Kelly Peterson was unofficially elected to Wembley town council on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Above, Peterson with his family.
Photo courtesy of Jody Peterson’s Facebook
Wembley residents voted former town councillor Kelly Peterson back into office during a Tuesday byelection.Peterson faced off against candidates Ira Parsons and Justin Pede to see who would fill the council seat left by Marc Moncrieff. The town last held a byelection in November 2018, which elected Jessica Guimond to Wembley town council.“I like the idea of being back in the mix of things,” Peterson said. “She’s going to be fun.”According to the unofficial results, Peterson won 69 out of 164 votes cast, while Pede narrowly trailed behind at 62 votes and Parsons came in last at 30 votes. Three ballots were rejected.Peterson moved to Wembley in 1993 and served as a councillor for nine years from 2001 to 2010. In addition, Peterson was an active volunteer on the Wembley Fire Department for 17 years where he earned the rank of deputy chief and later retired in 2015.Peterson noted that he had left his position on council to spend more time on his family but decided to return due to his two children growing up and the April provincial election that saw Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party (UCP) elected into power.“I could see what the writing on the wall was going to be because after the drunken-sailor NDP spending, you know (Kenney) was going to have to make cuts, so that was going to come down to the municipalities,” Peterson said. “I just thought, ‘You know, this might be a good time to jump back in.’”Having the prior experience, Peterson noted that he didn’t expect a difficult transition and would focus on getting to know the other council members.Peterson added that he would also focus on preserving Wembley as a small Albertan town.“I love Wembley because it’s small enough that you get that community feeling and I just want to keep it that way,” he said. “I’m humbled that I get to represent them again. I’m just going to do the best that I can for them. That’s all I ever wanted to do.”Peterson is expected to be sworn in after Returning Officer Noreen Zhang reports the byelection results to Alberta Municipal Affairs within four days after the election day.