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Princeton, B.C. leadership axed, brand new mayor and council

Voters wanted change in Princeton, B.C. and they got it.

Saturday night saw a complete turnover of leadership at city hall with a new mayor-elect and council.

Former city councillor Spencer Coyne defeated incumbent Frank Armitage for mayor with 68 per cent of the vote. 895 votes were cast in his favour compared to 336 votes for Armitage.

Politics runs in Coyne’s blood. He is the son of rural Princeton area director Bob Coyne.

The older Coyne was acclaimed, which means there will be a father-son duo at the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board.

“It’s going to be interesting. We have different opinions on a lot of things and it will be good,” Bob Coyne told Global Okanagan on Sunday.

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“I’m not really surprised. There has been a lot of discussion around town about time for change. I was surprised that it was as big of a gap as what it was,” he said.

Meanwhile, all current city councillors sought another term, and none were re-elected.

The new council members are Barbara Gould (814) Tyler Willis (544) Randy McLean (451) and George Elliott (445).

Candidates

Mayor:

Spencer Coyne-elected

Frank Armitage (incumbent)

Leona Guerster

Jim Manion

Council:

Bruce Barth

Neal Dangerfield

Gino Del-Ciotto

Rosemary Doughty (incumbent)

George W. Elliott-elected

Nick Goreas

Barb E. Gould- elected

Kim Maynard

Randy H. McLean- elected

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Lorraine Morosse

Chris Obey

Barry Ovington

Doug Pateman (incumbent)

Mike Stafford

Jerome Tjerkstra (incumbent)

Tyler Willis- elected

Boundary

Princeton is a town in B.C.’s Similkameen region, about 67 kilometres from Hope.

Population (2016)

2,828

History

The Similkameen people inhabited the area that encompasses Princeton. They mined ochre from mountainsides and traded it in Navajo and Blackfoot territory.

European exploration is dated back to 1812, when Alexander Ross arrived in the region.

But the establishment of the Canada-U.S. border at the 49th parallel would make a bigger difference, as it would require the Hudson’s Bay Company to find new fur trading routes.

The Dewdney Trail, which was built so that the British could establish its dominance over regions north of the U.S. as American prospectors poured in, reached the area that would eventually become Princeton in 1861.

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That trail would later become known as Highway 3.

The Great Northern Railway would come to Princeton in 1909, then the Kettle Valley Railway would in 1915.

Princeton’s economy would grow with mining activity in the late 19th and the early 20th century. Copper, coal and gold would be mined there.

Forestry, too, would become a key economic driver, as wood would be needed for mines and railways.

Princeton was eventually named for a Prince of Wales in the 19th century.

Median total income of couple economic families with children (2015)/B.C. median

$119,040/$111,736

Political representation

Federal

Dan Albas (Conservative)

Provincial

Linda Larson (BC Liberal)