Troy Shantz & George Mathewson
I’m tried, tested and true.
With those words Mike Bradley announced today he is seeking a 10th straight term as mayor of Sarnia in the Oct. 22 municipal election.
Following a turbulent four-year term in which council twice docked his pay for harassing and bullying senior staff, Bradley said he’s learned from his errors and is ready to lead the city in a new direction.
The current council has marched in lockstep with administration on a number of initiatives that have cost the city dearly and excluded the public from decision-making at City Hall, he said.
“There needs to be a balance. There needs to be a healthy tension and it needs to be respectful. I understand that,” he said.
“I’ve made some mistakes and I paid a huge financial penalty and been sanctioned ever since. But when you get sent to the penalty box in hockey they let you out after two to five minutes, right?”
Bradley is hosting an event Saturday at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 62, on Front Street, where between 10 a.m. and noon supporters will be invited to sign his nomination papers.
“I’m sending the message that I’m back, that I’m in the game and if I’m successful they will see me bring forward dramatic changes at City Hall.”
Bradley said he was elected in 2014 on a platform of eliminating Sarnia’s debt, keeping staff costs down and maintaining services. Those objectives were “negated’ by council and administration, he said.
“Instead, we’ve had a $20-million budget increase in those four years … We’ve had firefighters cut but we’ve gone from four to 11 (information technology) people. I don’t support the direction of the city right now.”
Bradley said the coming election campaign will be a chance to reset the agenda, with new candidates he’s encouraging to run ready to “sweep” incumbents from office.
“If you look at what’s gone on over the past four years, the way the city has unfolded, the way council has operated, the administration … the sanctions, the lack of respect for the office. That’s just wrong,” he said.
“If I thought I was the issue I would leave. I wouldn’t run.”
Candidates for council have until July 27 to file nomination papers.
As of today, 14 people seeking a council seat have registered at City Hall.
Two people have filed nomination papers seeking the job of mayor — Current city and county councillor Anne Marie Gillis and Fred Ingram, who also ran in 2014.