Kitchener’s longest serving mayor has decided not to seek re-election. While the news was anticipated, nothing was a sure thing until the official announcement came. When it came, the reality hit that it really was the end of an era.
I immediately tweeted, “Thank you @MayorCarlZehr for your dedication to building a better Kitchener. The whole city has benefitted. You’ve earned some time to relax.” I added, “I most appreciate how @MayorCarlZehr lead the rejuvenation of downtown Kitchener. Important to have a healthy core! #Vision”
Mayor Zehr’s achieved many significant accomplishments over his 17 years as Mayor and many more from his 9 years as a City Councillor. He’s literally reshaped Kitchener since our paths first crossed over 30 years ago. He’s a true community builder.
There’s been so much great media coverage of Zehr’s contributions that I’d like to share some of it in case you haven’t caught it and may not know what Carl Zehr has contributed.
- Kitchener mayor Carl Zehr stepping down | CTV Kitchener News.
- Mayor Carl Zehr says time is right to step aside – Waterloo Region Record
- Mayor Carl Zehr on his time in office – CBC Radio
The last time I spoke with the Mayor, he wanted to know what was new on my blog. He jokingly enquired whether I was criticizing him again. I said that it was a post where I was happy that the gravel lot at the Tannery was being handled by the process promised in 2010. While this anecdote shows that we’ve had our differences, Mayor Zehr and I have normally been working towards common ends even if the means or timing have differed. I recognize and appreciate his contributions to making Kitchener the city it is today.
Carl Zehr Platz
According to Wikipedia: A platz is in the urban context of a buildings remodeled open space in cities. Places are focal points of public life in the city. They are therefore the central theme and space element of urban planning.
Sounds a lot like the civic square in front of Kitchener City Hall doesn’t it?
Let’s recognize Kitchener’s longest serving Mayor by naming this place after him! Let’s call it Carl Zehr Platz. Doing so is also a nod to our city’s German heritage.
Given his impact on the downtown and that this space is a gathering place for all of Kitchener, I think it’s fitting. Just as the main rink at the Auditorium was named after Dom Cardillo after he retired as Mayor.
If this idea doesn’t fly, maybe we could put up a statue in Victoria Park! ; )