After months of speculation, longtime Baie-D’Urfé Mayor Maria Tutino announced that she is running for re-election this November, telling a group of about two dozen supporters gathered outside town hall that the decision was difficult to balance with a family.
She ticked off a list of reasons why she chose to run, and the last one was that “one of the difficult councillors decided to run for mayor.” That councillor is Peter Fletcher. The two have had tense words at council and that dynamic already is spilling over into the election.
Tutino told Global News Fletcher’s manner in the chamber is characterized by “hostility” and “aggressive behaviour.” Fletcher told Global News the mayor was “slinging mud.” And suddenly a town of less than 4,000 citizens has an election to watch this November.
Fletcher is calling for greater transparency in town affairs, such as live-streaming council meetings, and better management of the town’s public works budget. Tutino for her part touts her record supporting the long-anticipated West Island train and her long tenure as mayor.
One issue that concerned one Baie-D’Urfé resident that Global News spoke with: the lack of recreational resources for teens. The town is blessed with several publicly owned clubs, but little for teens, said Elizabeth Benoit, who has five kids. “We lose that age range because there’s nothing for them to do here,” she said.
An additional note: town councillor Chuck Colomb announced shortly after Tutino’s remarks that he was stepping down from council after his term and not seeking another mandate. The election is scheduled for Nov. 5.