Peachland's new mayor is ready to take the reins after beating out two-term incumbent mayor Cindy Fortin Saturday night.
Patrick Van Minsel estimates he knocked on the doors of about 2,000 Peachland homes and spoke to 1,000 residents throughout the month-long campaign, and his hard work paid off Saturday.
Van Minsel has lived in the community for 11 years, and he's served as a councillor over the past term, before stepping up to the mayoral race this year. He received 1,104 votes, making up 46% of the total votes cast in the district, narrowly beating out former mayor Keith Fielding, who garnered 983 votes.
Incumbent mayor Fortin only managed to secure 293 votes – just 12.2% of the votes.
Fielding was the mayor of Peachland for two terms between 2008 and 2014, and was a councillor during the last term.
In a conversation with Castanet Sunday morning, Van Minsel thanked Fortin for her 11 years of service to the community, and congratulated both of his opponents on their campaigns.
He said he ran as a fiscally prudent candidate, and he'll be looking to carry out that promise over the next four years. He's also looking to limit the height of new developments along Beach Avenue to around three stories.
Development has been a divisive issue in the district for several years. Van Minsel says he hopes to find a balance between those who are pro-development and those who want to keep Peachland the way it is.
Ultimately, he says he plans to keep the promise he made during his campaign, which is to do his best.
Peachland voters also passed a referendum to borrow up to $17.5 million for a new protective services building to accommodate the fire department. Van Minsel says with the yes vote from the community, he expects to see construction begin some time within two to four years.
Castanet reached out to outgoing mayor Cindy Fortin Sunday morning, but she had yet to respond by publication.