Abbotsford voters are a fickle bunch – or at least, those that actually vote. A civic election turnout of 37 per cent is nothing to boast about.
For the fourth consecutive time since 2002, they have unseated the incumbent mayor after one term, and installed another leader.
In the latest manifestation of that trend, Henry Braun moves from his council seat to the mayor’s chair, replacing Bruce Banman by the narrowest of margins.
The other consistent feature in Abbotsford civic politics of re-electing a majority of council incumbents was disrupted this time by the reality that three were not running. Ultimately, the electorate favoured the AbbotsfordFirst slate over Bill MacGregor, who sought a third term.
The result is a dramatically changed council with four new representatives.
That will bring a new dynamic to civic governance in Abbotsford, as will the welcome fact that there are now four women on council.
It’s a potentially strong mix of political experience and fresh viewpoint.
That’s the upside of this election. The downside was the juvenile, nasty conduct in the social media world, with fake websites, flurries of allegations, and vitriolic commentary.
It’s truly sad that some people think such behaviour is appropriate or useful in an election – or anywhere else, for that matter.
We appreciate the hard work and commitment of the outgoing mayor and councillors. Their term was not without controversy, but it was also marked with accomplishments.
They were faced with a host of tough challenges, including homelessness, and a financially problematic public facility and its hockey team tenant. Progress was made in those areas and others.
We hope that continues.