ROSZAN HOLMEN: “We don’t have $50,000 like the City,” said Ross Crockford of Fortin using public money for faltering YES campaign

JOSEPH STRAUSS BRIDGE THIRTEEN MONTHS AGO BY GOYO DE LA ROSA

SIDES GEAR UP FOR REFERENDUM BATTLE

Campaigns hit high gear this week as Nov. 20 vote looms on the Johnson Street Bridge

 

One morning earlier this week, posters urging residents to “Vote Yes” in the upcoming Johnson Street Bridge referendum appeared on the City’s automatic parking metres.

The posturing is part of a $50,000 City campaign now in full swing.

The goal is to convince Victoria residents to approve plans to borrow $49.2 million toward a $77 million project to replace the Blue Bridge.

Mayor Dean Fortin, backed by a team of high-ranking City Hall staff, has been making the rounds to the editorial boards of various media outlets in town.

The message is straightforward: the Johnson Street Bridge must be replaced in three years or it’s at risk of being closed due to mechanical failure or City decision.

As the City promotes its message, another campaign is also ramping up.

Arguing for a NO vote in the referendum is the group called johnsonstreetbridge.org named after its website.

Organizer Ross Crockford calls his campaign “unconventional.”

“We don’t have $50,000 like the City,” said Crockford.

While a few donations have trickled in, Crockford said his credit card is doing most of the financing.

He’s helped by a network of 80 to 100 volunteers, including four of the Council candidates running in the upcoming City byelection.

On Wednesday, Crockford organized an all-candidates meeting focusing exclusively on the bridge.

He’ll also be representing the NO side at various community debates.

Coming soon are Vote No leaflets and posters, as well as an art show dedicated to works of the 86-year-old bridge.

“The main thing I am communicating to volunteer is the thousand voices of no.

“I am not going to be the leader or director of this [so much] as kind of the editor and advisor,” said Crockford.

According to Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, getting people out to vote is going to be the City’s biggest challenge.

“People think we’ve already made the decision and we’re moving forward,” said Fortin.

“We want to hear from everybody as opposed to just a select few.”

Roszan Holmen: Victoria News staff: rholmen@vicnews.com

Sides gear up for referendum battle

Friday, October 29, 2010

Page One

 

VOTE NO ON NOVEMBER 20 TO SAVE THIS JOSEPH STRAUSS BASCULE BRIDGE

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