Friday, October 30, 2009

Just hype?

"I never had an opponent." On October 27, 2009 Darren Hill sent out a letter saying his opponent was running a smear campaign on him based on his "family life." He stated that many of his lawn signs had been defaced and that he received threatening calls as a result of his lifestyle. He seems to believe that his opponent, that he claims is supported by both Trost and Vellacott were behind it. He suggests they should google these two MPs and verify their positions on GLBT. He stated they have an army of finances and volunteers behind my opponent he needs help to fight this. And lastly he states "I am asking for you to stand up and show them that when it comes to our city - they do not have the control here! WE DO!"

I don't don't know who the collective "we" is.

The letter was then circulated by Peter Garden of Turning the Tide Bookstore, who was the political activist who organized the protest march during Bush's visit to Saskatoon.

Interesting enough, about a week prior to the election, someone was stating in the north end of the ward that Carol Reynolds was gay in an attempt to solicit the christian vote. And her signs were destroyed or went missing as well.

Interesting enough, the press are usually quick to hop on a "hate" issue during a campaign. Nothing seems to have been reported to the police or news.

Interesting enough, Ward 1 is, in my opinion, one of the enlightened wards in the city as evidenced by their election of Lenore in 2000, and Darren in 2006 and have not let sexual preference issues turn their vote.

Offensive is stating that two MPs elected by some of the same voters that he is courting should surrender "control" (whatever that means) to him and his supporters.

This whole thing is bizarre. And while defending an act of intolerance against one party these same people exhibit intolerance of others and their beliefs.

And finally Mr. Hill did have an opponent and I think the hype was his.

Perhaps Ward 1 has safe water issues too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's new?

Lots of good news. We have an old council but a new direction. Six incumbents promised not to increase taxes beyond the rate of inflation. We will hold Hill, Neault, Heidt, Wyant, Penner and Dubois to that promise! I guess the follow up question should have been "What about infrastructure levies?"

The party machines did not succeed, but should be brought out of the closet anyway. A good day for independents.

There are lessons to be learned from this election. Mr. Hill's arrogant comment ". . . I never had an opponent" "It was a lot of hype" makes me question his tactics and comments about his opponent during the campaign if he believed that to be true. What a classy guy. Lesson for Carol Reynolds - Queensbury Rules do not apply when your in a street fight.

Pat Lorje seems to have gotten the message. "This is a wake-up call" "The fact that so many votes were cast against the major - especially in this time of economic buoyancy - says people don't want (council) to do the same old things the same old way." Do we hear the beginnings of the 2012 mayoralty campaign?

Apparently Atch did not receive the same wake-up call. He said "The people of Saskatoon believe we are going in the right direction, that the city is doing fine the way it is."

Nor did Gord Wyant's alarm go off:"There's a lot of people in the city comfortable with the direction of city council." Gord, remember your promise - no tax increase beyond the rate of inflation.

Bad news. I lost $20.00.

The task ahead, hold them to their promises.

Congratulations to the successors and special thanks for those who tried. Your efforts are appreciated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Please get out to vote and encourage others to do so.

Thank you to each and every candidate for offering to serve the public.

We'll being doing a recap tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Future - To be or not to be

This election period has brought to attention the fact that, unlike federal or provincial governments, civic government has no real opposition or opposition critics. I intend to use this site for that purpose. I hope you will join me and share your thoughts as the upcoming term unfolds.

The Crystal Ball

We are on the eve of election day and I am curious as to how you think this election will end. So I would like to hear both your predilections and predictions. If the Atch prevails will he take to the office in the next term the concerns expressed by taxpayers regarding city debt? Or will it be same old, same old. If not him, will incumbents being returned come out of dreamland and take election feedback before raising their hands to support mega spending? Your thoughts please.

Holy Bejezus

I was almost speechless when I read about the City finances in today's SP. A 275% increase in debt over three years! On the horizon is a 300 million dollar bridge, 30+ million more for a destination centre on River Landing, the continuance of the 25th Street project ($ unknown), moving the bus barns ($ unknown), 3rd Avenue rejuvenation ($ unknown), the library 50 million, police station 100+ million, transit mall 7 million and only the incumbents know what else is pending. Add to that the ever-increasing infrastructure charges that come on utility bills. Operating costs will increase to maintain these facilities and, unlike debt that can be paid off, operating costs are eternal and growing.

