Vladimir: Well? Shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let’s go.
[they do not move]

A sincere and hearty congratulations to Mayor Sam Katz on his reelection in Winnipeg.

The people have spoken, and the people are never wrong.

Maybe these meant more then we thought

But judging by the immense social-networking chatter and coverage in both newspapers this morning, all eyes are now on Katz to deliver over the next four years.

I mean, really, check these three articles out if you haven’t yet:

Not 12 hours after his win, and the mayor’s already been put on notice by the WFP and the Sun that his victory is a slight one in their eyes.

@bkives had a really fascinating (to me, anyways) piece on Katz’s transformation from a self-described non-politician to a savvy one fully enamored with political life.

But dark clouds loom for Katz on the horizon, Dan Lett suggests:

Despite assertions that he is the mayor of infrastructure and public safety, both have continued to suffer during his six years in office. The infrastructure deficit — the total amount of work needed on our roads, bridges and sewers for which there is no funding — continues to grow. City facilities like arenas and community centres are falling apart at the seams. And despite having weathered the recession better than almost any other province in the country, social dysfunction and crime in Manitoba continue to rage. It’s a win, but the problems facing this city constitute solid proof that Katz’s main planks — hiring more cops and snuggling up to the Winnipeg Police Association — are not a panacea for reducing crime.

We’ll have to see where he gets to in the next two years, and he’s earned that right at the ballot box.

But I have a feeling that, unlike in years past, there’s going to be more scrutiny on City Hall and the Mayor’s office than usual.

Remember the following, because this is what Katz ran on:

Katz pledges 77 additional Winnipeg Police Service positions to take action on violent crime

The Mayor outlined his proposal which would see:

  • an additional 20 officers dedicated to combating gangs, in a unit modeled after the highly successful auto theft strategy,
  • 20 new officers for foot patrol in high risk areas,
  • an additional 18 officers to add another full shift to cruiser cars to provide for quicker response times
  • and an additional 19 positions to be added to the 911 call centre to ensure help is there when you need it. [Sept 7, 2010]

Katz Dedicates $1 million to Community Centre Renovation Fund

Winnipeg, September 17th , 2010 –Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will create a $1 million Community Centre Renovation Fund dedicated to renovation projects for city-owned board-run community centres. Funding will come from dedicating 15 % of total City land sale proceeds, amounting to approximately $1.2 million/year.

Katz Pledges $1 million to Keep Youth on the Path to Success

Winnipeg, October 5th, 2010 – Mayor Sam Katz today announced that he will commit an additional $1 million to add operating hours, new programming and security to Inner-city and North End community organizations. It will also go to fund the hugely successful JustTV, developed by the Broadway Neighborhood Centre (BNC).

Surface Parking Lots

Winnipeg October 13th, 2010 –To promote the cleanup of downtown and make it safer, Mayor Sam Katz today announced a Downtown Surface Parking Lot incentive aimed at encouraging redevelopment in the downtown.

The program would work the following way:

A surface parking lot assessed at $200,000 and would be paying $2,000 in municipal property tax. If that same parking lot was redeveloped into a commercial property assessed at $2,000,000, the municipal property tax for the new commercial property would be $20,000.

Under this incentive taxes would be frozen at its initial rate for 5 years, with phased in increases over the next 3 years.

Recycling Depots

Winnipeg, October 14th, 2010 – Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will implement Recycling Depots to reduce waste in our land fills and increase recycling. A one year pilot project in collaboration with Versatech Industries Inc. would see five depots located throughout the city in every community committee area, provide employment for individuals living with intellectual disabilities, and promote greener recycling practices while providing community organizations the ability to fund raise while making our city cleaner and greener.

Katz Pledges Support for More Successful Downtown Celebrations

Winnipeg – October 20th, 2010 –Mayor Sam Katz today announced he will more than double the existing city-wide street closure budget as well as commit in-kind services up to $57,000 to expand the hugely successful “Lights on Broadway” from one day to up to four Saturdays, and provide annual support for the popular downtown festival, “Ciclovia.” This announcement continues to build on the Mayor’s efforts to ensure we do everything we can to encourage Winnipeggers’ to come downtown.

Wisely, Katz didn’t commit to a revenue strategy, and the voters didn’t care.

Wisely, he refused to say just how he’s going to get a share of the PST and still keep property taxes frozen, and voters didn’t care.

The promise of 58 more police officers weren’t costed out for the public, and the voters didn’t care. (We’ll now never — ever — really know if this comes true or not, BTW)

He largely deflected criticism over transparency (some of it totally unfair) and voters didn’t care.





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