PRINCE ALBERT -- Dionne and Darryl Hickie, a former MLA and retired police officer, remained nearly tied as election results streamed in. In the end, Dionne came ahead of Hickie by only 245 votes.

The final count on Monday showed Dionne had 3,322 votes and Hickie had 3,077.

Dionne said the most immediate issue to tackle in the city is public safety.

“We still have a crime problem and that was the message that the public sent me and, unfortunately, we got caught up in the statistics and COVID-19,” he said.

Dionne has also been vocal about job creation in Prince Albert. Last month, the city announced that it was in discussion with investors for a new manufacturing production facility in the forestry sector, which is expected to create over 750 jobs.

Hickie thanked his campaign team. Looking back, he said they ran a good campaign and he wouldn’t have done anything differently.

“It was a close battle. We knew it would be from the start because we’re looking at an eight year incumbent mayor and three terms before that on council, so he’s known,” said Hickie, referring to Dionne.

“I think the issue this time is that people might have wanted a change, and we were hopeful for that.”

Hickie said he won’t be running again for mayor.

Dennis Nowoselsky, previously the Ward 7 city councillor, came in third for mayor at 439 votes. Josh Morrow had 398 votes.

Nowoselsky and Morrow were not at City Hall on election night for comment.

As for the city councillor positions, nearly all incumbents were re-elected. Charlene Miller (Ward 1), Terra-Lennox Zepp (Ward 2), Don Cody (Ward 4), Dennis Ogrodnick (Ward 5) and Blake Edwards (Ward 6) all held on to their spots in city council.

In Ward 3, Tony Head came ahead of incumbent Evert Botha and former councillor Lee Atkinson. Dawn Kilmer rose above Diana Wooden in Ward 7.

Despite the heavy snowfall, Prince Albert went ahead with its civic election on Monday. That afternoon, Dionne said “we are in it too late” to delay because of cost.

Dionne said he’s going to push the province for civic elections in the summer, so that weather doesn’t decrease voter turnout in the future.