Meanwhile we will in all likelihood get a per bag charge on garbage, core areas will remain concerned about lead leeching into drinking water, streets and boulevards will continue to decay and day-to-day services will take a backseat to mega projects.

The fact that five incumbents refused to answer the question on future tax increases was in fact an answer. Three of the incumbents are already seated and at least two look good for re-election. Add to that the one challenger in Ward 4 (Sean Shaw), who also refused to answer, means, if he is elected, the majority vote for increases is established.

Recently I had a councillor say to me that Standard & Poors gave the city a good credit rating. Yeah, but Standard & Poors also gave Lehman Bros a good rating before its collapse.

As much I enjoy some of the development I think its time to start pacing the spending. We are going to be taxed out of this city. Further spending on River Landing should be suspended until such time as there is tax revenue from the site to pay for whatever else might be wanted. Instead of 55 million for a new art gallery go back to the one million dollar development plan we already paid for and do the expansion at less than half the cost.

While I'm ranting as much as I appreciate city employees, especially firefighters, an 18% contract increase is not acceptable during a recession.

And I hate acclamations because I can't vent my opposition to what is happening with a vote.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If I had a nickel . .

for every time I heard Children are our most important/best resource, Children are our future, A well-educated youth is essential for our society, or Do it for the kids I could live my fantasy life in a penthouse in Upper East Side Manhattan, including limo service, box seats at the theatre, opera, lazy days at the Met and MOMA, dinner at Elaines, martinis at the Algonquin . . and still have spare change.

Today the SP beat me on comments regarding the lack of interest in the school board candidates. 35,000+ students in this city can be affected by the people sitting at the board tables making decisions on policy and programs. They negotiate employee contracts. They decide on school closures, repairs and new construction. Board members still have the responsibility of appropriately spending three to four hundred million dollars. Previously these board members could simply increase the mill rate for what might be considered necessary spending. This term some hard decisions may have to be made as they attempt to live within a budget. Those decisions could be critical to the education delivered to thousands of students.

Last week on the John Gormley Show municipal candidates were invited to call in and share - except for school board candidates. The insert in Saturday's Star Phoenix did not include school board candidates - they were relegated to Monday's paper. Sadly many voters have come to rely on the SP insert to review all candidates prior to election and keep the insert for study prior to election day. Some of the same voters may only take the papers on weekends. And not everyone owns a computer to access the city's website.

No one seems much interested to whom we entrust our children for their care. Pretty sad that this valuable resource is treated so lackadaisically.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How does she know?

I'm leaning toward Mayor Atch on the issue of voters lists. With all due respect to City Clerk Mann how would she know whether or not we have voter fraud? You present yourself at a polling station, give a name and address, sign the book, receive a ballot and off you go to the voting booth. No ID is required. Is there an examination and cross check of each poll book? What is to stop political zealots from roaming ward to ward using bogus names and addresses and casting ballots.

I think this is a fair concern in light of recent events when candidates were responding to questionable campaign actions and laid responsibility on "over zealous" volunteers. The sale of memberships during Mr. Lingenfelter's NDP leadership campaign and the attachment of tax-funded business cards to Mr. Hill's solicitation letters are examples of volunteer enthusiasm.

I still believe the great majority of electors conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. But our processes are worth protecting against a minority who may not.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Reading into the matter . .

I am a library user and supporter. I believe library services are essential to an educated society. But I am still unconvinced that building or expanding an edifice is the best way to offer library service to the using public. Branch libraries are great - easy access for communities. Ordering books online is great and being able to pick them up at a local branch encourages library use. How about partnering with school libraries for pick up of library materials? If storage of materials is an issue then find warehouse space for excess materials that can be delivered to pick up venues. I really don't think people are going to come from the four corners of the city to a downtown building where parking and access is an issue. The goal of a library is to bring literature to the masses.

I agree that the main library needs a face lift. It may need upgrades in terms of its mechanical and electrical, etc. The focus however should be service. If I want a Chapters or McNally Robinson type of environment I'll go there and pay the price.

While I'm on this topic users of our library should be the citizens of Saskatoon who pay for it. If surrounding communities wish access to our libraries they should kick in and share the cost. I invite them do so so. If not, then those residents of surrounding communities should pay a fee for their library card giving them access to our tax funded library.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is it too late to ask?

I wish I had thought to send out a questionnaire to all candidates. I would have asked the following questions and for the reasons stated.

