Susan Ann Johnston has been elected as Hope's next mayor

Johnston’s plan to re-enter politics succeeds

Former councilor earns mayors chair after three year hiatus

Municipal politics comes naturally to Susan Ann Johnston.

Her father was a politician on the East Coast, and her late brother was the mayor of Pelly, Saskatchewan.

“I think it was passed down,” she said during an interview in her home. “It’s in my blood.”

It’s just days after she’s been elected as the new mayor of the District of Hope, and she is pondering the job ahead of her. There have been a few surprises, such as the media that’s been calling to chat.

“I’ve had four media interviews already,” she said. “I hadn’t been thinking about that part of the job.”

She’s been more concerned about the issues surrounding Hope, and getting down to what’s needed to be done. Some of the hot issues surrounding the election include the debate over who should be collecting garbage. While it was an interesting election issue, she said, the fact is that the current contractor has been contracted already.

“The contracts are signed, sealed and delivered, and now we have to live with that,” she said.

She hopes to look into the area’s recreation services, and is hoping to work with Citizens on Patrol. On Wednesday afternoon, she was getting ready to meet with senior administration to discuss each councilor’s portfolio.

Of course, Johnston is no stranger to Hope’s politics. She served on council for nine years, taking the last three off intentionally. Johnston knew she wanted to take a run for mayor while she was sitting on council, but didn’t feel prepared for the job.

She decided not to run in the 2008 election, and got involved in the community through a number of activities, including the Chamber of Commerce.

But it wasn’t just about brushing up for the next election, she said.

“We have to pay it back, always,” she said. “You can’t sit back and complain and then not doing anything about it. You get involved in your community because it’s where you live.”

On Saturday night, Johnston and her adult son walked down to the high school, just before the polls closed at 8 p.m

She had a feelings she would win, but didn’t know the numbers would be so far in her favour.

Defeating current Mayor Laurie French was bittersweet, as she regards him as a friend.

“We both love Hope, and we both want the best for Hope,” she said. “But it’s not about the people. It’s about the politics, and I really felt I could do a lot for the community.”

Johnston is one of many women that now govern municipalities in the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver.

“I think it’s wonderful, and I also think it’s long overdue,” she said. Premier Christy Clark’s success at the polls may warmed voters to the idea of women in political power. But strong women have been always been around.

Johnston’s looks to former Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo’s career for inspiration. Campagnolo was the first female lieutenant governor, was a cabient minister under Pierre Trudeau, and holds the Order of Canada (1973).

“She was such a good role model,” Johnston said.

The new council will be sworn in on December 5 in council chambers.

The results of Saturday’s election were:

Mayor:

Susan Johnston, 898 votes

Laurie French, 682 votes

Council:

Gerry Dyble, 1193

Scott Medlock, 1117

Peter Robb, 1,085

Donna Kropp, 946

Ronald Smith, 860

Tim Hudie, 814

 

Not elected:

Cindy Koszegi, 648

Walter Rawlinson, 473

Dan Williams, 365

Robert Haley, 246

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

POLL: How should Harrison deal with goose poop?

Monday’s council meeting raised questions about the best way to handle waste around the beach

Sts’ailes First Nation to vote on land code

Land Code would remove nation from 34 sections of Indian Act

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Water upgrade work starts in Harrison

Participation compulsory for impacted properties

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read