By Robert Frank
After several hours of vote-counting, Nov. 2, returning officer Rémi Poliquin declared Suanne Stein Day elected to chair the Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB).
Of the 11,431 valid ballots recorded, Stein Day won a plurality of 5,256 votes (46%) against 3,650 votes (32%) for runner-up Chris Eustace and 2,525 votes (22%) for third-place opponent Angela Nolet.
This was the first election when voters could directly chose who would fill the powerful post of chair.
In addition to picking the chair, voters also selected who would represent their school district.
In the tightest battle of the election, Mary Ann Davis ousted incumbent Sergio Borgia by just 22 votes in District 1. Davis garnered 334 (41%) votes against Borja’s 312 (38%). The remaining two candidates, Bob Dubois and Jim Bytheway trailed at 93 (11%) and 85 votes (10%) respectively.
Since the Quebec government reduced the number of LBPSB commissioners from 21 to 12, the race turned into electoral musical chairs in several districts which saw two incumbents vying for a single seat.
That was the case in District 2, where Frank di Bello (506 votes/58%) bested fellow commissioner Ruben Fazio (372 votes/42%).
In District 3, newcomer Joshua Arless (759 votes/60%) outpolled incumbent Patrick Whitham (515/40%).
Two newcomers bid for the District 4 seat, where Noel Burke eked out a tight 24-vote win (644 votes/51%) over Craig Buchanan (620 votes/49%).
Voters picked experience in District 5, casting 440 ballots (46%) for incumbent Nan Beaton, as against 269 (28%) for Martha Bond and 241 (25%) for David-James Smith.
Another battle of the incumbents played out in District 6, where Craig Berger won (679 votes/62%) over fellow outgoing commissioner Ruth Dangoor-Gdalevitch (422 votes/38%).
Likewise, Laura Derry (713 votes/61%) bested outgoing commissioner Linton Garner in a cordial race in District 7.
Election officials declared incumbent Marty Sherman acclaimed as the only candidate in District 8, after fellow incumbent Don Rae dropped out of the race last month.
In District 9, recently appointed incumbent Eric Bender (710 votes/68%) outpolled newcomer Marc Lucke (327 votes/31%).
Voters returned incumbent Domenic Pavone to office with the strongest proportion of votes of any candidate (575 votes/70%) over opponent Margot Place (245 votes/30%) in District 10.
As previously reported in The Suburban, each of LBPSB’s two off-island school districts saw their sole candidate acclaimed.
Incumbent Daniel Olivenstein will represent District 11 and newcomer Wayne Clifford will serve as District 12 representative.