Cornwall ON – It was like the opening episode of American Idol. The contestants you know have zero chance can be as much fun if not more entertaining as the real deals. Although sometimes some surprising messages come from those that have no chance for office.
I think for me as a taxpayer, citizen, and future council candidate this batch of council candidates prove that we really do need to raise the salaries for city council. Maybe we need to cut down to 8 or 6 councilors or simply bite the bullet.
The reality of this body of people making decisions on a $150M + budget per year is a bit scary. There are some great people. I’m not sure if there are ten in this group I personally want making key decisions that could impact our waterfront; our growth, the merger and impact of big box stores vs our local downtown core…the list goes on.
It’s funny. Every stone cast at the current regime is pretty much dead on. Of course every bouquet espoused of them is also true. Nobody will ever do a perfect job, but is Pat Finnerty anywhere near the mark? Would you trust him with the city cheque book?
For the most part it was the same old same old from the Councilors who had less than 3 minutes to communicate to Cornwall what they stand for. It’s a difficult task and you need more than 3 minutes and an election sign to communicate who you are.
Councilor Denis Thibault rang a few strong chords…
…as did veteran Councilor Denis Carr who just became a grandfather this past Saturday….
…Councilor Clement first focused on her role as the Federal Liberal candidate and how she would resign from Council if elected MP ..
Mary Ann Hug tugged at my heart strings as health care to me is the number one issue facing all of us at all levels of government and as a PSW she has an intimate relationship of how we take care of ourselves in the current system.
The most stirring council statement came from Gary Samler; a lifelong poverty and social advocate, and long term military man recently snubbed by the Labour Council endorsement whose debate he’s attending Wednesday night.
Newcomers of note included Jim Marshall….
Mike Bedard who is one of the few candidates who actually runs their own business….
Todd Bennett made some strong statements….
It was the mayoralty candidates that got the crowd going. While the debate was a bit too close to call a winner on both Mayor Kilger and Mark MacDonald were surprising. Mr. MacDonald known more as an abrasive brawler type showed the council at the foot of former mayor Brian Lynch is paying off as some of his rougher edges have been smoothed and his message came out in clear strong strokes keeping Mayor Kilger on the defensive for much of the evening.
It should be interesting to see if as an experience politician as Mayor Kilger is he reacts in the next round? Nicole Spahich seemed more musically focused as she categorically stated that she would “Promise you zero” to the crowd while continually waxing about violin music being empty….. She’s an engaging woman; especially in person, but as I type this I’m still not quite sure of her platform, and judging from her performance I’m not 100% she is either. For a rookie Cornwall politician she’s showing a lot of courage as she faces two much more experienced adversaries.
Wednesday night is the next full on debate for the Labour Council at the Legion. The Cornwall Public Library just announced a debate focused on the arts and culture for October 20, and of course all 3 candidates will be debating LIVE on Seawayradio.com on Tuesday October 19th.
What do you think Cornwall? Who has impressed you so far and who hasn’t? You can post your comments below.