Mayor, incumbents lose seats in municipal election
Harbour Grace voters have spoken, and in a shocking and dramatic way.
In a complete shakeup of the town council, residents decided to oust their longtime mayor and — with the exception of Deputy Mayor Terry Barnes — send the remainder of the former council packing.
© Compass file photo
Terry Barnes has just been elected mayor of Harbour Grace
Barnes seized the mayor’s chair from 20-year leader Don Coombs in a very tight race.
He received 973 votes, while Coombs garnered 903.
After he heard the news, Barnes said he was too overwhelmed and did not quite know how he was feeling yet.
“I’d like to thank the people of Harbour Grace for the support,” he said. That was all he could get out.
In another remarkable result, former Harbour Grace fire chief Sonia Williams led the way in this election with an impressive 1,232 votes, almost 300 more than her closest rival.
It is tradition for the candidate with the highest number of votes to take the deputy mayor’s position, but it will not be determined until the first council meeting next month.
Former councillors Joan Short (591), David Murphy (481), Wendell Hunt Sr. (395) and Albert “Bud” Chafe (358) did not make the cut.
Those that will sit on council for the next four years are newcomers Gord Stone (942), Hayward Blake (915) and Tony McCarthy (914), as well as former deputy mayor Kathy Tetford (655) and former councillor Patrick Haire (880).
Tetford lost a previous mayor’s race to Coombs in the 2009 election, while Haire moved back from Alberta with his family three years ago.
Others on the ballot were Mary Shute (634), Ann Coombs (559), Paul Kennedy (478), Shawn Vaters (382) and Mary Cornish-Havmand (149).