Shawn Mesheau celebrated with supporters Monday night in Ducky’s pub after his victory in the municipal by-election to fill the vacant seat on Sackville town council.
Unofficial results from Elections New Brunswick show Mesheau winning with 470 votes while his nearest rival Sabine Dietz received 296. Dylan Wooley-Berry came third with 216 with Brian Neilson receiving 113 and Julia Feltham 104.
“I’m very excited and I am honoured,” a beaming Mesheau said during an interview with The New Wark Times.
Mesheau, who has already served three terms on council, added: “I’m excited about getting back in there, back with some former colleagues and with some new colleagues too.”
He promised to bring a “balanced approach” to council, seeking the “diverse economy that we used to have in years past.”
When asked what he meant by balance, Mesheau responded that the town has been focussing on one initiative or another without taking an overall approach.
“We do really well at community development, we’re weak at economic development,” he said, adding that his recent participation in a public consultation on the town’s business development strategy showed him that the business community needs a voice, especially since the demise of the local Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve lost that voice with the Chamber being gone,” he said. “Where is the voice now?”
To listen to the interview with Shawn Mesheau, click on the media player below.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the results,” said Sabine Dietz who was also with her supporters in Ducky’s Monday night.
She added she was encouraged that the results showed that more than half of Sackville’s voters “would like to see a different voice.”
Dietz explained that a “different voice” would mean longer-term, strategic thinking in which the environment and climate change would be central aspects of public policy rather than a short-term focus on jobs.
“Let’s just see what happens with the next municipal election, so hopefully we can get some more progressive people into council,” she said, adding she may well run again for council herself in 2020.
To listen to the interview with Sabine Dietz, click on the media player below.
Meantime, as Shawn Mesheau celebrated his victory, Sackville town councillors were wrapping up their regular December meeting.
Only three councillors responded when they were asked during the question period about Mesheau’s win.
Bill Evans said he was going to send Mesheau an e-mail congratulating him, but couldn’t because he was the only candidate who didn’t file his e-mail address with Elections New Brunswick.
“So, I’m going to take this opportunity to say congratulations, I look forward to working with him,” Evans added.
“I enjoyed working with Shawn,” said Councillor Bruce Phinney, “sometimes we had our differences, but overall we worked well together and I look forward to working with him again.”
Councillor Michael Tower also congratulated Mesheau saying they had worked together on municipal finance and other committees.
“We worked fairly well together,” Tower said, “there were times when it wasn’t the smoothest, but we worked well together and he’s had the experience and it will be nice to have him come aboard.”
Mayor Higham, who has had his differences with Mesheau, said nothing at all.
Mesheau will be sworn into office at Sackville Town Council’s next regular meeting on January 14.