Cliff Jenkins entered Jaye Robinson’s victory party with his head held high.
Robinson earned 47.1 per cent of the vote in Monday night’s municipal election, ousting Jenkins who had previously served two consecutive terms as councillor in Ward 25.
Robinson was humbled to see Jenkins mingle with her supporters at The Burger Cellar at 3391 Yonge St. She was even more taken aback at his warm words. He addressed those present later in the evening.
“If there is one thing I can say about Jaye Robinson, it’s that she’s a class act,” he said. “Over the past seven months she has worked tirelessly to engage and motivate our community to not only get out and vote, but to re-connect with City Hall.”
Jenkins and Robinson ran campaigns that focused on many of the same issues; neighbourhood stability, community safety and efficient and reliable city services.
“This city is slow to move on a lot of things,” Jenkins said. “We need to act together to make sure that these issues are taken seriously and … acted upon in a timely and proactive manner.”
Robinson spoke of Jenkins’ proven track record over the past eight years.
“He served as president of the York Mills Residents’ Association for 12 years and during that time he made sure that everyone was given the chance to participate in community-based decision making. I may have won tonight, but Cliff’s legacy is a true testament to what hard work and dedication can do.”
Jenkins has not decided about his future, but he’s certain that he won’t go away quietly.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said. “The role of city councillor isn’t an easy one. These folks need to be accountable and accessible to the people they represent, and it’s our job as active citizens to make sure they are.”
Jenkins and Robinson were the clear frontrunners in Ward 25; Robinson earned 9,258 votes, while Jenkins polled 8,756, followed by Joanne Dickins with 1,968 and Tanya Hostler with 368.
“This campaign was a combined effort, and opened my eyes to several factors I hadn’t even considered before,” Robinson said during her victory speech. “Social media played a massive role and I am forever indebted to the hours of work my web staff has put in.”
Jenkins also credits the online community for playing a crucial role in this year’s election, but admits he still has a lot to learn.
“I’m still not sure what Twitter is exactly,” he said. “However, it got people engaged and talking, and that in itself is a big win.”