Sudbury's rookie mayor says she fulfilled most of her campaign promises in her first year in office. And Marianne Matichuk said she is looking forward to her second year in the city's top job.
Matichuk had no political experience before ousting veteran John Rodriguez in the 2010 election. She said she's enjoyed her first year in office, despite the fact she often feels frustrated by the pace of the political process.
"You feel you're not making any headway and then all of a sudden you find something you think is good and you can't do that," she said. "It's making headway very slowly and for me … it's something I don't do well with ... I like to go a little faster."
Matichuk said she is proud that, after relentlessly pushing for lower taxes in 2011, staff tabled a leaner budget for 2012.
"People are starting to realize we need to spend our tax dollars wisely," she noted.
As a candidate in the mayor’s race, Matichuk was a champion for deregulating store hours, but once she became mayor, she couldn't convince city council it was a good idea. Current city by-laws restrict her from bringing the issue up again.
"But there's other ways of doing things, we're still working on it," she said. "We'll see. It's never over until it’s over."
Feeling like an outsider
Matichuk said, after a year as a politician, she still feels like an outsider.
"I think sometimes, in politics, we try to wedge ourselves in, because that's the way it is," she said. "New ideas are what grow communities. And I really like to see that. I don't see that much of it."
There are still three years until the next election, but Matichuk said if the voters want her, she'll go for a second term.
In the meantime, Matichuk said she's looking forward to the decision on the new biosolids plant, which is expected in the spring. It would be the city's first public-private partnership — a model the mayor thinks would work for future municipal projects.