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Ontario municipal elections 2010

Post election reflections

The election was October 25.

I caught a flight to Beijing via Vancouver at 7 am the next day.

Not a lot of time to reflect.

But now I have finally had a bit of time to reflect on the campaign and the results. It has been a whirlwind few months for my family and me. The campaign monopolized most evenings and weekends and then, to make things even busier, I was assigned to a 12 day business trip to Beijing… with the flight leaving at 7 am on October 26th – the morning after the election.

While finishing second in the election was never my aim, it was a strong second. And this indicates to me that at least a sizable portion of the voters in Zone 6 were either unhappy with the current Trustee or liked what they heard from me. I hope it was more the latter than the former.

And we did get to about 4000 doorsteps, and that has to count for something, right?

What we did not have was an opportunity to address a large group or two to tell my story. Community associations and the like organise all-candidates meetings for the Mayoral and Council candidates, but the most the Trustee candidates can hope for is the offer of a table upon which to place campaign literature. But hey, that is better than nothing at all!

Unseating an incumbent is difficult at the best of times. But unseating him or her when one really does not have many or any opportunity to address the broad community makes it almost impossible. We did try to reach out in many ways. A Facebook fan page was set up, I Twittered like a fiend, and this site was regularly updated.

We had coverage in the EMC Ottawa South edition., the Riverview Park Review and the Manor Park Chronicle.

I filled out at least a dozen surveys sent to us by different groups and answered any and all questions from individual voters in an expedient way.

We even had a campaign ad! Unfortunately, the newspaper made an error and the ad went to into the Nepean edition and not the Ottawa South edition. Not many Zone 6 voters to be found in Nepean!

But at the end of it all, my family and I had quite an adventure – though my 6 year old told us that she doesn’t want to hear the word “election” for a while.

We gave it a go, fought the good fight and all that. I made a lot of new friends and found that the fire in the belly is still burning strong.

So, what’s next and will I run again in 2014?

Over the next few years I am going to engage even more in my community. You will see my name popping up here and there giving my opinion on local education issues or other education-related matters. I will be posting regularly on this blog and Tweeting frequently (@baldjam). This campaign has reminded me that I live in a very special community and just because the election is over, I want to continue to get involved where I can.

I will be holding Trustee Funiciello to what she said in her campaign literature about being accessible to all parents in the Zone. For the sake of all parents in the community, I do sincerely hope she meant it.

I’m not doing this to set myself up for another run at the Trustee seat. I want to become more involved in my community because I have rediscovered how special and fulfilling it is to be engaged. I want to contribute on one level or another, even if 2014 approaches and I am not inclined to try again.

And I encourage each of you in the Alta Vista and Rideau-Rockcliffe communities to stay involved as well.  It is important that we make the Board aware that our community is indeed watching and judging the decisions that they make over the next while. With funding uncertainties, the introduction of the early learning programs, the new strategic plan, the future of special programs and numerous other issues on the horizon, they have much work to do.

Like I said: what an adventure!

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Thanks to all 4,462 of you!

So OK, this isn’t the post I was hoping to out up the day after the vote, but I am proud nonetheless.

I gave her a run for her money and while I truly thought I had a shot, it was not to be. This time.

Will there be a next time? I don’t know. It really depends on what the Board and Ms. Funiciello do over the next few years. I will be watching them closely.

What will I do between now and 2014?

Well, I will stay involved in child and education related groups and follow the issues (e.g., integration of Early Learning into our schools). I am going to integrate more discussions of these issues into Trashy’s World.

I am going to involve myself even more in the comings and goings of my local community. One thing that this campaign has taught me is that I have missed the political side of community involvement and will be engaging even more intensively over the next while.

So watch for me… I’m not going away.

Bronwyn – congratulations. You ran the campaign well and you earned the win… and it was nice meeting you. It is clear that public education is as important to you as to me, but heed the sentence above. I’m in this for the long haul. I will commend you when earned and will criticise when warranted.

