran Elderslie and Saugeen Shores Katie Lutz and her husband Jim Mondry seen here at the pre-election election event October 22.

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Current Saugeen Township Ward Councillor Mike Myatt and his wife Jean were excited to learn he had won his bid for the Vice-Deputy Mayor's position at the election results gathering October 23.

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