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Nov 23,2011 The Now News

Cookie crumbles in favour of councillor Mike Clay in City of the Arts

The cookies had the message right.

Amidst the celebrations of Mike Clay's mayoral win in Port Moody Saturday night, a mountain of cookies was passed around Inlet Theatre with "Mayor Mike" written in blue icing.

Of the city's three mayoral candidates, Clay topped the tally with 3,112 votes. In second place was Robert Simons with 2,019 votes, followed by Katie Kickbush with 321.

Immediately after the results were announced, Clay's two phones began ringing simultaneously as cameras flashed in his face.

"It's sort of mind-numbing. I felt really good about this leading up to today, so I was fairly confident it was going to come out this way. I'm glad it did, obviously. I worked very hard on this. I've never worked this hard on a campaign before and it was good to see," he said, circled by a crowd of people congratulating him.

"You hope that it vindicates the six years of hard work that I've been doing for the city and that that means something and that people recognize it. It's going to be a very exciting term. There will be a lot of change - It's a big change to turn over half the council and the mayor."

Clay has his work cut out for him with three new councillors elected to the team. Newcomers Rick Glumac, ZoŽ Royer and Rosemary Small will join incumbents Diana Dilworth, Bob Elliott and Gerry Nuttall on the six-person council.

Barbara Junker held on to a spot until results of the final polling station were counted, but Small edged her out by 44 votes.

"We have three new people on council. The first thing we have to do is get everybody together and sit down and find out where everybody is. One of the things you always have to look at is what did these people run on and why did it get them elected. So if that's what played to people, then we need to embrace that and figure out where we're going with it," Clay said.

"The incumbency obviously was pretty

strong out there. I think this also vindicates that people in Port Moody are generally pretty happy with the way things were going. The three incumbents were close to the top of the poll. We need to get the new faces in there and find out where they're coming from - It will be a good group of people. There's no doubt about it."

Glumac also received many congratulatory handshakes from residents gathered at Inlet Theatre.

"I'm overwhelmed right now," he said, smiling.

He was surrounded by his top supporters - his wife Nathania Vishnevsky, fiveyear-old daughter Xylia and six-month-old son Nico.

"Your daddy's got a big job now," Vishnevsky told their kids. "Get used to this place, guys."

Royer, too, was all smiles after the results were announced.

"I feel relieved that I can sleep in tomorrow," she said. "This is just the beginning."

Small told The NOW Monday she's still soaring from the election results.

"I'm feeling really good. I can't wait to get started and get together with everybody. It's going to be great. First thing on the agenda is to sit down and meet everybody and talk about our future plans," she said.

"I can tell you I was out door knocking Friday as well. I was out door knocking for six weeks every night. It's hard to come down after all that."

Small hopes to be involved with the economic development committee to work on bringing in and retaining businesses in the city.

Outgoing Mayor Joe Trasolini dropped by the council chambers Saturday night to see who would replace him after 12 years in the top spot.

"The results are expected," Trasolini said. "Mike has got a lot of experience, so he will be able to step into the office of the mayor with much, much more ease than somebody else who hasn't had the experience on council."

Trasolini's last meeting as mayor was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22, after NOW deadline.

"It's nice to be able to finish my last three years and to be able to go and do something after the mandate is finished. I feel good - I prepared myself for that," he said. "I wasn't going to run three years ago. I knew in my heart that that was my last time."

Simons, meanwhile, took in the elections results from his home, away from the crowds.

"I'm feeling a little bit disappointed but it was a good race. It took a little while for the results to come in," he said by phone Saturday night.

"We now have a new mayor and we have three additional councillors as well. It's a very significant change for the City of Port Moody and I wish them all well in their term." It's too soon to tell whether Simons will run again.

"We'll have to wait to see what transpires over the next two to three years. This was a major step for me to put myself into a mayoralty race, so I'd have to look at it again at some point. But at this point, I'm not going to be making any decisions whatsoever," he said.

"I have not left my employment, so I'm still at Telus.

I'll be getting back with my team there. I've been away for the better part of 10 weeks and we'll see what transpires. I could look at a retirement opportunity. That's something I have to consider myself, as well as to what to do going forward."

Port Moody topped the TriCities with a voter turnout of 26 per cent, up from 22 per cent in 2008.

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