By Chris Marchand
They were practically melted into their chairs by the time the dutiful vote counters returned an unofficial count at 1 a.m.
When they did, re-elected City of Dryden Mayor Craig Nuttall gave a quick thumbs up, an expression of relief following a long wait with fellow candidates Bill Latham, Robert Bruyere, Darryl Skinner, Ken Moss, supporters and members of the press which began at the Dryden Library and ended at the office of the city clerk in the wee hours of Oct. 28.
After sparring with challenger Shayne MacKinnon throughout the campaign, and indeed his previous term, Nuttall’s closest challenger turned out to be newcomer Greg Wilson who came up 177 votes short of Nuttall.
Shayne MacKinnon marked 611 votes (17.87 per cent) in his bid for the mayor’s office.
“I’m quite happy that I did get in again,” said Nuttall, who claimed 1,493 votes, or 43.65 per cent. “I think the citizens know that we are on the right track and we have to keep forging ahead like we have been.”
Nuttall says he plans to keep continual improvement of road infrastructure squarely in his sights working off the city’s already established five-year asset priority plan.
With council harmony and working together an oft-used phrase throughout the campaign, Nuttall says he would like to see the divided days of the previous council come to an end.
“I think that we have to understand that some people might have their own agenda and that has to be parked at the door because this is not the way we’re successful,” said Nuttall. “The citizens have given me a mandate and that should be a message to some councillors that we have to work together.”
Among councillors, voters threw the most support behind Norm Bush (2,732, or 15.4 per cent) and former mayor and Kenora MP Roger Valley (2,411, or 13.59 per cent). Martin MacKinnon was re-elected with 2,057 votes or 11.59 per cent and newcomer John Carlucci earned his seat with 1,870 votes, or 10.54 per cent.
Incumbent councillors Ken Moss (1,770 votes or 9.97 per cent) and Mary Trist (1,619 or 9.12 per cent) were returned to the remaining two seats over newcomers Darryl Skinner (1,331 or 7.5 per cent), Bryan Crawford (1,257 or 7.08 per cent), Bill Latham (1,212 or 6.83 per cent), Robert Bruyere (943 or 5.31 per cent) and Michelle Levesque (544 or 3.07 per cent).
Ken Moss was glad to get another crack at a term on council.
“I’m very thankful to the public to be given this chance and I’m looking forward to continuing on with what we were working with. We know the last council was fight and chew. We’re going to have to make this one work a little better.”
Of Dryden’s 5,732 eligible voters, 3,447 cast a ballot in the 2014 Municipal election — a voter turnout of 60.14 per cent.