Things didn’t go well for local funeral home owner Mike Vogiatzakis today.
At a news conference to declare his candidacy for mayor, Vogiatzakis conveniently didn’t tell anyone that he actually doesn’t live in Winnipeg.
Then, he was unable to register his candidacy at city hall when he was unable to provide proof of property ownership.
"My application is underway... I’m just missing some paperwork," Vogiatzakis said. "I do own the property and that entitles me to run for office.
"I’ll bring the paperwork (Friday)."
Vogiatzakis, who owns and operates the Voyage Funeral Home but lives in the RM of St. Andrews, said he can run for office even though he doesn’t live in the city, adding he owns property and operates a business here.
"If I get elected, I’ll probably move back to the city," Vogiatzakis said. "We’re looking for a house already. I’m assuming in the next few months, when the election is over, I’ll be mayor and I’ll be living in Winnipeg."
Convictions for assault, contempt
Vogiatzakis began his news conference in front of city hall to come clean about his criminal record.
It was already known that Vogiatzakis had a conviction for filing false statements to MPI but he added rumors about earlier issues were hurting his reputation.
Vogiatzakis distributed copies of a Winnipeg Police Service criminal records check, which showed he had convictions for assault (1988) and contempt of court (1987).
The assault conviction involved coming to the aid of an elderly gentlemen who was being assaulted at a hockey game where he was an assistant coach, Vogiatzakis said.
The contempt of court conviction was so long ago, he said, he couldn’t remember what it was about.
The documents showed he was fined a total of $300 for both convictions.
Vogiatzakis, 49, said Winnipeg needs a generational change of leadership at city hall, adding he’s the person to usher in that change.
"I’m going to breathe fresh air into the city and I’m going to change the city once and for all."
Controversial blogger first to file papers
Today is the official start of the mayoralty campaign period. Before May 1, candidates for mayor were prohibited from campaigning, raising funds or incurring expenses in their bid for mayor.
Candidates for councillor can register their campaigns June 30.
Vogiatzakis was the second mayoralty candidate to register. Earlier in the morning, controversial blogger Gordon Warren filed his papers.
Warren, also 49, was involved in two separate libel suits last year. The courts prohibited from writing about the plaintiffs.
Vogiatzakis said he didn’t think his residency would be an issue in the campaign, adding he pays property taxes in the city and is an employer.
"I’m not just a guy who comes in, collects a pay cheque and leaves the city and goes away out of town," he said. "I buy fuel in the city. I have lunch in the city. I have staff I pay in the city."
Vogiatzakis said he has no ties to any political party and will be indebted to no one except the residents of Winnipeg.
Vogiatzakis said he will be releasing a detailed policy statement as the campaign progresses.
Vogiatzakis said he’s already demonstrated his capability when he brought a unique pothole patching machine to Winnipeg in late March, adding that the patch is still in place.
"We could have had all of the city’s potholes fixed by now," he said, adding infrastructure and the poor condition of Winnipeg’s streets are the city’s top priority.