BELLEVILLE – The race to be the next mayor of Belleville is starting to take shape after Councillor Pat Culhane announced her candidacy in an announcement at Market Square on Monday morning.
Nearly 100 people gathered in the rain behind City Hall to hear Culhane’s announcement. It has been expected for months now that Culhane would join the race, but now it is official.
Culhane said she wants to be mayor of Belleville so she can “use my talents and experience to keep Belleville, the city in which I was born and which I love, moving forward. (I want) to do what is best for my city and to build a positive, united council to carry us into the future.”
Culhane has been a councillor for 8 years. She said her work in that capacity prepared her to take the next logical step into the position of mayor of Belleville.
In her speech, Culhane talked about her plan for the city. She said Belleville’s problems are not unique.
“Together, we will find new and innovative ways to attract new business, to support them, and to foster a community of diversity and inclusivity that will insure Belleville is simply the best place to be. We will lobby the provincial government to address the growing needs for long-term care beds, the need for skilled trades, the huge infrastructure deficit and other critical issues that affect our citizens of Belleville.”
Culhane said she will offer residents honesty, tenacity, frankness, respect for all, and a strong work ethic. She said she welcomes citizen input.
“You and I will be partners in ensuring the right decisions are made going forward into the future. I ask you to take ownership of your part in this beautiful city.”
Culhane told media she decided to run for mayor after Councillor Jack Miller chose not to run. She said she was not interesting in running against Miller and was content to continue as councillor and support him in that case.
Culhane retired as a nurse on May 1 to give her full attention to her municipal career. She said her career as a nurse will help her as mayor.
“Nurses must be intelligent, resourceful, diplomatic, patient and compassionate, with an endless capacity to absorb the wrath of some while meeting the needs of many. Nurses balance complicated personal lives with complex and demanding professional lives and thrive on the pressure.”
Current mayor Neil Ellis was in attendance. Ellis said he expects Culhane will be a candidate to be reckoned with and praised her ability to move issues forward even when she didn’t agree with him.
Another mayor candidate, Bill Glisky, was also in attendance. Glisky wasn’t surprised by her announcement and implied the strength of her platform is her experience as a councillor. Both Glisky and the third mayor candidate, Lonnie Herrington, said they expect an interesting race and are looking forward to it.
You can find video of Pat Culhane’s announcement and a short question and answer with her afterwards here