ITHACA, N.Y. — Mayor Svante Myrick won 89 percent of the vote in the city of Ithaca Tuesday night, cruising to victory over write-in candidate and local activist Phoebe Brown.

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In a victory speech after the election results came in, Myrick said his administration had successfully fought to lower the property tax burden on local homeowners and was making overdue and necessary investments in infrastructure improvements.

“Today, we see more sidewalks being repaired and replaced and installed than at anytime in the city’s modern history,” Myrick said. “We see a 4-year tax increase of 4 percent, where the 12 years before that: 67 percent.”

“We’ve added jobs faster over the last 4 years than any other community in New York state; we now have the lowest unemployment rate in New York State. We have a Commons with a storefront vacancy rate of a third of what it was.”

But his tone also grew serious in his victory speech, as Myrick criticized what he suggested were conspiratorial and unfair attitudes about Democrats in Ithaca.

“This Democratic Party … despite what you may have heard, is not some mean machine – spun off special interests or slush funds or recriminations or vicious, petty personal politics,” Myrick said, in an apparent allusion to criticisms over the nomination process for several key Tompkins County Legislature races.

“We could choose to be cynical, choose to be jaded, choose to sling mud, call names and say why our community is flawed. But I’ve seen the people in this room don’t do that. They see a problem, and they do the right thing.”

Below is a rushed transcript of his speech at Hotel Ithaca Tuesday night; read more about Myrick’s reelection campaign and first term in office here:

“(Myrick compares this election to his first victory 4 years ago) … At that time those of us in the race we’re fighting .. the city was facing its largest-ever budget deficit. The Commons was broken with no prospect to fix it; an economy that was faltering … and an infrastructure that was crumbling.”

“Today, we see more sidewalks being repaired and replaced and installed than at anytime in the city’s modern history. We see a 4-year tax increase of 12 percent, where the 12 years before that: 67 percent. We see a fiscal situation has leveled out … city operations that are streamlined. We’ve added jobs faster over the last 4 years than any other community in New York state; we now have the lowest unemployment rate in the entire state.”

“We have a Commons with a storefront vacancy rate that’s a third of what it was … more business are open; more business are thriving; more families are well in Ithaca, and that is because so many of the people in this room are not just involved every 4 years when it’s time to elect a candidate.”

(Myrick spoke of the extensive volunteer efforts within the party) “This Democratic Party … despite what you may have heard, is not some mean machine – spun off special interests or slush funds or recriminations or vicious, petty personal politics. This is a party that works. These results you see on the wall are the result of a party that cares every week. Volunteers who care every day. People who step up and say, ‘I’m going to take care of the city of Ithaca.’ We could choose to be cynical, choose to be jaded, choose to sling mug, call names and say why our community is flawed.”

“But I’ve seen the people in this room don’t do that. They see a problem, and they do the right thing. We still have problems … results look good, but I was not unopposed. A significant number of people wrote-in somebody’s name other than me – but they saw the things we know that this party is too expensive for working class and poor people to work in.”

“They know we still have, still, too many potholes. They know that we can do a better job of providing people quality and better transportation … and that we must get a larger contribution out of Cornell University. They know that we can do better … I know the people in this room — whether you won or you lost tonight — that the people in this room will wake up and do the same thing they did yesterday, which is continue to make Tompkins County a better place to live, not because there’s any job in it, not because we’re afraid of what will happen if we don’t … but people who are motivated … I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it and I’ve been surrounded by it; and I’m so proud and I’m so excited.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.