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Chestermere, Alta., residents shut down re-election bids of fired mayor, councillors

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Chestermere, Alta., has a new mayor following a byelection on Monday.

Shannon Dean won the position with 3,559 votes, followed by Marshall Chalmers with 1,102 votes and the city's former mayor Jeff Colvin with 1,072 votes.

Chris Steeves was fourth with 627 votes.

"This is as decisive as it gets," said Lori Williams, a political science professor at Mount Royal University.

"It's not just coming in third place, it's the person who challenged the way you (Colvin) were running council getting triple the number of votes that you did."

Dean says he's excited to get a lot done ahead of the October 2025 municipal election, which he plans to run in.

"We have a lot of our councillors who actually have governance experience working on boards and committees and those sorts of things," Dean said.

"I think we have a lot of governance experience coming into this."

Dean says he's hopeful to get the K-9 Catholic school site prepped early into his term.

"I think we can move that from information to action, and get that new school site going," Dean said.

"Have the site ready for this fall, so that the school board can apply for the funding, so then the province can fund it."

Colvin, along with former councillors Mel Foat, Blaine Funk and Stephen Hanley, were all fired by the provincial government when a review found Chestermere was being governed improperly.

Colvin congratulated the new members of council in a Facebook post.

All three councillors also ran in Monday's byelection but were not re-elected.

The city is suing all four men for misappropriating $655,177.13 of taxpayer funds, money it says was used for legal fees to fight back against the province's decision to fire them.

Officials say the money was also used for alcohol, surveillance devices and expenses for one councillor's spouse.

The lawsuit has not been tested in court.

"This is important to Chestermere and we've been through some turmoil here in the last couple of years," Dean said.

"I think Chestermere now has given a really clear mandate, to not only myself, but to this council, to move Chestermere forward."

Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver laid out several directives and recommendations in a financial inspection report for council to follow.

His office reiterated those directives on Tuesday.

"The new council must address any outstanding directives from the minister, including the directives issued to the city following the recent financial inspection," read a statement from McIver's press secretary, Heather Jenkins.

"The new council must provide the minister with a plan on how they propose to address the findings and recommendations of the financial inspection report."

Dean says he is on board.

"I am committed to working with the council and administration to ensure that we are meeting all of those recommendations, and fulfilling all of those directives, to the satisfaction of the minister," he said.

"So this is now in the rear-view mirror," Williams said.

"The city is going to be focused on getting things in order and restoring that relationship with the province."

Resident Graham Reid is glad the results are in and is asking council to work fast.

"He's (Dean) experienced, he kind of knows the area," Reid said.

"And knows what kind of things people are looking for. All I can say is, let's have a pool. We've been waiting election cycle up to election cycle. No pool."

The new council will be sworn in on July 3.

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