The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Jordan Ross
Posted: 10/25/2018 1:45 AM
A spirited three-way mayor’s race concluded with Steinbach voters selecting Earl Funk as the city’s next mayor, while elsewhere in the Southeast a number of experienced reeves were toppled.
The two-term councillor, small business owner, and self-described "downtown guy" captured 2,343 votes (43 percent), defeating political newcomer Paul Neustaedter who tallied 1,861 votes (34 percent) and council colleague John Fehr who claimed 1,246 votes (23 percent).
"I thought it was going to be much tighter, I really did," Funk said of the spread.
He will lead a council composed of three new and three returning faces.
Jake Hiebert (3,001), Damian Penner (2,920), and Bill Hiebert (2,674) landed spots on council, alongside incumbents Michael Zwaagstra (3,420), Susan Penner (3,116), and Jac Siemens (2,896).
Funk triumphed on a platform that emphasized transparent decision-making, conservative social values, incremental infrastructure renewal, and capital projects that would leave a small tax footprint.
"What I felt really resonated…was openness, transparency, and integrity," Funk said, when asked which issue factored most at the ballot box.
Recreation infrastructure stymied the outgoing council, but Funk said economic concerns will be front and centre this time around, at least initially.
"It’ll definitely be a focus. We do need to renew our facilities, and we know that. But immediately what I want to get working on is the economy. I’d like to bring jobs to our community," he said, noting job creation also benefits newcomers and youths.
Read more about Funks victory and other results from Wednesday's election in Thursday's issue of The Carillon.
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