The St. Catharines Mayor has Announced he will Not be Running for a Third Term as Mayor in this October’s Municipal Election
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted May 10th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
In an announcement Walter Sendzik made this May 10th through his city’s local newspaper, The St. Catharines Standard, he said he will not be running for a third as the city’s mayor in this October’s municipal elections.
Sendzik explained during an interview with The Standard that he told himself when he first ran in 2014 for the top office of Niagara’s largest municipality that he would only serve two four-year terms.
“I do think the role of a public official, the person who is elected, shouldn’t be a career job,” Sendzik was quoted saying in the interview. I don’t think it was ever designed to be a career job.”
Perhaps that is an idea that should become infectious in Niagara. One wonders what Mayors Jim Diodati of Niagara Falls (now serving his third term as mayor), Frank Campion of Welland (now serving his second term) and Wayne Redekop of Fort Erie (now serving his fifth term) awould think of that?
Getting back to Sendzik’s announcement not to run for a third term, it does come as a surprise given that he has had no more than the usual (and perhaps even less) missteps or dust ups than the average politician weathers these days.
And nothing has appeared on the horizon to suggest he would not win a third term. In fact, in 2018 – a year when many municipal incumbents’ heads were rolling in Niagara – he won a resounding victory, capturing 72 per cent of the vote case in a four-way race for mayor.
As a long-time public watchdog, I have my list of times when I have taken issue with Sendzik’s positions on issues. I am not here to list them now though. I prefer to raise them if and when I am writing about an issue that Sendzik has had some hand in shaping for better or worse.
For now, it will be interesting to see what role in the community that Sendzik, who has always been engaged in community affairs one way or another, chooses to play next.
More than that is the question of who will declare their candidacy to serve as mayor of St. Catharines over the next four years. This, after all, is the largest municipality in Niagara and it is a municipality that continues to face its share of challenges as we emerge from a ravaging pandemic and face global crises like war, galloping inflation and climate change.
I can’t emphasize that enough in these difficult times we live in.
As the largest member of Niagara’s community of communities, the intelligence, vision and competence of the person elected to serve as St. Catharine’s next mayor matters a great deal to all of us who live in this region.
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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