Shane Brienen is newly elected Houston Mayor after winning 69 percent of votes.

Shane Brienen is newly elected Houston Mayor after winning 69 percent of votes.

Shane Brienen elected mayor

Shane Brienen is the newly elected Houston Mayor, defeating two-term mayor Bill Holmberg with 69 percent of votes.

Shane Brienen is the newly elected Houston Mayor, defeating two-term mayor Bill Holmberg with 69 percent of votes.

Of the 871 people who voted in Houston, 604 chose Brienen and 267 voted for Holmberg.

Asked what made the difference for voters, Brienen said he doesn’t know.

“I worked hard and I’ve done three terms [on council] and I think that being visible in the community helps,” he said.

Bill Holmberg said he doesn’t know what caused the results either.

“People voted how they feel and I wish Shane all the best,” he said.

Brienen says he is excited to be mayor and get going with the new council.

“I’m excited for the change and to do something new,” he said.

Voters elected Jonathan Van Barneveld, Dawn Potvin, Tom Stringfellow, Tim Anderson, Rick Lundrigan and John Siebenga for council.

Van Barneveld was the highest voted candidate, with 728 votes.

Potvin took second with 677 votes.

Stringfellow was the third top voted councillor with 572 of the votes.

Anderson took 525 votes, Lundrigan took 388 and Siebenga 349.

The four candidates who were not elected were Toni McKilligan with 292 votes, Nick Powell with 273, Colleen Ettinger with 239 and Craig Stoltenberg with 194.

Chief Election Officer Linda Poznikoff says polls were steady.

“The turnout was what I expected,” she said.

“We didn’t get more voters then usual, it was average. Pretty comparable to other years.”

The tally shows that out of 2,203 eligible voters in Houston, only 40 percent cast their ballots.

This totalled 871 people, with 177 at advance polls.

In the last election in 2011, 50 percent of eligible voters in Houston cast ballots.

Out of the eligible 1,609 voters, 815 people hit the polls.

New Mayor Brienen says his first priority is to sit down with the new council and find common goals to work towards for the next four years.

“You can’t really achieve anything on council unless you do it as a group,” he said.

Second, they’ll be working on the five-year strategic plan which has been delayed due to the busyness responding to the closure of Houston Forest Products.

In the Regional District, Rob Newell was re-elected as the representative for Houston rural (Area “G”).

Newell took 97 votes, or 60 percent of the votes for Houston rural representative.

His challengers nearly split the other votes, with Frances Teer taking 34 votes and Sheryl Yaremco taking 30.