Historic voter turnout at New Credit election

NEW CREDIT — R. Stacey LaForme is New Credit’s chief, having won 322 of the 504 votes for chief at the election on December 12.

LaForme replaces New Credit’s previous Chief Bryan LaForme and is looking forward to a term with plenty of communication and hopes to breathe a breath of fresh air into the community.

“There was a lack of communication during the last term,” said the newly elected LaForme. “I really want to build on communication, make the community feel unified and revitalize our nation.”

He knows that it will not be an easy task, but with his new elected council, LaForme says they can accomplish anything they put their minds to with a little bit of hard work.

“I just hope we’re all ready,” he said.

Former chief of New Credit and public supporter of Stacey, Carolyn King, said that this year’s voter turnout made history.

“We usually see around 300 votes,” she said. “This year we had more than 500 and there was a lot of young voters this time — it was fantastic.”

New Credit’s website shows that the community has a registered population of 2 324 people, which means several hundred still did not vote this year, but King is pleased with the turnout.

“Every vote counts,” she said.

King organized two meetings during this last election where members of the community could meet the candidates face-to-face and learn more about their campaigns and encourage people to go out and vote.

“It really encouraged conversation,” she said. “Our end goal with those [the meetings] was to see a higher turnout this year, so it obviously worked.”

King also thinks that the fact that the election was more advertised this time helped.

“Mostly everybody was given notice that an election was coming up,” she said. “People could also vote by mail this time.”

History was made again for the second time this election — with five women and two men on the elected board — this is the first time women have the majority.

The board also is represented by council members that have a younger than usual age average and King is excited to see what will be accomplished within the community by the new team.

“The new team will bring a whole new perspective having several young members,” said King. “I’ve worked with all of these people before and I know the hard work that most of them are capable of doing.”

Evan Sault, one of the new elected councillors, is going to be very focused on the young people within the community, so a council with a younger age demographic could be a good thing.

“We have got to be done with the days where people only help themselves,” said Sault. “Youth are our future and we need to focus on education, respecting our elders and preserving our history.”

New Credit’s new council is — Margaret A. Sault, Erma Farrell, Arland LaForme, Casey Jonathan, Cathie Jamieson, Evan Sault and Veronica King-Jamieson.

There were 512 votes cast for councillor with six of them being rejected for various reasons, along with 14 votes that were rejected for chief.

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