Meaney ousted after 19 years
Newly elected Kirkland mayor Michel Gibson celebrates his win at city hall Sunday night. Photo by François Lemieux.
Close to 9 p.m. Sunday night, Kirkland mayoral incumbent John Meaney was still ahead in poll results with 52 per cent while candidate Michel Gibson stood close at 44 per cent and it seemed the mayor would get yet another mandate.
However, as town clerk Tim Seah was announcing the results one poll box at a time to the small crowd gathered at city hall Sunday night, the tide begin to change.
By 9:30 p.m., Gibson was six points ahead of Meaney with about 50 per cent of the popular vote. By 10:10 p.m., Gibson’s victory became a mathematical reality at about the same time he walked into city hall.
“Everything is possible in municipal elections if you’ve got a good campaign going and a good platform. What helped me was that my platform was solid, close to our residents, what they wanted. It’s a combination of also, the general aspect or the general feeling in the province that led new blood, new vision to come across,” he said.
Obviously rejoiced by his victory, Gibson said there would be a change of attitude in the way the administration deals with citizens during his mandate.
“You don’t condescend on your citizens. You let them explain their position. You’re not always in agreement, that’s for sure. But you have to listen. My position will be an open-door position. I want to be available Saturday morning and that was in my platform from day one,” he said.
John Meaney, who was first elected in 1994, finished second in the race with 43.92 per cent of the vote. He could not be reached for comment. Daniel La Tour finished with 5.49 per cent of the vote.
Councillors Luciano Piciacchia (district 2 - Holleuffer), Tony Di Gennaro (district 3 - Brunswick), John Morson (district 6 - Canvin) and Paul Dufort (district 7 – Saint-Charles) were elected without opposition.
In district 1 (Timberlea) Michael Brown edged Neil Semenchuk by only 15 votes to get the win. In district 4 (Lacey Green West), incumbent Domenico Zito retained his seat with 44.56 per cent of the vote.
In district 5 (Lacey Green East), Brian Swinburne defeated opponent Maxime Savard with 72.05 per cent of the popular vote. In district 8 (Summerhill), incumbent André Allard obtained 292 votes, 72 more than runner-up Karen Cliffe to conserve his seat with 33.22 per cent of the total vote.