1. Do you reside in the ward which you seek to represent? If you have to drive over the same craters (euphemistically call pot holes) that I do perhaps you will be more inclined to get them fixed. And if you are drinking the same water I am, maybe you'll want to ensure that its safe. Or that parks are available for neighbourhood kids so your babes have a place to play.

2. How would you vote on charging for garbage? This item is not dead. It has been put into a coma until after the election. I already pay substantial taxes for garbage collection. I don't want people hoarding garbage in their backyards because they can't or don't want to pay. And I don't want the resulting problems of rodents that would come with it. Nor do I want to pay for 'garbage police' to try and track down who dumped their garbage wherever.

3. How would you vote on increasing the city's debt? The reason is obvious. I would allow for a list of exemptions - needs vs. wants.

4. Would you sign an undated letter of resignation that could be dated and submitted to council if you break your election promises? I would accept no two-stepping on this answer. Yes or No.

It ain't broke

I am a great supporter of the riverbank development done by the MVA. I love the trails, swales and conservation sites. The trails provide use and enjoyment for all citizens and, coupled with the conservation sites, enhance learning opportunities for students. And I like the current location of the MVA. It is in the heart of the city. Over the last 25+ years all the money expended on development of the trails/sites has been money well invested in the community.

To move the administration offices to the old Mendel site would drain money away from the ongoing development of the riverbank trails, which is the paramount mandate of the MVA, or demand excessive new tax dollars. I know they want education related centres - but Mother Nature herself is the best educator. When you start expanding administrative space you start looking for ways to fill it. When you fill it you need more money to operate and maintain it.

The MVA should keep doing what they are doing - develop and enhance the trails and use of the riverbank.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Signed Off

When I first read about new age "virtual campaigns" I was hyped. My first happy thought was not having to view the landscape pollution during campaigns where every corner, boulevard and lamppost is littered with signage. I thought voters would be able to communicate with candidates and become engaged in the process. I was hopeful that it meant voters, with easy access to candidates, would make their decisions based on candidates' positions on issues. Then I discovered online lawn signs. It still disturbs me to think that we might elect people based on how much signage they can post, both off and online. The upside to the virtual campaign is that I am not forced to see the online signage.

(Oct. 20/09) Brian Storey of Pelican Signs said: "Election signs aren't the most interesting in the business because you don't use a lot of creativity." Nor do most candidates.

What does that say about us, the voting public?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mad as Hell

A couple of days ago I read that Lenore Swystun was trying to broaden the public's perception of her (SP Oct. 15/09). I'm not sure why as Lenore has a good reputation for fighting for causes she believes in. I didn't always agree with her causes or her tactics, but I respected her commitment to her beliefs.

She accomplished her goal. My perception of her has been broadened and, at the same time, my respect was diminished when she said: "What we have today is an empty parking lot, a building that's been knocked down and a park that was started when I was on council." (SP Oct. 20/09) In reality what we have today is a beautiful theatre, outstanding linkage between Friendship and Victoria Parks, a Farmer's Market/Square, Ideas Inc., kiosks, space for a eco live/work village, to name but a few amenities and we are rid of the unsightly AL Cole property and its environmental contaminants. The planning for this did not occur when she served on council. Her GIG proposal was an election issue in 2003. The GIG war has been fought and lost. Get over it. The existing River Landing, and its cost, belong to this Mayor.

What should be questioned is what are candidates willing to spend to see their dreams/legacies come true. The growing debt is a concern. Escalating taxes are a concern. When is enough enough? And when are we the taxpayers going to say: "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore."

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This blog was created as a forum for political discourse, to watch and comment on issues in Saskatoon and the performance of elected officials. Easy armchair politics. Any comments posted that reflect on a candidates private life, or their families, will be removed from the site.

I respectfully request your compliance and thank you in advance for your cooperation,.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time Out...

Time out.
My computer crashed and I have been unable to access the blog for the past 24 hours.
While I'm thrilled to see the debate and discussion of civic politics that has been started in the comments sections, I'm disappointed at the ugly turn this has taken. Some of the personal attacks from anonymous commenters on civic candidates have crossed the line.
So I'm suspending comments here until I'm re-connected and figure out how protect the level of discourse. Your mistress is taking the day off. I hope to be back in action tomorrow.

