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Ritsma elected mayor of Stratford

Some new faces will join some familiar ones at Stratford city council
Martin and Kathryn Ritsma

Martin Ritsma was elected the new mayor of Stratford on Monday night, defeating architect Robert Ritz by 345 votes. 

Incumbent city councillors Cody Sebben, Jo-Dee Burbach, Bonnie Henderson and Brad Beatty were elected again by voters. 

New city councillors elected include Mark Hunter, Larry McCabe, Harj Nijjar, Lesley Biehn, Taylor Briscoe and Geza Wordofa. 

A crowd at the University of Waterloo Stratford Institute of Interaction and Design showed up early and had to wait patiently while the results came up on the big screen via the City of Stratford website well after many other municipal election results were released. 

New faces were guaranteed on city council when Ritsma, a veteran city councillor, ran for mayor along with fellow city councillor Kathy Vassilakos and Ritz, who ran in his first election. Three other city council incumbents decided not to seek re-election - Graham Bunting, Tom Clifford and Danielle Ingram - guaranteeing at least five new city councillor spots. Incumbent Dave Gaffney just missed the 10th and final council spot by 21 votes. 

Ritsma won with 4,350 votes compared to 4,005 for Ritz and 3,166 for Vassillakos. 

Sebben topped the city councillor candidate's with 5,979 votes.

Elsewhere in the county fo Perth, Al Strathdee was acclaimed mayor of St. Marys. Jim Aitcheson was also acclaimed mayor, in Perth South. Walter McKenzie was elected mayor of West Perth. Ronda Ehgoetz was elected mayor of Perth East and Todd Kasenberg was elected mayor of North Perth. 


Results are expected to be made official on Tuesday. 

Unofficial results for the city of Stratford 


Martin Ritsma 4,350

Robert Ritz 4,005

Kathy Vassilakos 3,166


City Councillors (10 spots)

Cody Sebben 5,979

Jo-Dee Burbach 4,985

Mark Hunter 4,676

Bonnie Henderson 4,454

Larry McCabe 4,340

Harj Nijjar 4,335

Leslie Biehn 4,159

Taylor Briscoe 3,991

Brad Beatty 3,514

Geza Wordofa 3,357

Dave Gaffney 3,336

Rob Russell 3,296

Ian Morton 3,266

Tim Forster 3,089

Jason Davis 2,736

Kevin Kruchkywich 2,681

Tom Drake 2,313

Alan Kasperski 2,233

Geoff Krauter 2,232

Jobyna Powath 2,147

Daniel Nedecki 1,979

Ken Wood 1,939

Ryan Doyle 1,632

Don Robinson 1,624

Rob Williamson 1,328

John Lewis 1,322

Lisa Cloutier 1,256

James Montgomery 857

Pascal D'Astous 497











Paul Cluff

About the Author: Paul Cluff

Paul has lived in Stratford for a few decades and covered it all as a journalist - from the courtroom to the basketball court. The Festival City resident is looking forward to building the Village Media presence as Editor of
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