After a tough campaign, Sendzik elected mayor of St. Catharines with 40 per cent of the vote
After the final results were announced, newly elected Mayor Sendzik made a promise to the residents of the Garden City that he won’t fail them in his pledge to bring significant changes to St. Catharines.
“The next four years are going to be the most exciting years in this city we’ve seen in a long time,” Sendzik said at his victory celebration.
With 40.19 per cent of the vote, Sendzik won the mayor’s seat with 13,147 votes while Jeff Burch came a close second with 34.61 per cent of the vote, taking 11,321 ballots. Peter Secord finished third with 6,751 votes (20.09 per cent), Mark Stevens 1,135 votes (3.47 per cent) and Jim Fannon with 535 votes (1.64 per cent). The total turnout in the election was 34.26 per cent.
“This is not about me. It’s about us – a new way forward for St. Catharines. It’s going to take all of us to right the ship and put St. Catharines on the map; all of us to ensure the next 40 years of the community, the kids surrounding us will continue to call it home. I am telling you we will see some fantastic things in this city,” Sendzik said. Shortly after delivering his victory speech, Sendzik gave an interview with Niagara This Week expressing his gratitude towards residents in showing their support by voting. “The fact all these people were here today really speaks to the community. That’s what hits me the most,” he added.
Returning to his earlier campaign promise of building the kind of city that attracts families, Sendzik said he wants St. Catharines to be a city where people can not only work and live, but more importantly, stay in. Since the early 1990s the population of St. Catharines has remained stagnant at around 130,000 people, and trends indicate a longterm demographic decline.
“The message we had really resonated with people at the door. They want to see people put back to work and it’s the fundamentally most important job we can do as a community,” he said.“We need conditions to attract and keep business here, and provide opportunities, and a future for our children. I think people believe in that message and took stock of it.” Economically, the city is in the dire straits. Once having been home to a thriving automobile industry – Ontario Street could be labelled our ‘little rust belt’ – the city struggles to find ways to overcome the gutting of our manufacturing sector and attract promising new enterprise.
The city is plagued by a consistently high unemployment rate and the median family income is the lowest in the entire province. But Sendzik is confident he can implement the kind of changes that will take the Garden City in a new direction. Sendzik also congratulated his opponents for their efforts and work on their campaigns.
“I’ve never been part of a campaign in which all candidates ran a campaign with such high regard for each other,” he said. “Kudos to them all for putting their names out there. I can’t say enough about their efforts,” Sendzik added.