Travale’s our man
Perseverance pays off for busy Simcoe volunteer
Tuesday November 14, 2006
The third time was the charm for Dennis Travale of Simcoe.
Travale posted a convincing win yesterday in the race to replace Rita Kalmbach as mayor of Norfolk.
Travale collected 7,230 votes, which was nearly 900 more than second-place finisher Frank Nightingale of Waterford.
For Travale, yesterday’s result was the culmination of a campaign that began in 2000 and which saw him go down to defeat in the previous two municipal elections.
“I’m humbled by the fact that the people of Norfolk have put their trust in me,” he said last night at Governor Simcoe Square. “This time around I was greatly encouraged. I can’t say I would have predicted this outcome, but I had a good feeling about it.”
Norfolk council has been remarkably stable since the inception of the new county. Last night marked the first change of incumbents since the inaugural election in 2000.
Not only has Mayor Rita Kalmbach stepped aside, Windham-area Coun. Dean Morrison went down to defeat in Ward 4, Port Rowan-area Coun. Ted Whitworth was defeated in Ward 1, and Simcoe Coun. Peter Black is headed for the exit after finishing third in the mayor’s race.
“This is the order I called it,” Kalmbach said as the results came into focus. “I told Frank (Nightingale) this morning he’d have a hard time coming out in front of Dennis. Frank said that to me this morning - the agricultural people are behind him.”
Black finished a disappointing third with 3,818 votes. This is nearly half the votes Travale collected and 2,500 fewer than Nightingale. Black was philosophical in defeat.
“I do believe in something bigger than what we have here,” he said. “Everything that has happened has been an opportunity for me. Now God has another plan for me, another use. Maybe I’m done being a councillor and I’ll move on to something else that will enhance my life.”
Travale supporter Rick Kowalsky, the last mayor of Simcoe, attributed the winner’s victory to a combination of perseverance, hard work and good cheer. Despite setbacks in the 2000 and 2003 elections, Kowalsky said Travale kept selling his message of service to the community.
“He never gave up on his ommunity involvement,” Kowalsky said. “He never turned his back on the community. He always said his day would come. He was always out there. He attended every function and never asked anything for it.”
Nightingale attributed his strong performance to his agricultural background. Despite the outcome, Nightingale said the effort was well worth it. He especially appreciated the opportunity to introduce himself to a vast cross-section of Norfolk County.
“It was very positive,” Nightingale said. “I never would’ve had the chance to meet so many people had I not gone through this.”
Gary Muntz of Port Dover surprised everyone with his lacklustre showing despite strong performances at all-candidate meetings. Having collected just 2,353 votes, Muntz declined to comment on last night’s result.
“There’s really nothing to say,” he said.
As soon as possible, Travale will convene a meeting of senior staff and council members to set priorities for the first three months in office. An obvious priority, he said, is taking stock of the county’s deficient infrastructure and determining the county’s options for correcting it.
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