Pay Up John

A while back council passed a bylaw regarding sidewalk snow clearing - and then said it wouldn't be enforced. I thought this odd. It appears that Bylaw No. 8491 The Campaign Disclosure and Spending Limits Bylaw is another that is on the books but not enforced. It was last reported that Mayoralty candidate John Melenchuk did not file the appropriate paper work after the election in 2006. If the maximum fine was to be applied Mr. Melenchuk could be under obligation to the city for up to 4.5 million dollars, give or take, before this election even started. This has better money making potential then the red-light cameras!

Hmm . . wish they would take the same attitude with enforcement of parking tickets

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Slow learners

You would think politicians would learn from the mistakes of their own ilk. It was the attempted cover up of Watergate that destroyed "Tricky Dicky" Nixon. It was the shading of the truth regarding his relationship with Lewinski, along with the "I didn't inhale" comment, that called into question Clinton's integrity.

Incumbent Bev Dubois says she was at the USSU forum, when in fact she wasn't in attendance. She then tries to squirm out of her "gotcha" situation by saying she meant to say that her daughters were there on her behalf. An exercise in kindness would call this response stretching the truth.

Say nothing at all, or speak the truth. Time after time politicians try this and get caught. It does make you wonder though how many times it worked. Voters may be slow burners when it comes to slow learners but when they are fired up these same politicians usually go up in smoke.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just plain nuts

During campaigns candidates sometimes make inane statements or accusations, and sadly some of the electorate actually believe them. These candidates are the scary people. They will say or do anything to obtain and/or maintain power; and those who lust for power should never have it. At every level of government elected representatives must look first to the whole community which they govern, and secondly be an advocate for the needs of their constituency/ward.

For Ward 1 candidate Sean Shaw to state at a forum that incumbent Myles Heidt hasn't spent enough in his ward tells me Mr. Shaw is either willfully uninformed or deluded. Over the last couple of terms hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the west side of the river, much of which would benefit Ward 4 residents. Two high schools, an Olympic-sized pool and community centre, big box shopping development, the Pleasant Hill project, and the list goes and I get sicker thinking of the growing debt. Not enough money being spent?

Globally others were suffering the pains of a recession while Saskatoon seemed under a bubble and immune from the recession. We enjoyed city and job growth. And we suffered growing pains. There was a rental housing shortage. The city has invested substantial money to assist and encourage the development of low income housing. Opinions differ as to which level of government is actually responsible for development of this housing. I digress.

I assume Mr. Shaw is NDP because only they would see prosperity as a negative. The old cliche "laugh or you'll cry" can't apply here. This is too sad to laugh about. It is not absurd. It is simply just plain nuts!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recycling socialism

Why is it in this province that every proposed or existing program must be imposed on every citizen. I recycle - by choice. Cans etc. to Sarcan, papers to Cosmo etc. I have a compost container. I recycle willingly. I do not need legislation or bylaws to dictate that which I do willingly without cost to me. I do think citizens should be encouraged to recycle. Offer incentives. People take their cans, bottles etc. to Sarcan because they get their deposit back. Offer subscribers to the blue box program a discount on their property tax equivalent to their cost or alternatively a share of the city's savings regarding the landfill and you will see that business flourish. Quit using plastics. We don't have a plant to recycle plastic in this province. We ship all our plastics to Alberta on semi-trailers spewing carbon and contributing to pollution.

This province has started to see a growth in young entrepreneurs. I recall a couple of young people, concerned about recycling, started a business a few years back. They have done well as evidenced by the growing number of blue boxes on curbs. We are a university city. I hope they will expand their program to include recycling furniture and household items to students in need.

I give thumbs up to the young entrepreneurs and thumbs down to the city. The best incentive is enthusiasm.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bulldozers move dirt

A friend sent me a copy of a letter Ward 1 incumbent Darren Hill was circulating that stated his challenger Carol Reynolds was a bulldozer. I would scale that down to a bobcat. In listening to her speak I would guess the little bobcat can excavate to the root of problems and move dirt and garbage to the side. This is a interesting race - bulldozer vs. bull. . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to be grateful for. Our freedom of speech, our right to choose our governments without fear of harm for doing so, and our right to seek public office and be part of the democratic process. For these privileges we should show our thankfulness for those rights and for those individuals who have stepped forward to offer themselves for public service. Please vote on October 28.

There is only one correct answer

I chanced upon the Saskatoon Teachers Association questionnaire for school board candidates. And I quote: "How do you see yourself working to ensure adequate publicly funded education in Saskatoon?" I'm not sure whether this means adequate education that is publicly funded or adequate public funding for education. Without access to the tax base and the ability to increase the mill rate on a whim, the answer is: I'll wave my magic wand.

