News

Report indicates poor turnout in highly-populated Willoughby area

The official report into the Nov. 19 civic election, formally received by Township council last month,  contains a few oddities, not least of which is the poor turnout in one of the most densely populated communities.

There were 12 polling stations, as well as advance and special (mobile polls) voting opportunities.

Willoughby had two polling stations, R.C. Garnett Elementary and R. E. Mountain Secondary.

Some Willoughby residents were upset with council over two main issues: the Athenry development at 208 Street and 83 Avenue, and plans to turn 5.6 acres of land zoned for a school at 19865 70 Ave. into a townhouse development.

It appears that neither of these issues, nor the fact that Willoughby has Langley’s highest concentration of residents, inspired people to vote.

There were 1,182 voters at Mountain, and 1,024 at Garnett, both lower than at James Hill Elementary in Murrayville (2,022), James Kennedy Elementary in Walnut Grove (2,576), and George Preston Centre in Brookswood (2,732), where the highest voter turnout in the municipality was recorded.

In rural Coghlan, the area in which defeated mayor Rick Green lives, only 294 people voted, compared to 434 in 2008.

Green came third to winner Jack Froese and runner up Mel Kositsky.

One of Green’s nominators unsuccessfully sought a recount, but the numbers show that he trailed Froese and Kositsky in every poll, with the exception of Wix-Brown, where he scored eight more votes than Kositsky.

The report, compiled by chief election officer Susan Palmer and deputy chief election officer Bob Wilson, noted that there were 71,175 registered voters, an increase of about eight per cent over 2008. Voter turnout was 25.9 per cent.

The report pegged the cost of the election at $133,153.

The largest single expenditure ($44,525) went to pay municipal employees and those hired for the day.

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