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.
In 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.