Before I die . . .

. . will civic government please make a decision on the downtown transit mall. Over the decades more businesses have been destroyed, excessive time and money has been spent trying to design the perfect project and the costs keep climbing. The issue, and it always has been, is public safety and security. Beethoven's music did not keep the thugs at bay, although hopefully some may have developed an appreciation for the classics.

Build the transit mall adjacent to the police station, throw in a donut shop and everybody's happy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Maddness of the Mendel - Saskatoon Economics 101

The Mendel Maddening Crowd first approached council asking for about 12 million for an expansion. They asked the city for a share and hoped for city assistance in getting cost shared funding from other levels of government. It would be topped up with fundraising. It was a tough slug luring six people out of the sports arena and into Bohemia. Over time the costs escalated with the insanity. In the beginning some councillors argued that expansion of the gallery would increase the operating costs - although the Mendel operated on a shoestring budget thanks to a large contingent of volunteers. And the Mendel had the conservatory - the poor man's winter get-a-way.

Now we are up to 55 million, if we're lucky and this mega project can be held on budget. The feds and province are giving 26 million, leaving the city with a 29 million dollar tab. We have no indication of what the horrendous operating costs will be and since River Landing appears not to be generating new tax revenue in the near future I assume we are into "up the mill rate." The conservatory will not move with the Mendel. Oh yeah, I forgot there won't be a Mendel and maybe not a conservatory either.

Obviously there will have to be admission fees and, like CUC and TCUP, only those who can afford the fee will get beyond the lobby.

The cost of moving the MVA into the Medel site is a story for another day.

As for Ottawa demanding new rather than expanded - bull. The bureaucrat probably doesn't know where Saskatoon is located.

The absurdity of this tale - be careful of what you ask for 'cause you might get more. Who woulda thunk!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bikes, trikes and automobiles

It's hard to argue against the physical benefits and environmental positions taken by cyclists, although the counterpoint to the environmental position of 20 cars lined up behind a cyclist doing 10 kph and spewing carbon has merit. I would agree that all new development should provide for separate bikes lanes, but revamping the core areas is problematic. However, if all vehicles are going to share the same road, then all vehicles and drivers should meet the same standard. Licence all vehicles regardless of number of wheels or means of propulsion. Ensure all vehicles have headlights, tail lights and turning signals. Cyclists should require a licence to operate their vehicle. No vehicles should be allowed on pedestrian walkways/crosswalks or to sideswipe people without penalty. And remember - David and Goliath is a myth. The reality is: semi-trailers trump trucks, trucks trump cars, cars trump bikes, and bikes trump pedestrians. You can't win a fight against a 1,000+/- kg opponent. Drive/pedal/walk safely.

Racing down Hill

. . on a very slippery slope. I don't have a problem with people making a mistake if they accept responsibility for it. It is just plain wrong to use goods provided and paid for with tax dollars for personal gain. When Ward 1 incumbent Darren Hill attached his City Hall business card to his political fund-raising solicitation letter and fobbed responsibility onto a 'over zealous volunteer' it simply highlighted his character and judgment, or lack thereof. Oh well, the 'Over zealous volunteer' excuse got Dwain Lingenfelter elected as fearless leader of the NDP.

Myles has put on a few miles . . .

. . . but seems to still have a lot of tread left. Ward 5 Incumbent Myles Heidt, along with his Ward 3 amigo, has managed to spend more money west of the South Saskatchewan over the last six years than has been spent over the last 60. With that kind of traction its hard to believe that even the NDP party machine could put him in the ditch.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who's up to bat

Over this last term Ward 3 incumbent Maurice (aka Moe) Neault produced/directed his own episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent by taking his Louisville Slugger to the transit mall in his ward to protect his constituents from some little thugs. I am curious as to whether or not his constituents will be going to bat for him on October 28.

This is not a recommended practice for law abiding citizens and mere mortals.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I am not a Luddite

Mayor Atch states he is not a technological Luddite because he had the first privately owned satellite dish in the province. Being able to use a phone to order a dish, or a remote control to operate it, does not make you a virtual player. He said he hasn't jumped head-first into new technologies on the campaign trail because he's waiting for them to evolve. Come on Atch, lead the way!

