CBC Eyeopener Mayoral candidate debate #3: How to bring Council Together

You guys know I can normally go months between writing entries, right? 

This was well and truly the most important debate the Eyeopener has done for me yet.  This is my single most important election issue.  Period. 

A broken city council is the root of so many of the problems we’re seeing in this election.  This is the big one right here! 

If we had a working city council, they wouldn’t have dallied to make a decision one way or the other about the airport tunnel.  Do it, or don’t do it, but now we’re scrambling trying to see if we even can get it done at all. 

If we had a working city council, we wouldn’t have had poor decisions made regarding the bridge.  It would have been in the press months ago, single sourcing would have been publicly vetted long ago, location would have been argued long ago and agreed upon or shot down. 

If we had a working city council, we would have had fifteen people telling us what they were seeing in the budget long ago and seeing the issues coming up.  We wouldn’t have half the council walking in a daze while the other half is pointing fingers saying, “I told you so.“  Wake up, you’re all responsible. 

If we had a working city council, we would not have 8-7 votes over and over again.  (Thank you, Jim Brown, for making that point so clearly!)  They have to work together and make compromises.  That doesn’t mean back room deals, it means talk about your ideas, find where you can give a little on your priorities to make something else happen somewhere else.  It most certainly means you don’t turn off your brain and vote with your buddies or keep score on who voted for your idea.

This is my single most important issue, and of the three, Craig Burrows owns my vote on this idea alone.  It is about the issue and not about the people.  It is what’s best for Calgary.  If you’re just voting for mayor based on name recognition, you need to look at some of the other candidates and their ideas.  Mr. Burrows has this nailed.  He’ll be a thousand times more effective because he understands how to focus on the issue and make council work together.

Joe Connelly is, quite sadly, part of today’s council and part of the problem.  You can hear it in his language.  “..I think you started with some great stuff about the pedestrian bridge, Memorial Drive and the tax hike, and I railed against all three of them.”
Railing against issues is the exact problem!*  Crowd-source this, Joe, stop railing against issues and start looking to get things done.  Bow River Flow turned out to be something good once it was given a chance.  Come down and meet me next year and let me explain it to you.  Until then, stop squishing ideas and start cooperating with council.  You’ll never get anything accomplished unless you collaborate and start collaborating with the people you didn’t choose.

Jon Lord brought up another point for me:  A working city council will never, ever have to find waste to trim.  A working city council will not create waste in the first place because they’ll be thinking about this and listening to people who bring them ideas.  A working city council is responsive and forward thinking. 

This is big.  If your candidate doesn’t have this question answered, you need to find another candidate.  It is that simple and that important.

Went out today to deliver signs for my candidate of choice tonight.  This is the first time I’ve been this involved.  I made sure I’ll be on the donor’s list (I’ll be at wee end of the bottom..  Do what you can.)  It’s a good feeling to be working with some great people.  I sure hope everyone in the campaign feels this way.