Mohamoud – great meeting you too. You bring a lot to the table and I sincerely hope our paths cross again.

Aside from the 4,462 voters of Zone 6 who voted for me, I need to thanks some folks who made this possible. Politics is really a team game and without a good team, success is difficult.

  • All who volunteered their lawns to be the home of an advertisement for yours truly.
  • The friends and family who took time out of their own busy lives to go door-to-door for me. I appreciate your commitment and I will never forget this. Ever.
  • Riley Brockington – thank you for your advice and your confidence. It was and is appreciated. Too bad about EMC screwing up and putting the ad in the WRONG paper!
  • The other Trustees and Trustee candidates who gave me encouragement and advice. I will not forget who you are. And that goes also to the Council and Mayoral candidates who I had the pleasure to meet.
  • All of the folks in the Twitterverse who provided me with endless entertainment, valuable information and a good belly laugh or three.

And most importantly… my family, who has put up with me over the past few months.

  • Steve, Stella and Vicky for helping out in an amazing way! Steve and Stella actually drove from Montreal on the first day of my campaign just to hand out flyers for a few hours!
  • My daughter and son, Addy and Owen (6 & 3), were my War Room coordinators…. stapling business cards on to flyers and cutting out other promo materials.  They have delved into this like a couple of political hacks!
  • My 17 yr old daughter Torii, who has always amazed me with her personality and confidence, but I never imagined her being an eager canvasser! She took to it like a fish to water. Thanks Bubba! You earned a nice gift from China.
  • And the biggest thank-you goes to my beautiful, talented and incredibly organised wife, Colleen. She was simply amazing through all of this. Picked me up when I was down, kicked me out the door when I didn’t really feel like hitting the sidewalks and most of all – kept my head in check.  Those of you who have run in campaigns know what I mean when I say that the full committment of one’s spouse is essential. Without it, you might as well forget running. Colleen’s support was over the top. And guess what she is doing today? As I am on my way to Beijing on a business trip (I’m writing this in the lounge of the Vancouver airport), she is driving around Zone 6 picking up signs.

Are we up to 3 pairs of shoes and a girls’ weekend, honey?

That’s all I have to say for now. I think I’ll be taking Trashy’s World in a bit of a different direction anyhow… less Hill-centric and more local-centric. I was tiring of criticising Harper and the gang… though, if he deserves it, I’ll be there!

So that’s about it for the election for now. When I return from my trip, I will be offering up some observations about the Ottawa municipal election.

The next post I will be penning will be a continuation of my travel posts – Trashy in China.

OCDSB Zone 6

Total %
Number of Polls/Nombre de bureaux de scrutin 76
Polls Reporting/Bureaux de scrutin rapportés 76 100.0%
Total Votes/Total des votes 13127 4
Mohamoud Abdulle 1311 9.99%
Bronwyn Funiciello 7354 56.02%
John Marshall 4462 33.99%

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John Marshall for Trustee – the end of the beginning

Here we are, folks.

The day before the election.  Tomorrow, we will vote for our Trustees, Mayor and Councillors.

Yeah, I put Trustees first on that list…

I have received so much encouragement from so many people…. got a call the other night from someone who I repect and this gave me the “oomph” to stay the course for a few hours more.

Here are the brass tacks: I will do as I say. I will listen. And I will respond.

The past few months have been really enjoyable. So many great folks in this community. So many concerns.

So many great ideas.

And I even lost a few pounds on my journeys… fringe benefit to campaigning, eh?

I ask for the honour of your vote on Monday and I will put these great ideas into motion.

Thank-you…

And yes, I know I look goofy below… it gets better.


