Ward 3 voters have sent a mix of fresh and familiar faces to the council table for the incoming term, electing the youngest duo across the city’s four wards as their representatives Monday evening.
Jay Fallis, 32, will return to the council chambers for a second term in office, and council newcomer Jeff Czetwerzuk, 26, will join him in representing the residents of Ward 3 following the 2022 municipal election.
Fallis led the Ward 3 polls with 1,310 votes (32.8 per cent), building substantially on the 984 votes he received in 2018. Czetwerzuk followed behind him with 830 votes (20.8 per cent) cast in his favour, edging out both Elizabeth Van Houtte and Deval Brahmbhatt in the four-person race for the two spots.
“I feel ecstatic and wonderful, certainly very excited by the result,” Fallis told OrilliaMatters. “I am proud to say I always listen to my constituents and represent them, and I really believe in the democratic process. I believe that kind of showed to my constituents.”
Fallis said his top priority moving into the new term will be housing.
“Affordable housing is huge, and bringing in an affordable housing coordinator is the number one thing I think we can do, but there's a lot of priorities and I obviously can't wait to get started,” he explained.
Fallis said housing, physician recruitment, traffic calming, and local infrastructure improvements are the major issues he heard about campaigning door-to-door.
“There are a lot of different things that we'll have to work on,” he said. “I think it'll be great to work with everyone, and I think it'll be a good council. There's a lot of good experience on there, but a lot of new people as well, so that'll hopefully be a nice blend between the two.”
Czetwerzuk, the youngest candidate in this election’s field, said he feels proud that Ward 3 citizens chose to believe in him at the ballot box.
“I ran a hard and honest campaign, and the results of working hard are paying off. I'm just speechless right now,” he told OrilliaMatters. “You know, I'm 26 years old, I'm the youngest one running, and it's really nice to feel that people really did believe in me, and that makes me proud.”
Asked what his top priorities are, Czetwerzuk pointed to the issues he discussed with people at their doors.
“I think we’ve got to look into the things that people were saying at the doors,” he said. “It's the basic infrastructure, taking care of the roads; it's taking care of things like physician recruitment – people were very passionate about that–and making sure our homeless have a place to live. Housing is a big issue.”
Van Houtte finished third, garnering 763 votes (19.1 per cent) and Deval Brahmbhatt finished fourth with 560 votes (14 per cent).