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Niagara Falls
Sunday, March 26, 2023
After four years, Disero passes mayoral torch
Betty Disero. Evan Loree

It was a good run. 

The past four years have no doubt been some of the toughest for Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero.

The COVID pandemic was an unprecedented period for those in public service and government.

But she still gave it her all. 

Disero finished second with 2,586 votes in Monday’s municipal election, 1,138 votes behind Gary Zalepa. Vaughn Goettler was third with 1,268 votes. 

It was her first election loss in a career that dates back to the mid-1980s.

Disero also served four years as a NOTL councillor starting in 2014, prior to defeating incumbent mayor Pat Darte in 2018.

When The Lake Report reached out for comment from Disero after Monday’s loss, she didn’t return repeated calls, texts or voicemails from reporters. 

When a reporter visited her home to try to speak with her, Disero left her front porch and shut the door.

According to councillor-elect Maria Mavridis, Disero was at home all night Monday, only stopping by Corks Wine Bar & Eatery briefly to congratulate Mavridis and former fire chief Nick Ruller on their election wins. 

“I think she was literally there for a couple of minutes. And then she left,” Mavridis said. 

“It was just my family and tight friends. And so they were pretty surprised at the results, but they wished her well and congratulated her on a good campaign and thanked her for the last four years,” she said. 

Disero campaign manager Debi Pratt was home sick with COVID, but was surprised and disappointed when she saw the results. 

“I felt that Betty had worked so hard for four years and had made such strides and achievements,” she said. 

“She’s a person who gives 100 per cent and when we talk about a full-time mayor she certainly has the qualifications that when she commits to doing something she does it completely,” she added.

Zalepa and council take office on Nov. 15 and their inauguration is Nov. 22.

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