There will be a new face at the View Royal council table next month.
Damian Kowalewich has been elected as the town’s newest councillor with a landslide 518 votes, followed by Nathan Daisley with 286, Adam Flint with 177, Mark Brennan with 136, Angela Hanes with 105 and Jodi Zwicker with 73.
“I was proud, honoured, and I also realized the responsibility that comes with the position and the accountability to the community,” said Kowalewich, who watched the results trickle in with his wife, eight-year-old son and two-year-old daughter by his side.
Kowalewich believes being the first to announce his candidacy in August and hitting the pavement hard, knocking on more than 1,500 doors in the municipality, handing out brochures and being active on social media gave him the edge over other candidates.
Now the real work begins for Kowalewich, who will be sworn in on Dec. 5. But he’s being “realistic” about what he will be able to accomplish in his 11-month term.
Kowalewich plans on being an advocate for a long-term transportation strategy to help View Royal residents move more efficiently during peak hours.
He also plans on using his public safety expertise to ensure residents feel safe moving forward with the potential repurposing of the Choices Transitional Home, the former youth jail that currently houses 50 people who were previously homeless.
“You can learn a lot just from listening. The people of View Royal are very passionate when it comes to their community and they have a lot of great ideas,” Kowalewich said.
“This is something that’s new [to me] as well. I’m going to make sure I take advice from current council members and the mayor as to how to conduct myself and make sure I’m doing everything in a way that’s going to be helpful to the community.”
Kowalewich takes over the position from previous councillor, Heidi Rast, who resigned in August to take a job as a quality validation associate for a private company in Charlottetown, PEI.
In total, 1,295 residents cast their ballots – 540 during advanced voting and 755 on Saturday’s general voting day.
Kowalewich’s term ends in the fall of 2018, during the next municipal election and he already has plans to run for re-election.