The mayor-elect of Powell River credits a “tremendous team” and a simple campaign focused on change for his landslide victory.
Ron Woznow captured nearly 57 per cent of the vote (2,982) in Saturday’s election, garnering more votes than his council incumbent challengers, CaroleAnn Leishman (1,283) and Maggie Hathaway (945) combined.
In an interview with Vista Radio Sunday, Woznow says he didn’t have any expectations on the results and instead focused on answering more than 30 texts, emails and phone calls a day from potential voters.
“I knew that in 2018, I got 43 per cent, so a number of people on my team said you are going to be well over 50 per cent and, they were right,” he said.
The mayor-elect will be working with four re-elected incumbents – Rob Southcott, Jim Palm, Cindy Elliot and George Doubt. There are two new faces on council – Trina Isakson and Earl Almeida.
Woznow says “it’s a great, balanced council” and it will be easy to reach a consensus on issues important to Powell River.
He is “quite confident” that there’s a “lot of flexibility” among the incumbents to adopt a new vision of better governance and transparency.
Voters also narrowly passed a referendum (Yes-2,450 No-2,417) allowing the city to borrow up to $7.5 million to replace its aging fire hall and EMS base.
“I thought it was going to be close because there’s a real concern over rising taxes. I got a call this morning from a couple, neither one of them have a pension, and they are just really concerned, what are they going to do? They had to take out a small mortgage on their house already,” Woznow explained.
The mayor-elect says the key message is the city can borrow up to $7.5 million but he would like to have that number a lot less through finding grants “so the taxpayers do not have to bear much of the cost of doing the fire hall.”
In closing, Woznow says it’s great a lot of people took the time to vote, even if they were going away. He says the campaign team also met a lot of “smart, capable people” on the hustings who agreed to help the city with progress.
“So, I think you’re going to see that there’s going to be a lot of people volunteering their time to make good things happen in Powell River.”