Friday, September 20, 2013
Municipal Election, 2013
Here we are again, four years later. Election time again. Last election's issue dealt with Conservation, and resulted in the election by a large margin of our current Deputy Mayor, Geoff Gallant. It also resulted in the ousting of two of what I'd call "old guard" mentalities. One had been on council for several terms, while the other, a mere 12 years in total. One of them is running again, and I am hoping that people remember why that councillor was not elected four years ago. If elected, I hope the people of Torbay hold firm to their convictions and make sure that the attitude which seems to have taken hold of the current council isn't permitted to flourish. So, we have 3 people running for the Mayor's position. Wow! I'm astonished. I had hoped for 2, but a newcomer is splitting the vote. I can't say I'm pleased. I don't think that "bucket list" is a good reason to run for Mayor. Either you know your stuff and can fulfill the role, or you don't run for election. I don't feel confident that the third candidate for Mayor has what it takes to do the job. I'm sure he's a really nice guy, but not who I'd like to see steering the ship that is the Torbay Council. That said, I think that one of them should step back and take a well-deserved retirement and let new blood take over. What I've been hearing and reading about him lately makes me feel even more strongly that it's past time for a change. I just finished reading the Letter to the editor in the September, 2013 issue of the Northeast Avalon Times (pg 18), and there, in black and white, is a clear reason why. Disrespect to the people of the town is certainly not the way to run a council. If you want citizen input and participation, then don't slap them down and deride them for their interest and opinions. Looking at other bits of information garnered over the last little while shows that there are certain members of Council who feel they don't need to answer to the public. They walk out of the council chambers the moment the meeting is over. This, despite the fact that they should be sticking around to talk to the people who showed up to listen to their snarking and biting, which is otherwise known as a Council Meeting. Shameful behaviour all around. New blood and old blood running for Councillor positions! How absolutely wonderful to see the turnout of hopefuls at the Meet the Candidate night at Torbay's Kinsmen Centre a few weeks ago. My list of chosen ones is based on that evening. The candidates who didn't show up are definitely OFF my list. Yes, all of them. Respect for the people who are voting for them should be top of their list. We weren't on their list, so they're not on mine. Also, I don't know what they represent, how they come across in public, how they will stand for the citizens of Torbay. In my opinion, the little blurbs the candidates send around via mass mail-out prior to election really doesn't represent the individuals. Heck, anybody can write a pretty phrase, or get somebody else to write it for them. It doesn't equal a face-to-face thinking-on-your-feet encounter in a public setting. One of the candidates for council position really impressed me with her presence. A total newcomer, she stood up spoke boldly about her reasons for running and gave a clear, strong message. I'm disappointed that there isn't much signage along Torbay Rd with her name on it, but I'm going to vote for her anyway. Some of the issues that they addressed were those we've had on the table for several terms already. Sewage treatment, concerns regarding development vs environment, dwindling water supply and its ramifications for development and industrialization of Torbay, community centre, industrial park, sidewalks (surprising how often that came up), public transit, and oddly, ATV's! Some of the candidates voiced their opinions, while others pretty much said "what he/she said." One of the candidates was pitifully painful to listen to. Another was vocal in a "you're really going to piss people off if you get in" kind of way. If you weren't there, you're not going to know who is who, but that's your problem. Not mine. I attended, I made up my mind based on what I saw and heard that night. It was fun. Next time, maybe more people can come out for the entertainment.