Ron Browne (left) congratulates councillor Stewart McLean on election night at the Best Western on Nov. 19. It was a tight race between the two as McLean got only 117 votes more than Browne.

Top Stories of 2011: Most didn’t bother to vote in Chilliwack’s municipal election

Chilliwack earned the dubious distinction of having the second lowest voter turnout in the province in the 2011 municipal elections.

Chilliwack earned the dubious distinction of having the second lowest voter turnout in the province in the wake of the 2011 municipal elections.

Less than 15 per cent of those eligible in Chilliwack voted on Nov. 19, with only 9,343 people heading to the polls. Chilliwack has a population of about 80,000.

Nonetheless, those who did cast a ballot for city council re-elected four incumbents, and brought in two new faces with the addition of local entrepreneurs Jason Lum and Ken Popove.

The incumbents returned to council included: Chuck Stam, Sue Attrill, Ken Huttema, and Stewart McLean. Mayor Sharon Gaetz was acclaimed.

Interestingly, the number one vote-getter in the Chilliwack council election wasn’t even sure he was going to run this time around.

Coun. Chuck Stam was re-elected with 5,386 votes.

“I would have been happy with any finish in the top six,” he said candidly on election night. “This term I really took the proverbial walk in the snow before deciding to run. It came down to the crunch before I said ‘Yes, I’ll do it.’”

Update: The inaugural meeting of council was held Dec. 6 where the council members were officially sworn in, and the mayor released her 2012 council appointments.

In her address Mayor Gaetz thanked council, staff and the community.

“Council will continue to work at all times for the best interests of the people of Chilliwack,” she said. “We all stepped forward to serve because we love this community and share the common goals of wanting it to be safe, healthy and prosperous. We want to have Chilliwack continue to be a place of great beauty and prosperity in which we can live, work and play.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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