Things got emotional when Ward 9 Deb McIntosh took a moment to recognize the meeting’s chair at the close of this week’s finance and administration committee meeting of city council.
Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo has chaired the finance and administration committee, which most notably handles the city’s annual budget process, since he was first elected eight years ago. This week’s meeting marked his final meeting as chair, as he is not seeking re-election.
“You’ve been a fine chair of finance and administration for eight years, and I want to thank you so much for your eight years of dedicated service and your incredible leadership of this committee,” McIntosh said.
“I don’t think there’s anybody around this table that doesn’t admire and respect you and the work you’ve done, and I will say, you will be missed.”
Jakubo held back emotion in his brief response, thanking McIntosh for her work as the committee’s vice-chair, his colleagues around council chambers and staff.
“It’s been just a complete honour to sit in this chair through these meetings,” he said before calling the meeting to an end.
After the meeting, Sudbury.com reached out to Jakubo by emailed correspondence for greater insight on his impending departure, which he explained last year as being due to an incohesive city council and family priorities.
“I have such a heavy heart because I know my colleagues and mayor supported me for eight years, and really enjoyed chairing these meetings,” he said.
“I always tried to be fair and honest with everyone, and I believe everyone respected that.”
During these eight years, he said there have been difficult conversations at Tom Davies Square, but that they managed to get through them with enough time to have the debates they required.
“This all led to getting lots done, from eight budgets, to projects like transitional housing or supervised consumption site or Pioneer Manor bed redevelopment or playground revitalization to mention a few recent ones.”
None of this, he said, would have been possible without McIntosh’s work as vice chair.
“I was emotional because of the support of the mayor and council, but ultimately it is because I entered the election in 2014 to help grow the city and make it a better, more welcoming place, and that is what we have done.”
With Jakubo vacating Ward 7, three people are vying for the position, including Natalie Labbée, Daniel Wiebes and Randy Hazlett. Having registered Aug. 5, Hazlett is the most recent addition to the ward’s slate of candidates. He last sought public office earlier this year, when he ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Nickel Belt for the June 2 provincial election.
During that election cycle, Hazlet was notable to have joined other Progressive Conservative candidates by denying all media requests and public debates throughout the election cycle.
A majority of city council members have already registered as candidates for the Oct. 24 municipal election.
The following city council members have registered thus far: Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini, Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier, Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland, Ward 5 Coun. Robert Kirwan, Ward 6 Coun. René Lapierre, Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer, Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh, Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier and Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc.
Missing from the equation is Ward 1 Coun. Mark Signoretti and Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann. While Signoretti told Sudbury.com he still intends on registering, Landry-Altmann has yet to make an announcement.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.