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Waterloo municipal election: A reblog of sorts

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WordPress has a “reblog” feature that lets you repost other people’s blogs in your own space, but it only works with WordPress-hosted sites. I therefore cannot do that with Darcy Casselman’s 2014 Municipal Elections post, at http://flyingsquirrel.ca/index.php/2014/10/26/endorsements/

His views largely reflect my own, though, and saves me a lot of time to just point you there.

Or even copy / paste some of his words, below.

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With minimal ado, this blog [flyingsquirrel.ca] endorses the following candidates in the municipal races I [Darcy Casselman] get a say in:

Regional Chair: Ken Seiling

Ken’s had this job for a long time. That’s largely because he’s good at it. If he has any faults, it’s that he’s kind of bland and innocuous. You could be easily forgiven for never having heard of the guy despite holding what’s more or less the region’s top job for almost 30 years. He doesn’t grandstand and he doesn’t show boat. And I like that. Chairs shouldn’t do that sort of thing generally. He lets the region’s mayors and councillors do the show boating.

I dread the thought of a Chair who’d use the position to make it all about them.

If I was going to ever vote for someone to unseat him, it would have to be someone who’s had some experience in local government. Preferably a mayor or long-time regional councillor. It’s not going to be some yahoo who wanders in off the street raving about taxes and claiming their “business experience” somehow qualifies them to wrangle a consensus out of this wildly diverse and sometimes fractious region. If you want a job like this, you need to put in the time.

It should come as a shock to absolutely no-one reading this blog that I strongly support the region’s plan to build a light rail transit system. Despite over a decade of public consultation, despite it being approved twice by two successive regional councils, despite shovels being in the ground, some candidates in this election think now is the time to stop the project, no matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost to cancel it or how disruptive such a drastic change in long-term planning would be for the whole region. It’s ludicrous. Not only is it horrible policy, these people stoop to outright lies and fabrication to try to justify it. It’s appalling. So you should vote for Ken.

That and Jay Aissa is a horrible person.

Regional Councillors: Jane Mitchell, Karen Scian

One is easy: Jane is awesome. Seriously. Read her blog. She’s pretty much everything I want in a regional councillor. She’s engaged, open, thoughtful and accessible. If you have a problem with the region tweet her and if she doesn’t have an answer off the top of her head, she’ll dig it up and get it for you. She’s great.

Next is trickier. We get to pick two regional councillor candidates. The other incumbent is Sean Strickland. I have no problem with Sean. I’ve voted for him before. But this time Karen Scian stepped down from city councillor to represent Waterloo to the region. And I like Karen. Both Karen and Sean are really good and my reason for going with Karen probably have more to do with style than substance. I’ve followed Karen on Twitter for ages and I think I have a very good idea of where she stands on things. My feel for Sean is a bit more vague.

Also, there may be a bit of strategic voting in my choice, as I really, really don’t want to lose Jane Mitchell, and Strickland has always come out ahead of her.

I very much look forward to electing regional council by ranked ballot next election. Block voting is terrible.

Special non-shoutout goes to former MP Andrew Telegdi, who has been mostly invisible in this campaign. He appears to have been recruited by Jay Aissa to run on the anti-LRT ticket, with the cynical assumption he’ll coast in on name recognition without people knowing what he actually stands for. Which is despicable and makes me really sad having held him in such high regard in the past.

Mayor of Waterloo: David Jaworsky

I’ve seen Dave everywhere this year. He’s a great guy, affable, well-connected and engaged.

Unlike the Chair, none of the candidates running have served in public office. Dave, at least, has served on a bunch of non-profit boards, committees and was executive in residence at Capacity Waterloo, an organization I came to know and value through my work with Kwartzlab. I honestly think he’s the best choice for mayor.

As an aside, I was surprised at how much I like Rami Said, who is running on his business experience and an “I will speak for everyone!” platform. These are generally huge red flags for me. Pretending you can always represent everyone is naïve. And government is not, under any circumstances, a business. But he’s good. The deal-breaker, though, is he has no public service experience whatsoever. Not so much as a committee. If he was running for city councillor, I like him well enough I might let that slide, but not mayor. You gotta put in the time.

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So again, above are the words of Darcy Casselman, not mine.

As for my ward (which differs from Darcy’s), I had the happy problem of all the candidates seeming quite decent, making it a tough to pick one. But after watching the debate and reviewing their websites this weekend, I have settled on the one I will vote for.

With school boards, it is very difficult to get information, but thanks to The Waterloo Region Record running brief candidate profiles this weekend, I have managed to select one there, too.

“That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything.” ― Lou Henry Hoover

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