Hugh Kruzel on Debating Victoria’s Future at the Fernwood Mayoral Candidates’ Meeting: ‘I am sure bridge-building will be talked about tonight, and naturally the Occupy Movement will be front and center for some.’

Hugh Kruzel says:

Debating Victoria’s Future

Hugh Kruzel

There sure isn’t much buzz about the town over this election. Just a few weeks remain and this is the first advertized gathering of candidates for municipal election 2011. Tonight I am at the Fernwood Community Center and are 70 or so in attendance. In this space this is easily a full house. We are at standing-room only status already 10 minutes before start. Fernwood is busy, vocal, and community-minded.

In the larger piture I predict turn-out for voting – later this month – though will be the lowest on record unless there is CPR done to citizenship and some energy invested by contestants. Some say wait until after Remembrance day and then we will see a gear-up. Sure there are some signs attached to things they should not be, and CFAX has covered some of the personalities, but unless you have been trying harder (and I was a candidate for mayor in 2008) than I have you could almost miss the whole thing. A snooze. But we could lose!

Victoria will end up with 3 more years of the same; not a bad prospect say some. Is it a bad bunch? No, taking the balanced view there are no rotten eggs nor really bad apples. Individually, they may have some beliefs and pet projects that are not to my liking, nor yours, perhaps. I am certainly not going to infuriate the goat lobby nor ruffle the feather of chickens in any urban backyard by making a judgement call on those subjects.

Incumbents always have the upper hand unless they have been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar or are unwilling to play along with CBC’s warrior princess. Quietly doing the business of governance will get you no airtime but it won’t get you in hot water either.

I am sure bridge-building will be talked about tonight, and naturally the Occupy Movement will be front and center for some. Considering today was the day drawn in the sand by Mayor Dean Fortin as an end to the tenting I still see clusters of MEC domes shiny with rain shimmering in under the lights. What will the next move be in this action?

Tonight is for mayorial candiates only. Paul Brown is first and talks about financial responsibility. He is convincing and quickly recovers from a mistake of geography. Steve Filopovic states that only 1 in 4 of our neighbours vote in muncipal elections. It is his second attempt in running a small budget but passionate campaign; he is very social minded and involved in activism on a broad spectrum of topics. Naturally accomplished and a confident speaker Dean Fortin in the current mayor and he is polished and speaks of continuing the momentum of what has been started.

Of the thousands of decisions that mayor and council makes it is often difficult to fairly evaluate past behaviour. It is harder still to predict the future. I look forward to the chance to hear from potential councillors.

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