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Trustee Brockington endorses John Marshall for Ottawa Carleton District School Board Zone 6 Trustee

October 20 2010
*For immediate release*
Trustee Brockington endorses John Marshall for Ottawa Carleton District School Board Zone 6 Trustee.
Public School Board Trustee Riley Brockington offered his endorsement on Wednesday to newcomer John Marshall for Zone 6 Trustee (Alta Vista and Rideau/Rockcliffe).
“Mr. Marshall has consistently shown both through his service to his community and throughout his campaign that he has the skills and enthusiasm necessary to be a strong voice for the Zone 6 community at the Board table. I am confident that his election would mean a truly representative and responsive voice for parents and other constituents in Alta Vista and Rideau/Rockcliffe,” Brockington announced on Wednesday.
Marshall responded that “I am very pleased and honoured to receive this endorsement. Trustee Brockington has a long history of service to the Board and his community and his confidence in me is very encouraging. If the voters of Zone 6 see fit to elect me on October 25th, I look forward to proving myself worthy of his endorsement.”
-30-

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Why vote for your Trustee?

After campaigning full tilt for the past month, I have found that among the majority of voters, there is a misperception or no perception of the role of the Trustee.  Young and not so young, high school graduates and PhD alike, there is certainly a disconnect when it comes to understanding the Trustee and their place in our system of local governance.

Yes, School Board Trustees are elected at the same time as the Mayor and the City Councillors. And it is your democratic duty to vote for them as you would your Mayor or Councillor.

When you arrive at your polling station, you will be given 3 ballots, one (a very long one in Ottawa) ballot for your choice of Mayor, one for your Ward Councillor and one for School Board Trustee. Depending on which system you gave designated as having your support – through your property – taxes you will receive either a ballot for the English Public, French Public, English Catholic, French Catholic. You mark an X beside the Trustee of your choice just like the others.

So why bother? Say you don’t have children and never plan to, why vote for someone who is not going to impact your life?

Well, for starters, the children now are the Doctors, Engineers, Builders, Teachers, Emergency officers, Nurses, etc. of tomorrow. The decisions that the Board makes DIRECTLY impacts on how these children are taught, what they are taught and where they are taught.

So you do have a stake in this.

Plus, whether or not you realise it, you are paying into the system so why not have a say? Through your property taxes (they are buried in your rent if you are not a homeowner), your provincial taxes and the HST you are paying… and paying big! The OCDSB, for example, has a budget of $700 million! That is not chicken feed.

Finally -and this is a pet reason of my own – by not voting, you are sending the message to Queens Park that local control over education decision making is not important.

Since the Harris days, power has gradually shifted from our local communities to the Province of Ontario. Provincial officials are making decisions that affect Ottawa families and I strongly believe that these decisions are best made by local communities.

The Boards do still have considerable authority. They choose which programs are offered in which schools. ESL, French Immersion, Gifted Programs – all, with limitations, are under the authority of the Board. They choose to open schools or close (gulp!) them. They vote on student transportation, programs with the broader community, infrastructure.

They are responsible for our schools and the safety of our kids.

Their role – albeit diminished from past years – is vital to our City.

In short, please do vote for your Trustee. Even if you don’t vote for me, at least cast a vote. This is democracy in action!

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Campaign update and future activities

So – only 16 days until the October 25th vote and everyone’s campaign is in full swing! I just saw Lorne Rachlis at the Main Street Farmer’s Market, and he is looking positive and invigorated!

First, a huge thank you to those who have pounded the pavement with us and delivered flyers. We can’t tell you how much it means to us. All the great support – putting out signs, spreading the word about the election – we’re so very appreciative.

Now to some upcoming events:

October 13 – Riverview Park Community Association http://rpca.wordpress.com/

October 14 –
1 – Rockcliffe Park Residents’ Association http://www.rockcliffepark.ca/Elections2010.pdf

2 – Advance Vote Day 10am to 8 pm!! (for those on the south end of the Zone, the polling station is at Jim Durrell; in the north it’s the Rockcliffe Park Community Centre)

October 17 – Private local event

October 19 – Vincent Massey School Council meetinghttp://www.vincentmasseyps.ocdsb.ca/council.htm#OctoberCouncilNews

October 20 – Hawthorne Public School Council meeting
http://www.hawthorneps.ocdsb.ca/

October 21& 22 – Campaign blitz (bus stops, more doors!)

