Al Sizer selected to fill council vacancy in Ward 8
“I'll be going over Fabio's files to familiarize myself with what he was working on,” Sizer said, when asked what his first priority will be. “And I will be available to constituents in the ward. But I'm not looking at any new initiatives.
Al Sizer, who will be sworn in July 8 as the new councillor for Ward 8, takes part in his first media scrum Wednesday at Tom Davies Square. Photo by Darren MacDonald.
“I'll be going over Fabio's files to familiarize myself with what he was working on,” Sizer said, when asked what his first priority will be. “And I will be available to constituents in the ward. But I'm not looking at any new initiatives. I'll be following through with what Fabio started.”
He said he was a little worried when he went over the resumes of some of the other 13 people who applied for the post. A retired city employee, Sizer said his familiarity with the city and its bureaucracy might have helped him win the appointment.
“And I did spend the time and effort to try and get elected the last time, and finished second.”
Sizer led 5-2 after the first ballot over former Walden councillor Frank DeBurger, before winning on the final vote 6-4. Hopefuls made a five-minute for support to city council, under the watchful eye of a traffic light normally used for public input sessions. Green light meant keep talking, yellow was a warning and a red light meant your microphone was about to be cut off. Most candidates, however, kept within the time limits.
DeBurger highlighted his experience in Walden, where he spent 25 years on council – “I have the gold watch to prove it,” he said – and has worked professionally negotiating water contracts with municipality.
Unlike other candidates, he said he could quickly get up to speed and serve residents.
“This is no time for a councillor in training,” he said. “I am ready to assume the Ward 8 council seat immediately.”
Other candidates also had experience – Jim Illnitski, for example, who served on council during Jim Gordon's tenure – while people like the United Way's Michael Cullen and artist Gordon Drysdale had a public profile. Then there was Mike Jakubo, an accountant who works as an external municipal auditor and who grew up in Ward 8.
Those candidates will get another chance, if they so choose, when council replaces Joe Cimino, who vacated the seat in Ward 1 when he won the provincial election June 12. The city plans to hold another nomination committee meeting July 8, followed by a city council meeting where both new councillors will be sworn in.
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