Today, I’m going to look at Alta Vista Ward – my Ward – and see what’s happening in my own backyard in the run for Council. There are 4 candidates, but there are only two that I will focus on in this post.
In alphabetical order…
I have spoken with Clinton lately about his ideas on the need for change on Council and on the School Board. He has some good notions and plans that vary from the beaten path and truly believes that our Councillor should reflect the wishes of and be responsive to his or her constituents. He doesn’t believe that the incumbent has delivered in most respects and that he represents a change from that old standard.
This is sort of what I have been saying about the School Board. Clinton represents a “new wave” of elected officials who will make this great City even better partly because they are not part of the old guard and still have the ability to think and act in innovative ways. Others of this ilk in this election include Julia Ringma (Council candidate, College Ward) and Lale Eskicioglu (Orléans and Cumberland OCDSB candidate). New players with new approaches.
Clinton is using social media well – being on Facebook and Twitter (though he could Tweet a bit more often) – and he does seem to “get” the whole communications thing. He is taking the “bloggers” approach to his website content (adding content as time goes on) and it will be fleshed out as the campaign rolls out.
Peter Hume (the incumbent)
I really didn’t have a problem with Peter until the last few years. I have lived in the Ward since 2003 and have made maybe a half dozen requests of the man – all OC Transpo related. In the first few years, he was pretty good at getting back to me. But then nothing. It’s like my enquiries were suddenly slotted into the “don’t bother” file.
And I’m not the only one. Friends and neighbours have seen the same thing. A few of us were concerned about cutbacks to the 148 and 149 bus schedules so we each emailed his office. After being promised a response we received nothing – even after some follow-up notes.
Communication with one’s constituents is essential. I am stressing it in my own campaign and Council candidates must do the same.
He doesn’t use social media very well – I don’t think he has a Facebook page nor is he on Twitter (correct me if I’m wrong, but I cannot find a thing). His web page is not at all interactive – one page with a clickable link to a “Join Team Peter” page. Someone should have told him that stuff like this is important in the 21st century.
It’s really too bad, he had some potential. If he is re-elected, I hope he realizes that he does have to reconnect with his constituents.
And, to be equitable, I did try to contact Peter directly a few weeks back to give him a chance to convince me that all of this has been a big mistake, I would have listened to him. But he never got back to me. I did get a call from one of his vols… and that was nice. But I wanted to speak to the candidate. As they say in the Twitterverse: #epicfail.
So, who to vote for?
Mr. Hume, deservedly or not, will be the victim of a widespread rebellion against incumbents in this election. After the LRT debacle, the Lansdowne mess, the OC Transpo strike, mayorlarry’s legal problems, the constant sniping at the Council table, the poor way the Green Bins were introduced… I could go on… but you get the idea. He may not be directly to blame for these missteps, but I think that most of Council will pay in any case.
We need a change at the School Board table and we need a change at the Council table.
I think Clinton Cowan is the guy who will deliver on this.
My money is on him.