‘St. Catharines is going in a great direction’
Oct 22, 2018 by Karena Walter The St. Catharines Standard
Mayor Walter Sendzik says he received a clear mandate from St. Catharines residents after winning almost 72 per cent of the vote in Monday night’s election.
“Very, very excited,” Sendzik said, after the majority of results came in. “It’s a feeling of relief and, also, I’m humbled by the fact the city, the residents of the community, gave me a strong mandate to move forward.
“A lot of what we’ve worked over the last four years has resonated with a considerable amount of people and I’m just honoured to get this strong mandate for the next four years.”
Sendzik walked away with the race, with retired business executive and farmer Richard Stephens a distant second garnering just more than 19 per cent of the vote. Laser technician and business owner Johnny Tischler nabbed less than five per cent cent and minister and publisher Tunde Soniregun gained just less than four per cent.
The results will be certified by the clerk’s office Tuesday.
Sendzik watched the numbers come in with a few supporters at Kully’s Original Sports Bar, a low-key event compared to 2014 when he ran for the first time and held a celebration in a ballroom with more than a hundred people. That race saw Sendzik pitted against two city councillors, Jeff Burch and Peter Secord, in a strong contest after former mayor Brian McMullan decided not to run again.
Sendzik said this time he was more focused on where the city is going.
“I think what you saw was a vision of positive thinking and where we want to go as a community, and also facing our challenges head on,” he said.
“Some of the other contenders were focused on what I would consider to be negative views of the city and that just didn’t resonate. St. Catharines is going in a great direction and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
St. Catharines saw just 33.64 per cent of its 92,226 eligible voters cast ballots, about the same as in 2014 when it was the lowest of the 12 municipalities in the region.
Sendizk will be joined by five new councillors in council chambers.
“The most exciting thing is that we can hit the ground running,” Sendzik said, citing inter-municipal transit, affordable housing and redevelopments as priorities.
“They’re really going to take shape over the next four years and I think in the next four years St. Catharines is going to be in an even better position than it is today.”
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