The most outspoken critic of Sudbury city council is running for mayor.
Dan Melanson declared his candidacy at a press conference in his south-end home Tuesday morning.
The 59-year-old is best known as president of the Greater Sudbury Taxpayers Association, a position from which he has resigned. Melanson also played a key role in the campaign that saw political newcomer Marianne Matichuk elected mayor in 2010.
But he says their political connection has been exaggerated.
"I have not spoken to Marianne about this. She found out about it the same way you all found out about it. You guys in the media are making a bigger deal of that link than anything else,” he said.
“We've been friends for many years. We continue to be friends. She sent me an email congratulating me this morning."
After sounding confident about a re-election run, Matichuk has lately been coy about her political future.
Melanson has said he would not run for office, but said he realized just this week that it's the only way to bring change to city hall.
City councillor Ron Dupuis, perennial candidate Ed Pokonzie, and political rookie Jeff Huska are also running for mayor of Greater Sudbury in the election this October.
Melanson said his leadership style will make him a better mayor than Marianne Matichuk.
He has spent much of the last four years of Matichuk’s term criticizing city council and staff, including calling for some of them to resign.
But in his professional life, working in the helicopter industry, he is known as a consensus builder and a team player, Melanson said.
"I have no problems sitting down with anybody and talking to them and saying 'OK, listen, this is what's happened. This is water under the bridge. Now, we'll get a clean slate and move forward from here. If you want to work with me, I'll work with you. If you don't want to work with me, I'll make certain that everybody knows that’."