Skip to content

Bill Mauro will not seek re-election as mayor of Thunder Bay

Mauro said he's ready to move on to 'something else'
Bill Mauro
Bill Mauro was elected mayor of Thunder Bay in 2018 (TBnewswatch file)

THUNDER BAY —  Bill Mauro's name will not be on the ballot when Thunder Bay voters go to the polls to elect a mayor in this fall's municipal election.

In a surprising announcement Wednesday morning, Mauro said he has decided not to seek re-election.

Just four months ago, the veteran municipal and provincial politician had signalled that it was his intention to run for a second term, but he qualified that that was his position "as it stands right now."

At the time, he had been considering running for the Liberal party in the Ontario election.

In his statement Monday, Mauro said "I am nearing 25 years of political work on behalf of the City of Thunder Bay and the provincial riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan. It has been an incredibly gratifying work experience and I take great pride in the breadth of work, investment, and accomplishments."

In an interview after his announcement, the mayor reflected on the most recent part of his career, saying he's proud of the role he played in helping the city get ready for COVID-19, in conjunction with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and city administration.

"We began getting prepared, as best we were able, to limit the impacts of the pandemic, so I take great pride in that."

Mauro also expressed satisfaction with the way the city has handled its budget challenges during his term in office.

"I think we were very fiscally conservative. We did a good job through four budgets when we were getting no new money through new assessment because of the pandemic, and keeping the budget increases very low, historically by comparison."

He referred, as well, to the city's new zoning by-law, describing it as a "huge piece of policy work."

Mauro said "we should never hear it said again that the business community is upset or that Thunder Bay is closed for business."

He expressed hs thanks to area residents for their support in the course of eight elections, adding "I'm just ready to move on and do something else."

But he  gave no hint as to what his next endeavours might involve.

"I'm not ready to discuss anything at this time. I just know that I'm not ready to retire."

Asked by a reporter to describe the current mood and morale in the community, he acknowledged "There's been a fair bit of upheaval and some files that continue to drag on...and I understand they can be very concerning for the community, and the city has changed in the last number of years." 

Mauro went on to say that because Thunder Bay is so distant from other population centres "We don't always tend to have the best feel for what's going on in the rest of the province or the rest of the country."

He insisted that the challenges the city faces are shared by most major cities in Canada.

"I'm very optimistic about Thunder Bay one of the best places in the country to live and raise a family. I'm hugely optimistic about its future."

Mauro is already offering some advice to the next city council.

He feels a 13-member council is too large, and that the city should consider downsizing to eight full-time councillors plus mayor.

"With nine, potentially full-time, and with a global picture of  what the city should look like – not just the ward perspective – it would be in the best interests of the city," he suggested.

Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu is wishing Mauro well, saying 25 years in politics is no small feat.

"It's a very challenging role. It's very demanding. There's a lot of time away from family....So I want to thank Bill for those years, and thank him for his vision," Hajdu said during an interview Wednesday. 

With the incumbent mayor out of the way, it's more likely that more people will enter the race before the Aug. 19 nomination deadline.

So far, there are only two registered mayoral candidates for the Oct. 24 election – Gary Mack and Robert Szczepanski.


Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks