Thursday, October 20, 2011

The 15% Solution

Congratulations to Councillor-elect Ann Iwanchuk. We will look forward to her voice on council - with the exception of when Council deals with unionized employee contracts. In my mind there is a conflict of interest. This lady seems like a down-to-earth personality and an honourable person who will do the right thing when the time comes.

The only real disappointment to yesterday's by-election was voter turnout - about 15%. The heartening aspect was the move toward gender equity on Council.

An honourable mention must be given to Mike San Miguel. I was pleasantly surprised at his second place finish. I hope he continues his quest for a seat on council in the next general election.

I was taken aback by Rik Steernberg's fourth place finish. As a ward resident and former councillor I thought he would finish better. Well, this is next year country.

The best news is, should we lose another councillor for any reason, no more by-elections.

22 comments:

  1. Mistress explain yourself on the conflict of interest angle. Not sure where you are going with that.

    As for the fact this was a pointless and costly election for the citizens of Saskatoon she will have the step up on everyone else.

    I can see it now every time there is a vote on increasing costs she can vote no and then go into a new election with a great platform to work from.

    So lets see we have more women, possibly even a homosexual councilor but I don't recall anyone of first nations decent. So what's the line on our first Muslim councilor? Things could get very interesting next time around.

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  2. The conflict of interest is obvious, Ann Iwanchuk was employed (the head of our local?) by the CUPE.

    How is she to interpret contract negotiations, through her role as Councillor and an eye towards keeping the city budgets in check or as a CUPE representative and an eye towards increasing the the unionized workers wages?

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  3. 'Possibly' a gay councillor? I think it's well understood that Coun. Hill is gay.

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  4. Could you explain this "conflict of interest", Elaine?

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  5. I think she means that the new council is a known union member, so in anything deal with unions she is in a conflict of interest and can't vote.

    It's the exact same as how any councillors who are members of business groups or a connected to the business world don't vote on anything that affect's business and the mayor can't vote on anything to do with the downtown due to his business being located there.

    That's how it works right?

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  6. Ahh, yes.

    I recall Atch absenting himself from votes involving the siphoning of $140 million public dollars into River Landing, because his personal business was located two blocks away.

    Thanks for the clarification! Now I know how it works.

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  7. I certainly hope Randy Donauer absents himself of the vote on Sunday pay parking due to him working at a suburban church with free parking.

    Wouldn't his vote be tantamount to using public economic levers to encourage religious conversion, Elaine?

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  8. Why the obsession with calling out the Mistress by name Anon 1:21/1:54?

    I wonder how you'd feel if the IP Address was traced back to your house and somebody happened to out you for your nasty posts on here over time. Wouldn't like that would you Dan?

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  9. I was preparing to write a diatribe in response the some of the above comments and then stopped myself. Either some of you are absolutely simple-minded or are being deliberately obtuse to provoke argument. If you cannot see conflict with a National CUPE Representative sitting at the management table negotiating a employee contract with local CUPE groups as being a conflict, nothing I say will change your mind.

    This is one of those days when I am just embarassed by some of the coments on this blog.

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  10. Let's try to be fair and give Ann a chance, she will make mistakes they all do. Councilors do not negotiate union contracts thats why they have managers. Somebody at the hall will warn her in advance of potential conflict issues. Theresa Dust has been doing this for a long time and understands the cities policy on conflict of interest better than anyone on this forum, I think even the Mistress would admit that.

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  11. "Either some of you are absolutely simple-minded or are being deliberately obtuse to provoke argument. If you cannot see conflict with a National CUPE Representative sitting at the management table negotiating a employee contract with local CUPE groups as being a conflict, nothing I say will change your mind."


    Umm, I don't recall council conducting negotiations with the employees. They only approve (or not) when the City administration (labour relations branch) & the union(s) have come to agreement. Often council doesn't even approve until after the union has its ratification vote.

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  12. Actually I am a little perplexed at the assumption that someone from a union is incapable of making prudent decisions when they choose to run for public office. They have chosen to represent their constituents and I am sure she or he realizes that this puts them in a position where they may be at odds with many groups, including unions, when they make decisions that are for the benefit of the majority. If this were the case, then one can rightly argue that business owners on council will make decisions that only suit other business owners. We are already seeing the Chamber call for less business tax. By your suggestion that one councillor can't be unbiased about union connections one can also assume that a business owner/mayor might also not be unbiased about the business /homeowner tax imbalance. Not such a stretch for me.

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  13. "Why the obsession with calling out the Mistress by name Anon 1:21/1:54?"


    You know that on this very page on the right hand side it says "About me: I'm Elaine..."

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  14. Anon 10:51,

    Turn the tables around a bit here. How comfortable would we be if a CEO from the oil companies got elected to government then was at the table or involved in the talks about environmental policy for the government in terms of the oil sands?

    I don't think many people would be defending him as incapable of making prudent decisions when the choose to run for public office. Or that they would be representing their constituents even though they may be at odds with other groups, like their company.

    Have a head of a national union sitting at management table is obviously a concern, whether the concern materializes or not is yet to be seen

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  15. But this doesn't bar the oil executive from holding any kind of public office- neither should it bar union reps who, as some astute poster has already noted, is not directly responsible for negotiating with the unions.

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  16. That poster should have clarified that she MAY not be directly responsible (and I would hope she isn't).

    As with most things political, it all comes down to perception. The perceived reality is different than the real reality, and unfortunately that is fact.

    Similarly,a building contract being awarded by the City to a private firm would drawn all kinds of suspicions if one of the Councillors had a tie to the building company. Even if everything was on the up and up, the perception of potential guilt would be enough to cause a scandal.

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  17. It's not the same thing at all. She doesn't stand to personally gain capitally from her position, unlike the business owner who stands to make a lot of money personally. One person is not the union- one person can own a whole company.

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  18. Congratulation to Ann Iwanchuk.

    Lets judge her on her performance and not on what side of the fence she sits on. The people elected her fully aware of her position.

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  19. "It's not the same thing at all. She doesn't stand to personally gain capitally from her position, unlike the business owner who stands to make a lot of money personally. One person is not the union- one person can own a whole company."

    That is making a lot of assumptions. Firstly, you assume that the CEO has stock or ownership in the company. That is by no means true. Secondly, you assume that a national union representative has no incentives built into their contract similar to a CEO has built into theirs (Hint: THEY DO).

    The comparison is apt, both are in positions of power and both stand to benefit (whether that benefit is realized in monetary or non-monetary realization)

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  20. "I was preparing to write a diatribe in response the some of the above comments and then stopped myself."

    Once again Elaine proves herself incapable of substantiating her opinions.

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  21. "Have a head of a national union sitting at management table is obviously a concern, whether the concern materializes or not is yet to be seen"


    Since she is not the head of a union, would not be negotiating any contract with City employees and would have absolutely nothing to gain by giving City employees a "sweethart" contract except bad press.....


    argument-failure.

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  22. would have absolutely nothing to gain by giving City employees a "sweethart" contract

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    Ummm she'd likely see a gain at her FULL TIME employer CUPE if she helped the local CUPE workers get a big deal.

    Are you oblivious, conflict of interest can happen on both sides of the fence bud.

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