Photo by Chung Chow
It didn’t take more than the results from a couple of ballot boxes before it became apparent that Malcolm Brodie was going to return as mayor of the City of Richmond.
But on a night when the makeup of council was far from clear, and technical problems meant results were taking longer than expected, it’s understandable he wasn’t taking anything for granted.
In the end, although not official until Wednesday, Oct. 24, Brodie was re-elected for a sixth term by an overwhelming majority. He received 30,452 votes. His closest challenger, Roy Sakata, received 7,942 votes.
Now the longest serving mayor in the Lower Mainland, Brodie was first elected mayor in 2001 when he won a special by-election following the resignation of Greg Halsey-Brandt.
“Compared to previous times, and the first time I ran, the complexities now in a campaign are unbelievably more difficult,” Brodie said. “You’ve got multiple languages, cultures and different media. (But) if we work together and emphasize things that bring us together as opposed to things that separate us, and really take our diversity and make the most of it…I think we will be very well off.”
Brodie said it’s important to “use strengths of our residents and business sector, and work together to make sure that the Richmond of the future is not a compromise from the past. That the Richmond of the future is going to be even stronger and better with a higher quality of life, great for families, and a great place for all of us no matter your ethnic origin or particular viewpoint.”
While he’s been mayor of the city since 2001, his legacy may be determined by the decisions he makes in the next four years.
That’s because council appears divided down the middle—at least on the issue of big houses on farmland—with Harold Steves, Carol Day, Kelly Greene, and Michael Wolfe on one side, and Bill McNulty, Linda McPhail, Chak Au and Alexa Loo on the other. (While Loo has a 98-vote margin over Dang, who finished ninth Saturday night, both voted the same way on the ALR housing issue, and so even if a recount changes the result, the votes on council would be the same.)
That means Brodie is in a position to cast the deciding vote. And judging from comments by FarmWatch on Twitter, they’re expecting the housing on farmland issue to be promptly addressed by the new council.
“We have officially voted against mega mansions on #farmland in #RichmondBC,” Farmwatch tweeted Saturday night.
Added Harold Steves through his Twitter account (@Harold_Steves): “Thank you #RichmondBC for electing Kelly Greene and Michael Wolfe and re-electing Carol Day and myself on Richmond Council under the leadership of Mayor Malcolm Brodie. It is going to be a pivotal point in Richmond history as we deal with both mega-mansions and affordability.”
Save Farmland (@SAVEFARMLAND) tweeted about its expectation of how Brodie would be voting: “And 4 farmland defenders elected to council positions, with Brodie=5 going to reduce size of houses on #ALR!”
Brodie said the public support he’s received has been “very gratifying.”
“It was a long campaign, and difficult in certain ways, but I think it was a good opportunity to speak to the people of Richmond and find out really what was on their minds,” he said.
As for being Richmond’s mayor for the last 17 years, Brodie said longevity has never meant as much as the quality of what you do.