by Dave Preston
If there was any concern prior to Saturday’s election that new boundaries for electing school trustees on the Westside would hurt representation for Peachland, the results of the vote should serve as solace that Peachland did more than its part.
Prior to the recent civic election, Peachland elected its own trustee. The remainder of the Westside, including West Kelowna, WFN and the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, elected another.
On Saturday, West Kelowna and Peachland traded places. West Kelowna got to vote in its own trustee, while Peachland, WFN and the electoral area voted in another.
Moyra Baxter, who was Peachland’s trustee for 15 years, handily defeated her two rivals, Karin Cruickshank and Lindsay Bell, winning with nearly 69 per cent of the vote.
Estimates vary, but Peachland has roughly 3,900 eligible voters, compared to 7,300 between WFN and the electoral area. If there had been a heavy voter turnout, Peachland’s votes could have been swamped by the other two Westside areas, but Peachland carried the trustee vote Saturday.
According to figures released by the regional district and the District of Peachland, a total of 1,880 votes were cast for the Zone II (which includes Peachland) trustee. Of the total, 1,473 votes, or just over 78 per cent, were cast in Peachland.
Just 407 votes, or 21.7 per cent, were cast outside of Peachland.
Peachlanders also voted more for Baxter than their other Westside counterparts. The breakdown works out to:
- 24.3% of those who voted outside Peachland voted for Lindsay Bell, compared to 12.2% of Peachland voters;
- 21.4% of those who voted outside Peachland voted for Karin Cruickshank, compared to 15.1% of Peachland voters;
- 54.3% of those who voted outside Peachland voted for Moyra Baxter, compared to 72.3% of Peachland voters.