Winning Ward 9 by a single vote in 2010 proved to be one of the most interesting developments during my first term as a Kitchener councillor.
During the past four years, it generated many conversations with people ranging from school children to seniors about the fact that every vote counts in any election. The one-vote win also helped combat the occasionally understandable but often cynical suggestion that breeds so much voter apathy — “why should I bother…my vote won’t make any difference.”
The nail-biting win — humorous pundits still call me “Landslide Frank” or “the one-vote wonder” — helped provide yours truly with the incentive to work harder at maintaining close contact and open communication with voters in order to stay informed about a wide variety of community issues and do my best to take action and address their concerns.
Because I am frequently appalled at the decline in voter turnout during municipal elections, I’m delighted to see at least three declared candidates running against me in Ward 9, undoubtedly one of the most vibrant and booming areas of our city. I’m also pleased to see a gradual Kitchener-wide increase in both interest and involvement in the Oct. 27 election. My only regret is that, to date, there are not more candidates challenging other incumbent councillors.
Having numerous ward candidates in this very important election indicates a healthy interest in local government. It will also help create refreshing and conflicting debate during the upcoming term where Light Rail Transit will generate development and other pressures likely to have a huge impact on both our downtown and mature Ward 9 communities including Cherry Park, Victoria Park, Cedar Hill, Mill-Courtland and Rockway.
I look forward to those multiple-issue debates and meeting with you on Ward 9 doorsteps during coming weeks.