I have promised several of you that I would post my election thoughts and picks before Monday so here they are.
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
From Bob Dylan – Times They Are a Changing”
We are about to vote in the most important election in Cambridge history. On October 25th we will be electing an a minimum of three new councilors, one to replace Linda Whetham, and 2 for the new wards.
This means that at least one third, possibly more depending on how the incumbents do, of council will be inexperienced.
With voter turnout below 30 per cent for the past decade, at just over 25 per cent in 2006, few are deciding for the majority.
One of the most important decisions that will impact Cambridge voters is being decided outside our boundaries. Our neighbours in Kitchener and Waterloo are having a referendum on merging those two cities. If that happens not only will Cambridge be (more) overwhelmed at Regional Council, the beast of amalgamation will be sure to raise its ugly head again.
I have dealt with many of the candidates, particularly the incumbents, over the years I have dealt with many of the candidate, and these are my opinions. I have a strong inclination towards candidates who are art oriented, and will bring the recommendations of the vote for Voters Committee a reality.
These are my opinions, I look forward to reading yours.
I cannot stress enough how important this election is to the future of Cambridge. Get you ass out and vote.
I like Donna Reid. It’s not just the feistiness she showed in the Condo Canvassing Showdown, but the fact that she chaired the Vote for Voters Committee which has recommended some big changes for the next election. She is one of the candidates I am hoping will bring the local electoral process inline with current technology.
Rick Cowsill is probably my favorite on the current council. This crusty curmudgeon refuses to carry a Blackberry paid for by the taxpayers and has the worst attendance record on council but is loved by the residents “North of the 401.”
I have had to contact Rick on numerous occasions on behalf of readers in Hespeler, and Rick has never failed to not only call me back, but to contact his constituent and rectify the problem, if possible. Everyone I have ever contacted Cowsill for has been satisfied, and he is the only one on council I can say that for.
Ben definitely gets my vote. We need his experience on council. I have had to deal with Ben more than anyone else on council, and we seldom agree. Not only does he have to put up with me living in his ward, it includes the Galt Core which tends to draw more problems than the other wards.
My estimation of Ben rose several notches 2 years ago when we were having all the problems with crack cocaine downtown. One night, after a meeting, I took Ben on a tour of one of the problem buildings. No cops, no council, just Ben and I. He never hesitated, even when we took the stairs to the dark underground parking. Two weeks before he had toured The Royal Hotel, again no cops. The man has balls.
Ben’s secret identity is a banker. When he’s mayor in either 4 or 8 years I’m sure he’ll pull our financial shorts up.
Pam will win, and she deserves to. She is always there for her constituents; in fact she gave up a full time teaching job to sit on council. Her background as a local NDP candidate and her participation with Amnesty International puts her far enough to the left to counter Ben the Banker.
I would not be at all surprised to see Pam step up a level at some point and run provincially or federally.
Brett Hagey knows he won’t beat Pam, but it has given him a chance to get his feet wet in anticipation of the next election when cyberspace will be a decisive factor. The enthusiasm he has shown in embracing the issues and quickly learning the political ropes although he was a late entry tells me that this election is not a “one off” for Brett.
I’d like to see some change here. Thomas is a little too cozy with The Advocate, and Shannon went to school with my brother, so Shannon gets my fictitious Ward 6 vote.
This one is tough. I like Gary Berger, he strikes me as honest and sincere, if not a little naïve.
Frank W. Curnew I like for his blue collar background which I’m sure would benefit our residents employed in manufacturing but I pick Frank Monteiro.
I’ve known Frank since he was a rookie, the first Portuguese cop in Cambridge. He has worked the streets of this city for 35 years, and knows more about what happens there than any other candidate.
I believe his election promise to bring beat cops back to Cambridge. If anyone can do it, Frank can.
Nicholas Ermeta is young,but it is his goal to be a politician. (I know, that just sends the mental rolodex spinning, don’t it)
He ran in the last election, was at the forefront of the unsuccessful attempts to save our court services from moving to Kitchener, and his writing abou
t local issues has appeared in The Caambridge Times for years
Dougie. (you knew that!)
The Office of the Mayor is an easy target for everyone, and Doug Craig is no exception. Stuck at the Delta? Damned Doug! You can’t figure out how to drive on a roundabout? It’s Craig’s fault.
I’m not going to go into a big diatribe right now about why I support Doug Here’s a link to an article i wrote two years ago, and my mind hasn’t changed.
The only ones I know that are running are Colin Carmichael and Cindy Watson. Cindy will get reelected, and I hope Colin does.
Colin is very in tune with social networking and it’s benefits; he was the one who started the Online Cambridge Reporter that degenerated into the advocate. He is very current on technology which is important if you are working with kids. He is the father of four toddlers(!) who will be going to school soon, he has a B.A. in Political Science and is an elder at his church.
(Although we are allowed to pick 2, I only marked Colin on my ballot as I know she will get in, I did the same with my regional vote)
Jane and Claudette have done a great job but it’s time for some new blood. No-one has impressed me more this election than Atinuke Bankole . We need strong representation on the Region. LRT is a crock of shite, and the amalgamation issue is not done, the enemy is just regrouping.
Atinuke is energetic, knowledgeable, can think on her feet and has the balls to take Ken Seiling on. If she doesn’t get elected Cambridge it will be a loss for Cambridge.
Those are my picks, what are yours?Tags: Colin Carmichael, doug craig, linda whetham, Regional Council