Volume 91, Issue 42

Wednesday, November 12, 1997

Downey fresh


New kids on campus block

By Brendan Howe
Gazette Staff

After Monday's elections some London City Council members are gearing down in their final days of office while newly elected members are revving their engines in anticipation of their new jobs.

Three newcomers will be welcomed to Western's two wards. Ward 1 saw two new councillors elected while Ward 2 elected one new and one incumbent candidate. Those who were not re-elected will be on council until the end of the month when their term expires.

Deputy Mayor Grant Hopcroft said he is not sure what his future will hold, speculating he may even live in another city. He said right now he is focusing on the next two and a half weeks in which he has several meetings and a hectic schedule.

"There are a couple of business opportunities I may take advantage of, one of which would take me out of London," Hopcroft said.

He was defeated by more than twice as many votes by Mayor Dianne Haskett.

Ward 2 incumbent councillor Joe Swan narrowly defeated fellow incumbent Bob Beccarea by 55 votes. Swan said since first being elected in 1988 he has made great strides on issues dealing with the university and will continue to work with the community and Western students.

He said one of the major issues he plans to deal with is affordable student housing while he hopes the issue of charity casinos coming to London is now behind the city.

"I'm hopeful the new council will focus on major issues and not be side-tracked on debates such as the casino which will have minimal impact on the City of London," Swan said.

Rob Alder topped the list for votes in Ward 1 and said his future plans with council include working hard with students to address issues facing them. He said his experience as a professor at the university will help him do this.

Newly elected deputy mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said she also plans to work with students on issues facing them. "We've always tried to make sure students are valued in the London community. The university is a big part of our economic development."

Another new councillor elected Monday was Sandy Levin who secured almost 60 per cent of the vote in Ward 1. He plans to address what he calls healthy city issues over the next three years and said students should speak out.

"Too many students have sat back and waited for it to happen. Step up, let's hear your voice," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997