Mea Culpa, New Westminster Style!

Earlier on Tenth to the Fraser, I reviewed an All Candidates Meeting at the Queensborough Community Center. I really appreciated the event, difficult as it was in organizing an evening where 17 different candidates for Mayor and Council all tried to introduce their next three year plan to the citizens of New Westminster.

I tried to give readers of this blog a brief window into the candidates positions, and present my impressions about them as candidates. We will be covering tomorrow evening’s All Candidates Meeting (Oct 28th, 2008 at the Queensborough Community Center again) as well and I hope the evening is just as illuminating.

One of the counsellors whose performance I reviewed was ill at ease with how he was perceived and had heard from others in the community also. Matthew Laird, independent candidate for council, contacted me earlier today to discuss the event. To review, here is my briefly stated impression on his message at the meeting:

Matthew Laird (council, ind) I was surprised by this candidate. I have spent some time on his website and he has some very interesting ideas and suggestions, many of witch I find compelling. In his remarks, he certainly has a good list of practical, achievable improvements (increased composting and others) but he seemed to have his emotion or frustration with city council run away with him. He made his points aggressively and with a fast speaking style and was hostile to the record of the last councils. My wonder was how he would be able to work with the next council and team if he was elected. He certainly has vision but a more friendly and less confrontational pitch style might come in handy.

He explained to me that he had not been feeling himself that evening and that for a variety of reasons, the presentation in Queensborough was not his usual style. In a related blog post, Mr. Laird elaborated:

At last Tuesday’s Queensborough debate I made an error, my opening remarks were far too negative in tone. I’m embarrassed to have conducted myself in this manner, directly contradicting how I said I would run my campaign.

I take full responsibility to the excessive attacks on the current council, while they’re certainly not perfect, my remarks crossed a line. I would like to apologize to my fellow candidates.

When Matthew Laird says he is for a different kind of politics, he really believes it. Whether acknowledging the criticism from others and presented here on this website will help his campaign or not, it does show a certain level of conviction, if not micromanagement, to directly address the issue and apologise.

As I had mentioned in my initial review, I do find many of this candidates issues compelling. Perhaps at tomorrow night’s debate, I will see the side of Mr. Laird he intends for me to see. Until then, check back here for updates…..for Election 2008!