Mayor-elect Chris Patrie says he is looking to move the city "back to the forefront of the province,” referring to efforts by the previous council to get provincial and federal funding for a sports complex and money to build a new arts hub among other things.
He said he is not interested in pursuing building a sports complex because of the cost estimated by some at about $30 million and the pressure it would put on taxpayers.
Elliot Lake voters were looking for change in Monday’s municipal election and they got just that by electing Chris Patrie as the new mayor over mayor Dan Marchisella and voting out all of the previous council with the exception of Norman Mann who is now going into his fourth term on council.
In unofficial results from the election, Patrie came in with 1,619 votes while Marchisella garnered 1,158 votes out of the 3,688 ballots cast in the mayor vote. Candidates Mike Thomas got 538 votes and Geraldine Robinson received 373.
When questioned about the arts hub, Patrie said he would use the $3 million in insurance money the city received with the collapse of the civic centre and that any new building would be constructed on the former Pearson Civic Centre site.
Patrie said he will work with an almost completely new council for the next four-year term.
“I think it’s a great council and we have our work cut out for us and I think it’s a group of people that are all going to be able to get to work,” he said.
Despite infighting in the previous council, Patrie says he is looking forward to working with the new council.
“I don’t think there’s going to be anything like that at all.”
He said he has known the new members for many years and has had numerous discussions over the years about issues.
“I know they are logical and I know it’s going to be a good council getting off to start right away," he said. “We’ve had conversations and we’ve been at odds and that’s what we need we need people on council with individual opinions,” he said referring to issues that can be resolved successfully.
Patrie held a celebration at the Fireside Restaurant with a steady stream of well-wishers and supporters coming in to congratulate him.
At nearby George’s Restaurant where friends and supporters gathered, a clearly disappointed Marchisella declined to comment when asked by ElliotLakeToday for his thoughts. He said he will be issuing a media statement Tuesday when he can collect his thoughts.