Smith new mayor of Wasaga Beach
By Michael Gennings Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin
Brian Smith will be Wasaga Beach’s new mayor.
Smith beat incumbent Cal Patterson, who was after a fourth term and Deputy Mayor David Foster, who was hoping to move up.
Nina Bifolchi, a current councillor, will be the town’s new deputy mayor, beating Gary Cerantola.
The incoming mayor learned of the results at the RecPlex, where news of his victory was met with loud cheers and applause.
“Clearly the people have spoken and it’s my job now to pull the council together as a team and make Wasaga Beach a better place to live, work and play,” Smith told QMI Agency.
Smith garnered a healthy 5,311 votes to Foster’s 2,073 and Patterson’s 2,046.
Former town economic development officer Bonnie Smith was elected to a council seat, receiving the most votes of any, with a final unofficial tally of 5,394. Sylvia Bray (4,798), Ron Ego (3,620), Ron Anderson (3,608) and Bill Stockwell (3,272) were also elected to council. Anderson, a local accountant, is the only incumbent re-elected.
“It was pretty clear that folks were ready for change,” Brian Smith said.
The businessman, who owns Tim Hortons stores in Midland and Penetanguishene, extended his thanks to Mayor Patterson and Deputy Mayor Foster.
“We owe them a great debt of gratitude…for everything they’ve done for this town over the years. They’ve given up a lot of their lives. Whether people like what they’ve done or not they worked hard and I’m sure they did the best they thought they could do.”
Smith said he has “immediate priorities‚” in mind but he’s keeping those details to himself until he meets with his new council.
“The No. 1 priority – as I’ve said throughout this campaign – is to keep in mind that the taxpayer is the No. 1 shareholder in this corporation and we need to do what’s best for the taxpayer.”
Smith said he aims to move Wasaga forward in a “realistic, positive and sustainable manner,” over the next four years.
His road to the mayor’s chair started shortly after the 2010 municipal election ended.
“Ten days after the last election is when I decided I was going to run for mayor,” he said. “I’ve been working on my own for about three years and really started to campaign somewhat about 10 months ago and really started to ramp it up six months ago and these last three months have been a whirlwind.”
Smith thanked his team and local residents for showing faith in him.