Who’s sitting in the mayor’s seat this month in Mississauga?

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Published February 28, 2024 at 3:25 pm

Joe Horneck is acting mayor of Mississauga.
Mississauga acting Mayor Joe Horneck will continue in the position through the end of March.

Just 16 months ago, Joe Horneck was in the stretch run of yet another race to become a Mississauga city councillor. It was his third attempt at winning a council seat and as things turned out, it was indeed the charm for the man who at the time worked as a banker.

Today, Horneck is mayor of Canada’s seventh-largest city — sort of. He’s mayor today and he’ll be mayor again tomorrow, and for the 31 days in March.

At that point, the city’s latest acting mayor, who normally conducts business as Ward 6 councillor, will hand the baton to the next in line until a successor to former mayor Bonnie Crombie is chosen in an upcoming byelection.

Since Crombie left for Queen’s Park on Jan. 12, Mississauga councillors have taken turns, two months at a time, watching over things at city hall from the mayor’s perch.

Ward 3 Coun. Chris Fonseca kicked things off last October and she was followed by Ward 4’s John Kovac, who took the temporary reins in December and January.

That brings the gavel to Horneck, who in October 2022 decisively defeated longtime incumbent Ron Starr in the Ward 6 race. Four years earlier, the same two men had squared off, with Starr narrowly defeating Horneck, by just over 300 votes.

Mississauga’s current acting mayor also ran unsuccessfully in a city byelection in 2015 for the Ward 4 seat.

Prior to being elected in 2022, according to his bio on the city’s website, Horneck was a senior banking professional who’d served at vice-president and director levels at several large financial institutions.

He often calls on his experience in the world of finance when dealing with related matters as councillor, such as Mississauga’s annual budget.

The holder of a master’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick (United Kingdom) and a double honours BA in History and Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON), Horneck is married with three children.

His bio notes that he and his family “are avid users of Mississauga’s parks and recreation programs and facilities, and they are passionate about maintaining the excellent quality of life in Mississauga.”

Duties of the acting mayor include chairing council and committee meetings and attending official events across the city.

Ward 8 Coun. Matt Mahoney, who on Wednesday issued a statement confirming he will not run for mayor in the upcoming byelection, will take over as acting mayor for April and May.

The four members of council who have thrown their hats into the ring to become Mississauga’s next mayor are not permitted to serve as acting mayor.

Councillors Stephen Dasko (Ward 1), Alvin Tedjo (Ward 2), Carolyn Parrish (Ward 5) and Dipika Damerla (Ward 7) will be among those seeking the post over the next several months. Parrish said earlier she’ll resign her council position in early March to run for mayor (prompting a subsequent Ward 5 byelection).

Date of the mayoral byelection is scheduled for June 10, with the next Ontario municipal election slated for Oct. 26, 2026.

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