As the gap between Greg Dionne and Jim Scarrow grew in Dionne’s favour, his excitement level increased until he was speaking a mile a minute.
The first thing he wanted to clarify is, although named mayor on Wednesday with 4,205 votes to Scarrow’s 3,129, do not call him “your worship.”
“I’m Mayor Dionne,” he said, excited over the poll results showing up on a screen put up in City Hall’s foyer.
“First council meeting, I’m getting that struck off, whether it’s the Cities Act or what you do, I’m not your worship.”
This, he continued, is in keeping with the unique brand of leadership the new batch of city councillors can expect to greet them in council chambers during their first meeting on Nov. 13.
Often campaigning on the idea that the city has nine bosses and not just the mayor, Dionne is hoping for greater harmony in council chambers resulting in greater sharing of ideas and therefore productivity.
“What I’m excited about is, with a new style of government, the new councillors that we have will see how they will be treated,” he said. “If I get a report, you get a report. If I know something, you know something.”
At the Travelodge, Scarrow took a less enthusiastic but accepting tone in learning that he’d cap off his time as mayor at the six year mark.
“I’ve enjoyed my two terms, and from the people’s perspective it was time for change, and I accept that,” he said.
“I would hope that this council would get behind Greg and try to be as cohesive as they can, because … Prince Albert’s already famous in the community for getting together as a team.”
Scarrow said that the loss doesn’t come as too big a surprise, considering the three crisis situations the city faced this year, including Diefenbaker bridge issues, a boil water order and a 24-hour power outage.
“There was great anger, I think, over a couple pieces of that, and I don’t blame them. I shoulder the responsibility and I accept the decisions. It is what it is, but it’s been a fabulous ride,” he said.
Mayoral candidate Dean Link, who trailed in last with about 832 votes, shared Scarrow’s optimism for the future coupled with disappointment over the election results.
“(The public is) obviously dissatisfied with the present mayor, and they wanted change so they selected Dionne instead of myself, so I mean, what more can I say,” he said.
What I’m excited about is, with a new style of government, the new councillors that we have will see how they will be treated. If I get a report, you get a report. If I know something, you know something. - Newly elected Mayor Greg Dionne
“At the end of the day, my three children told me they were proud of me, so I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Link said that he did everything in his campaign his own way and that he’s proud of having done so.
“At the end of the day I feel good in my own heart and mind, and life will go on,” he said.
Looking at the lineup of councillors to represent the city during the next four years, Link said that he’s hopeful they’re able to open up the city’s books and become more transparent than the past council was.
“There’s at least a chance, whereas before there was no chance,” he said.
Looking to the future, incumbent Martin Ring, who reclaimed Ward 6, said that he’s going to miss working with Scarrow as mayor.
“He taught me a lot with regard to business, how to deal at committee levels and the meetings,” Ring said. “Moving forward, I can equally work with Greg. Greg and myself have always had pretty interesting conversations at the city council level … I have no issues working with Greg and in fact I look forward to it.”
Upon his re-election to Ward 8, Coun. Ted Zurakowski reflected on the mayoral results.
“The people of Prince Albert have spoken and as usual I’ll work with anybody,” Zurakowski said of working with Dionne. “I’m looking forward to it. The exchange of ideas has always been welcome and I’m looking forward to some of the ideas and leadership that he brings to the table.”
But he added that Jim Scarrow’s presence will be missed.
“Anybody who’s ever walked into city hall at 7 in the morning happened to attend an event at 9 at night, he’s certainly been there.”
On Nov. 13, Dionne will be sworn in alongside the eight city councillors to claim their wards, during a ceremony in council chambers, beginning at 7 p.m.
The city will provide official and final poll results on Thursday at noon. The Daily Herald will print these results online, at ww.paherald.sk.ca, as they become available.