Sarrah Storey was first elected mayor of Fraser Lake in 2018 with 56.94 per cent of the votes. In 2022, she ran unopposed, taking the mayor’s chair by acclamation.
Filling out the four councillor positions at Fraser Lake council table are Jolene Webb 163 votes (68.5 per cent) and incumbents Audrey Fennema, 142 votes (59.7 per cent); Joe Jenkinson, 134 votes (56.3 per cent) and Craig Lepoidevin, 154 votes (64.7 per cent).
In 2018, Lepoidevin received the highest number of votes, 284 out of a possible 360.
Storey said being elected by acclamation is both a good and bad thing.
On the good side, it’s a sign of strong support from the community. On the bad side, you don’t get the platform to show what you accomplished or tell the public what you’re going to do in the next term.
“In order to fix that, I think I’m going to still put something out there to the community and let them know what we’re working on,” said Storey, adding it was interesting to watch the other candidates and how they handled the election process.
Storey, who runs the female mayors group in B.C., said there were some gains there, rising to 42 female mayors from 39 in 162 municipalities.
Storey told how she was dismayed to learn there is still an bias in politics, that some politicians are still willing to state that women shouldn’t be at the table.
“I thought that was really shocking. I didn’t think a man would actually say that out loud to any other human in this world,” said Storey, who was Fraser Lake’s first female mayor when she was elected in 2018. “I broke through some barriers fine. But for me personally, when I ran the first time, I did have comments of how you can do that as a woman.
“I really do feel that there needs to be balance, a balanced council. It doesn’t need to be all men or all women. It just needs to be balanced because I think the viewpoints from men and women and people in general, just differ.
“I think you have to have well rounded. I think that’s a really important key takeaway from what I’ve learned over the years.”
Storey said she started work forging the new council even before polling day.
“All of them have something to offer and they would all be good candidates,” said Storey. “I gave them some information to help them all out.
“At the end of the day, what matters is we work together. You don’t necessarily have to agree with each other at this table but you have to respect each other. I have a group text message and I text them all and keep them in the loop of what’s going on and make them feel like they’re part of the team from day one.”
Having a supportive council that works together is vital, according to Storey.
“You need a you need a strong council that can help you. You can’t do it alone. And you shouldn’t you shouldn’t do it alone,” said Storey.
Dave Christie was elected to the School District 91 board of trustees for Endako, Fraser Lake and Fort Fraser with 203 votes (66.6 per cent)
Mark Parker was elected director (by acclamation) for Area D (Fraser Lake rural) of the Bulkley Nechako Regional District.
Fraser Lake had a relatively high turnout in 2018 at about 49 per cent, with 360 of a possible 742 voters choosing to exercise their privilege.