Mayor-elect and First Lady

Andrew and wife LeAnne Jakubeit

PENTICTON – At 43 years old, Andrew Jakubeit chuckled at being associated with a youth movement on Penticton city council.

Still, Jakubeit was elected as Penticton’s new mayor Saturday, defeating council veteran John Vassilaki by more than 2,000 votes.

The final tally saw Jakubeit garner 5,126 votes compared to 3,012 for Vassilaki. Third candidate Jukka Laurio was far back with 169 votes. Incumbent Mayor Garry Litke, who won a 2013 byelection, did not seek re-election.

For the six councillor positions, rookie candidate Max Picton topped the polls, followed by Campbell Watt, incumbent Helena Konanz, Andre Martin, incumbent Judy Sentes and Tarik Sayeed. Katie Robinson was the lone incumbent councillor not re-elected, coming in eighth among 25 candidates.

Jakubeit said even with four new faces on council, he feels there is still strong support for the two major projects council currently has on its plate – downtown revitalization and a revamped Skaha marina area.

Jakubeit said he’s confident downtown revitalization will still move forward, noting those newly elected to council all voiced support for the proposed Phase 1 upgrade of much of the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street.

“There’s still three incumbents and I think a lot of us talked about our economic vibrancy and some of the other things to really bring Penticton forward,” he said. “I think it will be a matter of council getting together and standing behind what we all platformed on – instead of saying words, actually putting these things into action.

“I think this council wants to see positive things happen for our community, so I think it’s going to be exciting.”

For Vassilaki, his mayoral loss brings an end to his 12 years on council.

Vassilaki said he never had any second thoughts about whether he should have run again for councillor.

“I don’t think I could have done much more as a councillor, but I could have done a lot more as mayor,” he said. “Unfortunately, the citizens chose to go the other route and that’s fine.”

Picton said it was “unbelievable” to top the polls for councillor in his first election bid.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Picton. “I was hoping maybe top six.”

Picton said he is pleased with the new council, noting the solid voter turnout provided an accurate reflection of what Penticton wants for its future.

“I see a lot of experience and I see a lot of youthful energy,” said Picton. “It’s an exciting time for the city and I’m looking forward to going to work.”

Konanz, one of two incumbents re-elected, acknowledged there was a push for change.

"I'm in shock again but I am so happy to start another four years here," she said. "There were a lot of good candidates. I would have loved to have worked with John Vassilaki but I am so excited to work with Andrew Jakubeit and I think it's going to be a really good new council."

Sentes, who once finished as high as second in the polls in 2008, said she didn't know what to expect this time around.

"I'm really very honoured," she said. "This was an interesting time. People said they wanted a change and I campaigned on a platform of being a balance with new faces and I'm truly honoured."

For the four Penticton trustees on the Okanagan Skaha school board, former Pen-High principal Bill Bidlake topped the polls, followed by current board chairman Bruce Johnson, Barb Sheppard and incumbent Shelley Clarke.

Final (unofficial numbers)

Mayor:

Andre Jakubeit 5,126

John Vassilaki 3,012

Jukka Laurio 169

Council (six):

Max Picton 4,251

Campbell Watt 3,925

Helena Konanz 3,262

Andre Martin 3,090

Judy Sentes 2,890

Tarik Sayeed 2,786

Not elected:

Ryan Foster 2,090

Katie Robinson 1,944

Garry Gratton 1,942

Tim Hodgkinson 1,592

Lynn Kelsey 1,397

Doug Maxwell 1,350

Steve Boultbee 1,268

Kevin Noonan 1,163

Jenine Nicholas 1,143

Patrick Buchanan 1,137

David Korinetz 939

Brian Horejsi 900

Vic Powell 868

Debra Slater 642

Brent Madsen 511

Brian Henningson 473

Paula Catani 393

Daryl Sanders 356

Don Dumesnil 280

School board (four)

Bill Bidlake 4,224

Bruce Johnson 4,072

Barb Sheppard 3,870

Shelley Clarke 3,381

Not elected:

Keith MacIntyre 2,497

Teresa Hebert 2,370

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