Creepy Treehouse

Creepy Treehouse is apparently the name given those those older than mayoralty candidate Swystun who attempt to use website social networking sites to campaign. About incumbent Atchison she said "He's 20th century, we're 21st century" and "He's about the past. We're about the future." I don't know what this means in terms of chronological age, but someone should share this with Larry King, who looks like he could have been Methuselah's roommate, and yet he tweets and blogs. And I strongly suspect no bartender is asking Lenore for her ID. Put this one up my elm.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zircons, Lorje, Grover and more

$ - I am starting to wonder whether our Crown Jewel River Landing is in fact a zircon. When it started the initial investment of roughly 35 million was necessary to clear and clean the site and put the infrastructure in place. In planning for a mix of private/public development the proposal was that tax generated from private development would pay for and maintain the public component. The 35 million ballooned into 90+ million.

I'm an old girl and you could have knocked my nylons off when I heard left wing incumbent councillor Pat Lorje stating we shouldn't "skimp" on River Landing. What's another 7 million? Perhaps Ms. Lorje should quit driving the bus and move to the back!

$ - Next up, Jack Grover. So Jack didn't like his purchaser. After inking the deal, presumably for fair market value, he decided his nemesis should pay more - and the city did. $14,000.00 more. My burning question is: How many more properties does Jack Own?

$ - If you live in a core area of the city and are concerned about mercury content in potable water it is recommended that you run your water in the morning for 10 minutes before drinking it. With an expected rate increase on the horizon, should core area residents get a break for the lost water on the morning water run? Aside from the health concerns, is there a conservation issue here? What's the ever-increasing utility infrastructure levy (hidden tax) being spent on? So many questions, so few answers.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Meet your Mistress

Welcome to my blog. Pull up an armchair, kick back and let your fingers do the talking.

What you should know about your mistress . . .

My name is Elaine and I have a problem. I am a political junkie. I spend years craving and anticipating my fix - an election. My rush of choice is civic politics. I support the concept of consuming that which produced closest to home.

I can get hopped up on provincial and federal issues as well, although the feds are wearing thin - too much of a good thing possibly.

My experience in the political playing field started with pounding the pavement for a candidate, then the odd foray into the backroom, fifteen years on the frontline as a candidate and alas, at the request of the voters, retirement. Suffice it to say "been there, done that."

But once you've tasted the political drug, the desire for more lingers. So now my fix comes from writing and commentary. With Saskatoon's upcoming civic election, this will be a forum to spout opinions and trade ideas.

Initially I thought this civic election had the juice of a withered lemon. I pointed my fickle finger at the ward system.

The idea that the voting public could not choose a slate from a lengthy list of candidates every three years seemed spurious. Interestingly enough these same voters can manage to cruise 50 to 100+ TV channels nightly to select their viewing pleasure, yet every three years they were deemed not to be capable of cruising a list of similar size to select their civic government. Did we vote for this?

With 3 of 10 wards for council, and 4 of 10 wards for public school board, decided by acclamation many people are feeling they've lost their right to vote. The acclamations, coupled with a public perception that the Mayor's race is a done deal, have fed public apathy to a point that even those who care speak of not wasting their time "X"ing a ballot. So now the game gets interesting.

After listening to the panic stricken ramblings of some incumbents I am wavering on this year's outcome. Hmmm . . . maybe this lemon does have some juice.

  • fanatics and one-issue voters will always make the effort to support their candidate (and this supposes that none of our incumbents qualify for this vote)
  • the NDP are masters at get-out-the-vote (and this supposes that fanatics and one-issue candidates are separate entities)
  • since school boards have lost the right to tax, ratepayers are less concerned about who fills these chairs
  • no burning issue
  • too many acclamations
  • a public that just doesn't give a damn
  • the Mayor's race is already over (or is it?)
Anyone taking bets for the 28th?

Tip to at-large candidates: don't waste your time in Wards 7 and 9 - there will be no line up at the polls here this election.

Best Election Belly Laugh to Date: Find a fitting name (SP Sept. 30) by Dorothy Johnstone for her River Landing moniker "The Atch Hole." Sorry Mr. Mayor but I think this one is going to stick.

Preview of things to come
Famous and infamous candidate/councilor quirks and quips
Honourable and dishonourable campaigning
Bring the party machines out of the backroom
Ward by ward issues and antics
Are school boards still necessary?
The virtual campaign - linking the generations
Stupid Voter Syndrome