Declines comment as former supporter launches bid for mayor's job
“The mayor isn't scrumming today,” Christine Hogarth, Matichuk's chief of staff, told converging reporters as the mayor headed for the council lounge.
And on Tuesday, Dan Melanson, the president of the Greater Sudbury Taxpayers Association, announced he was stepping down to run for mayor. Melanson and other members of the GSTA had high-profile roles in Matichuk's 2010 election campaign. Many of the platforms she ran on mirrored those of the GSTA, although both have said they are no longer affiliated.
Melanson was in the gallery at Tuesday's meeting, as was city council candidates Aaron Beaudry (Ward 9) and Mike Bleskie (Ward 11).
Reporters will have another chance to ask Matichuk about her reaction on Wednesday, when she attends the Greater Sudbury Police Services Board meeting.
Olympic celebration goes Tuesday morning
There's still time for anyone who wants to sign the four city flags being presented to the city's four Sochi Games Olympians at a public ceremony April 15 at 11 a.m.
The flags will be presented to Rebecca Johnston (gold, women's hockey), Meagan Duhamel (silver, team figure skating), and to the families of skiers Devon Kershaw and Chris Del Bosco.
Matichuk encouraged everyone to attend the ceremony and thanked Ward 2 Coun. Jacques Barbeau for his efforts to arrange the ceremony. Barbeau also pushed for the Olympians to be featured on billboards in the city during the February games.
The event features a free community barbecue, and will be held in the main courtyard of Tom Davies Square. The four flags are available for anyone to sign in the foyer at city hall up until the ceremony.
Splash pad in the Donovan to open in summer
Ward 4 Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac had high praise for the community action network in her ward. The Donovan/Elm West CAN raised $25,000 for the cost of building a splash pad in the Donovan, helping secure $80,000 in grants from the Trillium Foundation. Dutrisac paid the remainder out of her ward funds. The total cost was $155,000.
“Children in the area will be able to use the splash pad this summer,” Dutrisac said. “We'll probably have an official opening at Donovan Days in August.”
Councillors balk at $15K inauguration cost
A staff proposal to move the inauguration ceremony for the new city council in the fall – at a cost of $15,000 – failed to gain much support Tuesday, and the matter was eventually deferred.
The city spent a little more than $3,000 four years ago on the ceremony, held in council chambers, as is the tradition. But with more than 120 dignitaries invited, and each councillor allowed to invite 12 people, tickets are at a premium. Council chambers can hold a maximum of 243 people, under city fire code regulations.
The plan was to move the event to a larger hall – such as the Caruso Club, or the Great Hall at Laurentian University – to allow the public to attend and for more guests to get tickets.
The fact the Caruso Club was in the running prompted two councillors – Joe Cimino and Fabio Belli -- to declare a conflict, and Frances Caldarelli wondered if she should, as well, since her husband is also a member.
But the logistics of moving the ceremony significantly increased the costs, and made televising the event more of a logistical challenge. Staff suggested it could be recorded and made available to the public later. But Ward 11 Coun. Terry Kett wondered why they would go to the expense of moving it, when the public could watch it live at home.
“I mean, it's not that interesting,” Kett quipped.
In the end, the matter was deferred and staff will take another look at all the options.