10/25/2012 09:18 EDT | Updated 12/25/2012 05:12 EST

Rural municipality of Corman Park gets new reeve in Saskatchewan municipal vote

CORMAN PARK, Sask. - There's new leadership in a Saskatchewan rural municipality that has seen its share of controversy.

After Wednesday's municipal election, incumbent Reeve Mel Henry was defeated handily by newcomer Judy Harwood who won 1,963 votes to Henry's 838.

Voter turnout in the municipality was high at 45.9 per cent.

Back in July, some in the community were predicting a tax revolt after hearing that councillors had approved a property tax increase of 36 per cent.

Henry said at the time the increase was necessary because the proper planning wasn't done over the years to keep up with the infrastructure.

The tax hike was later dropped to 20 per cent, but Henry warned that would mean less road maintenance and fewer pavement improvements than planned.

Harwood said Thursday her first priority is to sit down with council.

In a recent report on the governance of the RM, paid for by the municipality, it was recommended council get some training to ensure it acts in accordance with the Municipalities Act.

Harwood will also have some legal issues to settle. More than a year ago the council fired its administrator citing "termination with cause" but an Occupational Health and Safety investigation found the rural municipality was wrong in doing so and now must provide remediation.

In addition, the former director of planning has filed a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.