Jeff Genung elected mayor of Cochrane

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unofficial results show voters ousting incumbent Ivan Brooker

Mayor elect Jeff Genung is the next mayor of Cochrane after defeating incumbent Ivan Brooker and challenger Tom Hardy Monday night.

It was a landslide victory for
Genung, with 4,321 votes to 2,522 for Brooker. Hardy trailed with 440 votes.

Genung’s platform pillars centered on connection, communication and culture with a focus on returning Cochrane to its small-town roots, slowing down development and bringing residents into the decision-making process.

“We’ve listened to what you said, now go do it,” said Genung, responding to the landslide victory.” The community didn’t just speak they yelled.”

Incumbents Tara McFadden and Morgan Nagel were successful in their bid for re-election while Ross Watson was defeated. The two incumbents will be joined by newcomers Marni Fedeyko, Susan Flowers, Patrick Wilson and Alex Reed.

Nagel finished with the most votes, 4,461, to head into his second term. He is an outspoken critic of the town’s rapid growth and champion of small-town living and small business growth. McFadden, who came in second with 3,429 to serve her fourth term, wanr=ts a balanced approach to managing growth, improving connectivity and is an advocate for improving public engagement. Fedeyko placed third with 3,343. Susan Flowers took 3,033. Patrick Wilson fifth with 2,446. Alex Reed took sixth position with 2,381.

While the town added three more advance polls to try and improve the voter turnout from 2013’s 33 per cent, only 7,046 of 18,718 voters went to the polls for a slight improvement to 38 per cent.

“I’m just happy that I ran a campaign and said exactly what I thought about development, traffic and taxes, ” said Nagel, who led the councillor vote, and said the results indicate the town has spoken about their “clear vision ” of Cochrane’s future.
“Change is coming to Cochrane. ”

McFadden, who watched the results from Boston Pizza, expressed her gratitude to voters for giving her another term. She said she was elated to be re-elected to a fourth term after an election campaign that was strongly focused on change.

Fedeyko is a news reporter for Cochrane Now, mother of three and moved to Cochrane nearly five years ago from Airdrie. She is a champion for better engagement and community groups, and events.

“I think there’s going to be change in Cochrane, ” Fedyeko said Monday night, expressing shock she won.

Wilson, co-owner of Taxi4U, is a lifetime Cochranite whose low-government intervention stance will look to solving internal traffic issues first and foremost.

Flowers recently retired as manager of Cochrane Family and Community Support Services, after 22 years. An advocate for transit, community and social services Flowers will look to bring her experience and ability to get groups working together to the table.

“I’m in shock. It’s interesting to see who you’re going to be working with for the next four years, ” said Flowers.

“The world we live in, people never look out for social needs,” added Laureen Paget, Flowers’ campaign manager. “It’s impressive that people recognize Susan is going to look after our vulnerable people … it’s not just about development and subdivisions.”

Reed, a six-year Cochranite who spent two terms on Athabasca town council, is committed to fiscal responsibility and has extensive experience in administration as one of the founders of Athabasca University.

Election results are considered official at noon on the fourth day following Election Day, in this case, on Oct. 20.

Prior to swearing in, the new council attends an orientation session with the senior and executive leadership team on Oct. 20 and 21.
Swearing in is on Oct. 23
at 6 pm in council chambers.

That is followed immediately by a regular council meeting where they will be presented with the 2018 Budget.

Brooker has not responded to requests for comment.

More to come…

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Lindsay Seewalt

Lindsay is a senior Eagle reporter who has transformed her penchant for storytelling into the craft of writing. She has a knack for getting the scoop on stories and is a strong interviewer. The U of C and MRU English/Journalism graduate is committed to telling every story through a new lens, from a fresh perspective. Currently, her focus is on news and politics reporting, including town hall. She has a passion for providing a platform for underdogs, grassroots movements and those who have the courage to put themselves out there. She bases the strength of her stories on the depth of her connection with her interviewee, which is best done over too much coffee.