Edmonton election results point to some anger directed at city hall
It has been four decades since an Edmonton mayor did what Don Iveson did on Monday night.
Iveson picked up close to three quarters of the vote as he easily swept to victory and began a second term as the city’s mayor.
“I feel like my mandate is strong and the city’s direction has been confirmed in every part of the city,” Iveson said in the wake of his victory.
In the ward races, some results call into question just how strong that mandate is.
Jon Dziadyk is the new councillor-elect for Ward 3. In a tight race, he beat incumbent Dave Loken by 464 votes.
Dziadyk did not have a big campaign. The urban planner said he spent somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000 on it. He feels his message got him elected.
“In my opinion, the north side is not getting its fair share,” said Dziadyk, whose campaign slogan was: “Ward 3 first, north side second, the rest of Edmonton third.”
Watch below: In an extremely tight race, newcomer Jon Dziadyk defeated incumbent Edmonton councillor Dave Loken in Ward 3 in Monday night’s election. Gord speaks with Dziadyk to hear more about his platform.
Dziadyk feels his ward has been ignored by the last council, with more attention going to the downtown core and to LRT projects that run south and planned projects that would head west.
Dziadyk wants to push harder for north Edmonton at council and he feels his residents wanted that too.
“I’m going to do stuff for the good of Edmonton but it’s always going to be with a north-side focus.”
Dziadyk wasn’t the only new councillor to reference a sense of dissatisfaction or alienation.
After appearing with all three other new faces to city council on 630 CHED, Ward 4 winner Aaron Paquette said: “Residents have said, and I agree, that the northeast has been sort of ignored over a number of years and it’s time for that to change.”
Sarah Hamilton, who won in west Edmonton said of city council: “They need to start listening more to residents. The next city council is going to have to work very, very hard to earn that trust.”
Mayor Don Iveson briefly met with the four new councillors as he left the radio studio and the councillors were on the way in. He spoke to them about talking more about their priorities and spent some time talking to Dziadyk about his north-side focus.
Later in the day, Iveson was asked if he felt the election showed there’s some anger with city hall. Iveson rejected the idea.
“Overall, I don’t think that was a dominant theme in this election. It wasn’t one that I heard at the doors,” he said.
“I went door-knocking in the suburbs and found overwhelmingly positive Edmontonians who elected me with greater than 50 per cent of the vote.”
He also argued that council does pay attention to all parts of the city.
“From the rec centres to the roads that we’ve built; on the north side, the $1 billion on the Yellowhead, I think our track record of working across the whole city is sound,” Iveson said.
Other candidates who survived an election challenge say they have heard the voices of dissatisfaction and learned a lot from the campaign.
Michael Walters ran against Vieri Berretti in Ward 10 and won with 58 per cent of the vote.
Berretti ran a campaign critical of Walters’ positions on infill and transportation issues.
“I don’t think that kind of campaign worked in our end of town, at least, where you wedge negativity,” Walters said after the numbers were counted.
But Berretti still received more than 5,000 votes and Walters took notice of that.
“You can never be so arrogant as to say, ‘Oh I’ve won, so I’m right about everything.'”
Watch below: With the municipal election just three days away, one Edmonton resident is projecting his message to city council in lights to share his concerns with infill. Sarah Kraus explains. (Filed Oct. 13, 2017).
Walters stands by his positions on controversial issues in his ward like infill planning and bike lanes but does say the next council can be more thoughtful in finding ways to get that work done.
Political watchers also feel council must listen to these sentiments.
Former councillor Kim Krushell says she’s surprised by Dziadyk’s victory over Loken. She adds the sentiment that led to it is “something this council will have to address.”
“Iveson is going to have to go out there and start talking to people and figure out what it is specifically that you feel you’re missing out on.”
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