October 23 – Brief break from campaign to attend the Pleasant Park/ Hawthorne Used Book Sale http://www.pleasantparkps.ocdsb.ca/index.php?id=34

October 25 – ELECTION DAY

Not a campaign event, but here is the link to the Board calendar for October:http://www.ocdsb.edu.on.ca/au_bot_meeting-dates.asp

You can find information about John’s candidacy in many places:

Facebook

Elect John for Trustee

Web site
http://marshallzone6.wordpress.com/

E-mail John:
marshall4ocdsb@gmail.com

Twitter
@marshall4ocdsb

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! While we be out on the streets Saturday and Sunday, Monday is family time.

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Trustee candidates head to Alta Vista PS

I love opportunities to do what I am doing this evening: meeting and interacting with a school community.

Like I have said, good communication is key. And good communication begins on the campaign trail but cannot end on voting day.

If you are an Alta Vista PS parent, come on out to the AGM at 7 pm. Trustee candidates will be joining the meeting at 8.

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Well… I won’t win any Emmys, but I didn’t do too bad.

Last night’s airing on Rogers TV of some of the Trustee candidates in Zones 1 through 6 was quite informative. The range of preparation and talent in front of the camera was very wide. Some were very, very comfortable and completely prepared. And of course, others not so much.

I think I fell into the former rather than the latter though there were a few candidates whose experience shone through much brighter than mine.

And that is that as far as television goes in this campaign – as far as we Trustee candidates are concerned. Some candidates may have something planned independently, but unlike the Council and Mayoral candidates, our 90 seconds of fame is pretty much it.

Happily, people are taking the initiative and emailing questions about my stance on certain issues… keeps me busy but I’m glad to do my part in keeping our communities informed.

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Public School Board Candidate Information

(Note – updated as of Oct. 9 to add info on Pam Morse.)

I am on Twitter quite a lot – my iPhone is a very good friend of mine – and something that I and others have noticed lately are a number of requests for a summary table of candidates.

Will over at Mos Publicus has tirelessly put together such a list on his blog. At the time of this writing, he has compiled the Mayoral list and was working on the Council list… a total of 140ish candidates! Go Will!

So… what you see below is my attempt at providing Ottawa voters with a summary of candidates for the OCDSB.

I went back and forth on a few things when putting this together. Should I list only challengers and not incumbents?Should I draw attention to the other to candidates who are running against yours truly? I mean, should I really be giving incumbents more exposure than they already enjoy?

But in the end I remembered why I was running in this election: better communication… which leads to more transparency and a more informed electorate. Plus, I invite you to look at her information and compare the two of us.

So, what follows is as complete a list as I can come up with. IF there is information missing, PLEASE don’t yell at me but send me a note or make a comment in the comment field noting the omission and proving the correct details.

Emails are listed first and then website, if applicable. I did not hunt down Facebook or Twitter presence (except my own!), but the sites should have that info. Challengers are in red and bold font.

Zone 1 – West Carleton-March/Stittsville-Kanata West/Rideau-Goulbourn Ward

Lynn Scott: Lynnscott2010@acleris.com, www.acleris.com/dsb/lynnscott.html (incumb.)

Todd Johnson: No info.

Zone 2 – Kanata North/Kanata South Ward

Cathy Curry (incumb.): Cathy.curry@rogers.com, www.cathycurry.com

Christine Boothby: Christine.boothby@rogers.com, www.boothbyforkids.ca

Zone 3 – Barrhaven/Knoxdale-Merivale Ward

No incumbent

Donna Blackburn:  donnablackburn@sympatico.ca, donnablackburn.ca

Ismail Mohamed:   contact@ismailmohamed.ca, ismailmohamed.ca

Allan Halfper: halfper@gmail.ca, halfper.ca

Zone 4 – Bay Ward

Theresa Kavanagh: theresakavanagh.ca

Doug Lloyd: dlloyd@cambrian.ca, douglloyd.ca (incumb.)

