For anyone not aware, I am a political geek.

Not to the point of crafting policy, but I like to be aware and informed, and as there is a Municipal Election on November 19th, I have been looking over the candidate options, their communications and their various approaches to getting elected.

I am also a Social Media geek.  I find it interesting to see how some municipal candidates had already embraced this, some are doing the Young Drivers of Canada “brake and avoid” and a few rushing to embrace it.

As I review the information I gathered at the All Candidates Meeting, it seems that there is more of a focus on quality of character, over substantively addressing the issues.

(Although, in the process of hearing the candidates speak, I was able to identify several candidates that would NEVER receive my votes… for a variety of reasons.)

Looking at the literature I brought home from the ACM, I thought I would compile a list (as best as I can) of the different sources to get information from the candidates… (Other than newspaper interviews, which are always interesting, and Shaw Cable interviews, which air on Sunday Nov 13th at 4 pm)

Pitt Meadows Mayor Candidates
Name E-mail Twitter  FB  website
John Becker john@johnbecker.ca  @EJohnBecker FB  www.johnbecker.ca
Gary Paller garypallerformayor@gmail.com  x  x  www.garypallerformayor.com
Deb Walters debwalters@live.ca  x  x  www.debwalters.ca

vote

Pitt Meadows Council Candidates
Name E-mail Twitter FB website
Bruce Bell bbell@pittmeadows.bc.ca  x  x x
Doug Bing doug@dougbing.ca @DouglasBing  FB www.dougbing.ca
John Clancy jbclancy@hotmail.com  x  FB x
George Coghlan gcoghlan@shaw.ca  x  FB x
Gay Conn gayc@shaw.ca  x  x www.gayconn.com
Janis Elkerton jelkerton@shaw.ca  x  x  x
Michael Hayes michael@mhayes.ca  x FB  x
Rick Kreklewetz rkrek@shaw.ca  x x  x
Tracy Miyashita tracymiyashita@yahoo.ca x x  x
David Murray tigerdave@shaw.ca  x x  x
Gwen O’Connell paulandgwen@telus.net  x x  x
Charm Prophet charm.prophet@gmail.com  x FB www.charmprophet.ca
Mike Stark mdstark2@shaw.ca  x  x  x

Please research your choices and VOTE on November 19th

Pitt Meadows Voter Information & Voting Locations

* Please note that every effort was made to find links, webpages and such. If any errors or omissions are discovered, please email Bob !!! (E&OE)

Here is a video, shot by the Pitt Meadows Community Association, at the Pitt Meadows All Candidates Meeting at South Bonson Community Centre, on November 7th.

I did my research, and made my choices, which I debated listing differently, but I don’t believe my endorsement would carry any weight… nor should it.  A few of the candidates I voted for (at the early poll) may not have the name recognition, and as such, they may not get elected… but in my opinion, they are the best candidates.  Researching the choices are important, because these people will manage our community for the next few years, and make decisions and choices that will affect our taxes, our communities’ resources, amenities and infrastructure, and the direction our community takes, moving forward.

Earlier this week, I was driving to West Vancouver to show support to a friend, Reema Faris, who is running for School Board Trustee in West Vancouver.  (She earned my vote with her answers, but sadly, I can’t vote for her, as I live in Pitt Meadows.)

The West Vancouver Citizens for Good Government were hosting an All Candidates Debate at the Kay Meek Centre.

As I listened to the Trustee and Councillor candidates give their speeches and answer questions, I gained some valuable insight into municipal elections.

The West Van candidates were talking about education, needing to strike a balance between core educational needs and preparing the students for the coming technologies.  Wanting to provide a balanced growth of residences, with provision being made for housing for everyone, from the older, long-time residents, right up to any new incoming residents.  That just because someone WANTS to develop a building, even in these challenging times, that there should still be an impartial, level-headed look at the development, with a review that judges that the building isn’t just for today, but will it hold up well, tomorrow.  There was discussion of Green programs, and the candidates commitment to protecting the environment.  There was discussion about needing to strike a better balance between slapping advertising on everything that stands still, and taking opportunities to subsidize the costs of public spaces.

Vote in the upcoming election on November 19thIn other words… the discussions that largely go on at MOST All Candidates Debates, in most cities and towns.

We don’t generally go to OTHER municipalities to hear about their troubles, and what they would like to see done better… but it doesn’t seem to vary much, from Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge… right over to West Vancouver.

So, as I drove home after the event, I had time to mull over the similarities.

And, how, wherever you go, it comes down to the quality of the character of the individuals, their knowledge, experience and work ethic.

Most people are driven to run for office, by the desire to want to effect change, or to address an issue that they feel is not being dealt with.  It seems to me that the ones who CAN make that change are the ones who understand the system, and how it works.

One of the School Board Trustee candidates at the meeting that night, stunned me with her answer that she had NOT attended a School Board Trustee meeting in the last three years.

I didn’t hear the next question or the answer that was given, because I couldn’t get past the fact that THAT candidate was asking for a promotion, without having done her homework.

And then it occurred to me that she might get lucky, because (especially for Municipal elections) a lot of citizens don’t do THEIR homework either, and having a name at the front of the alphabet may be enough to get elected.

I’d like to write further about the meeting, but I have to go do MY homework.

Please remember to vote on November 19th, but BEFORE you vote, remember to research the candidates, their qualifications, and their commitment to doing a “proper” job.