By Mark Squibb
Former Ward 1 councillor Darrin Bent has been voted mayor of Conception Bay South.
Bent was the clear winner, earning for himself 3,099 votes in the unofficial tally. Brad Suter came in second with 1,852, while former mayor Steve Tessier followed with 1,395 votes.
Bent said he felt humbled and honoured by the confidence residents have placed in him.
“It exemplifies the responsibility that they expect from their mayor, and they’ve come out to show me that my view and my plan is something that means a lot to them, and that they’ve embraced, and that they expect me to help move our town forward,” he said.
Bent said his first priorities will be to begin a series of round tables with community groups. He also spoke to the need to expand the commercial tax base to maintain and grow the number of amenities in town.
He added that those new businesses should be spread throughout town, and not concentrated in one central core.
“There are areas of this town that have a large number of residents, like Kelligrews and into Upper Gullies, that should have more businesses there, should have a greater concentration of effort,” said Bent. “These are places that have so much potential that is currently untapped, and we need to work hard to balance out what we have in our town for the benefit of all residents.”
Bent congratulated his fellow winners and thanked all candidates who put their name forward.
“I look forward to sitting down with the new council and setting the new agenda for council for the coming year and getting to work on our budget, which will be the first order of business of consequence for this council,” said Bent.
Suter could not be reached following the election, however he did congratulate Bent on social media and thanked both Bent and Tessier for running respectful campaigns.
Former mayor Steve Tessier said it was a good campaign. “There were three good choices for mayor, and a lot of good choices for council,” Tessier said. “I think the residents of Conception Bay South have spoken and have decided that they didn’t want the change that was in the undercurrent of social media. I congratulated Darrin earlier tonight, and I wish him well.”
Tessier said he will get back to work and that life will carry on as usual for him.
“I wish them all well,” said Tessier. “They will have tough choices to make over the next four years.”