Michael Pastien: m.pastien@yahoo.ca

Zone 5 – College Ward

Kimberly Brown: Kimberly_julia_brown@yahoo.ca

Pam FitzGerald: Pam_fitzgerald@sympatico.ca (incumb.)

Zone 6 – Rideau-Rockcliffe/Alta Vista Ward

Bronwyn Funiciello: Bronwyn@re-elect-funiciello.ca, re-elect-funiciello.ca (incumb.)

John Marshall: marshall4ocdsb@gmail.com, marshallzone6.wordpress.com, @marshall4ocdsb, Facebook fan page

Mohamoud Abdulle: Abdul4education@yahoo.ca

Zone 7 – Gloucester-South Nepean/Osgoode/Gloucester Southgate Ward

Dave Byron: Dave.byron@rogers.com

Mark Fisher:  Mark.fisher@rogers.blackberry.net, electmarkfisher.ca

Pam Morse: pamela.l.morse@gmail.com www.pammorse.com (incumb.)

Zone 8 – Orléans/Cumberland Ward

Lale Eskicioglu:  Lale@ReadLiterature.com, lale-trustee.blogspot.com

John Shea:  John@johnshea2010.com,  johnshea2010.com (incumb.)

Zone 9 – Rideau-Vanier/Capital Ward

Rob Campbell:  rob@reelectrob.ca, reelectrob.ca (incumb.)

Helen Gruber: (no. info.)

Julian Kirby: julianfkirby@gmail.com

Lorne Rachlis: rachlis@rogers.com, lornerachlis.blogspot.com

Daniel Rogers: (no info.)

Zone 10 -Somerset/Kitchissippi Ward

Megan Carroll:  Megan4zone10@gmail.com, megancarroll.ca

Jennifer McKenzie: jennifermck@sympatico.ca, jennifermckenzie.ca (incumb.)

Zone 11:

Acclaimed – Shirley Seward; shirleyseward@sympatico.ca

Zone 12 – Innes/Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward

No incumbent.

Katie Holzhauer: Katie.holtzhauer@gmail.com, katieholtzhauer.com


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Interest building in municipal elections

Well, less than 4 weeks to go and the real politicking has begun in Ontario’s election contests. I am, of course, closely following the ones here in O-town, but I also watching the showdown in the Big Smoke. Right now it’s looks like a two man race between Etobicoke Councillor Rob Ford and ex-Grit cabinet Minister George Smitherman. What I don’t understand is WHY O WHY would support this guy Ford???? He is T-dot’s version of mayorlarry! Wake up Land of the Leafs!

Ahem. Now that I have that off my chest, back to ByTown…

A few things have caught my eye with 4 weeks to go:

1) How did a ringroad become an election issue? It wasn’t even on the radar two weeks ago and now it is a major story. I’ll tell ya how: Larry O’s team – even with the turnover we are seeing – are a smart buncha cookies. They saw an opening to at least partially redefine the campaign and they have succeeded. Now to see if the other main candidates can get back on theme.

2) Some Ottawans are getting tired of the “Larry and Jim” show. I wonder if Doucet and the others see this.

3) Word on the street is that Council incumbents are at risk in at least 7 Wards, maybe more. Not to get too much into details, but there has been a bit of a sense of franticness in some of the incumbents messages. Maybe they can afford private polling and don’t like what they see.

(Trashy can’t afford private polling).

4) I’m waiting for the bus strike to emerge as a key issue. Something I hear quite often is that transit users (there are thousands) of us are dying for a chance to punish Council for it’s perceived inaction during the strike. This is also why I believe that this City will not return the Chains of office to mayorlarry. Voters cannot vote out the ATU, but they sure can vote out the Council.

What, in your opinion, has been the biggest issue/nonissue/surprise thus far?

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