Tenth to the Fraser Endorses Candidates for Mayor and Council, School Trustees

As previously announced, we, as the authors of this blog, have decided to endorse a slate of candidates for Mayor, Council and School Trustee. We have tried to pay close attention to the political events and articles in the local paper but, we are ordinary citizens and we have no insider’s knowledge of the various alliances that our local candidates may have with each other. This is our endorsement as independent folks and this is our blog so… these are the endorsed candidates for Tenth to the Fraser:

Mayoral Candidate: Wayne Wright

Wayne has been warm and approachable throughout this campaign and as recently reported on tenth to the Fraser, we have not exactly had the Armitage campaign beating down our door to get our vote. I have found Mr. Wright more conversant on the issues, plugged in to the needs of the city and I have noticed that Mr. Armitage stays so close to his talking points that he seems to give the same speech at every event. Frankly, in addition to a workable attitude, we have also found that this city has made some great progress over the last years and that Mayor & Council should be tasked to keep it up. One of my hopes for the Mayor is that he gets a better communications strategy. We are advocates of digital transparency in city politics and I think that can start at the Mayor’s office.

Council:
Lorraine Brett
Linda Fletcher-Gordon
Jamie McEvoy
Betty McIntosh
Neil Powell

Brett is creative, modern and articulate and seems like the kind of person that transforms a committee into a group of people that gets things done. Linda Fletcher-Gordon seems compassionate and truly interested in advocating for the stated interests of residents and she values research and consideration when making decisions. McEvoy has shown a level of service and volunteerism that we rarely do in society today. If any candidate can be seen to represent the interests of the marginalized in our city, it is McEvoy. Betty Mack (McIntosh) is so well liked by the citizens and a real civic booster. I imagine her as the perfect council member for regional boards or junkets. She also brings years of council experience and institutional memory to the table. Neil Powell would be a new face to council but a familiar on on the police board. I was more impressed by his communications at the candidate meetings than by any other Voice candidate.

Council: Honourable mention
Matthew Laird
Gavin Palmer
Jonathan X Cote.

These guys either only got one of the votes available here at Tenth to the Fraser, or were interesting enough to be raised from the forgotten remainders of the campaign list. Matt Laird has a great website and on that site, he has some very interesting ideas. His facility with the internet point to a willingess to offer a new level of civic transparency in the Royal City he only has one of our two available votes. In person, he does not deliver on his potential. As reported here before, I (notice the singular) think that he might have a hard time adapting to the team nature of our city council. Gavin Palmer didn’t get very high on our radar but his apparent common sense and his dogged advocacy for the Queensborough neighbourhood are admirable. I endorse Gavin Palmer as Mayor of Queensborough. Jonathan Cote gets one vote here on Tenth to the Fraser. I can’ t really say why. His answers seemed general and non-committal. He showed an exemplary command of the use of buzz words and he was always in a suit. I guess that just about earns one vote around here. (ahem).

School Trustee:
Casey Cook
Mayleen Crespo
Ben Kapusta
Kirpaul Kaur
David Phelan
Shelley Waldie

I don’t think we can honestly endorse a full slate here on the trustee side. Even the above list might be streching it. It is not because there are not fine candidates running, just our level of information. Casey Cook has been highs and lows with me. I had some great chats with him recently and I love how he voiced his early opposition to the parks into schools controversy but I have often found myself grumbling at the Record or the Leader after reading one of his letters. He gets the nod. Kirpaul Kaur must be the best thing since sliced bread if you judge by her telephone campaign and lawn signs. She also spent some phone time with us and really made an impression. Kapusta has the right idea (IMHO) when it comes to middle schools, parks and etc. I want to learn more but at this point, he gets a nod also. The other candidates seemed to meet my capricious requirements. I have read statements by them and tried to distinguish their positions from the noise of my dishwasher and that nagging feeling that my 18 month old is playing with a toilet brush. They get the nod for beating my signal to noise ratio.

There you have it! How Tenth to the Fraser will vote. Go on out there New Westminster; VOTE! We barely saw 1/4 of the electorate vote in the last election. Lets see if we can beat 40%. Don’t take our word for it. Exercise your franchise this November 15th.

Winner, Best Campaign Staff: Kirpaul Kaur

Taking a (web)page straight from the David Plouffe hand book, this local school trustee candidate has been kicking it Obama style by launching a polite and engaging army of telephone campaign staff on the voters of New Westminster.

Oh yes, after getting a call a week ago, my wife asked some questions about the “School on Grimston Park” controversy (against btw) and as a follow up, she asked further questions that the volunteer simply could not answer on Ms. Kaur’s behalf. “May I take your information and Kirpaul can get back to you?” Why Yes! Lets do that! One day later, Kirpaul Kaur herself called in, eager to help answer a voter’s questions and assist the democratic process (get that vote!). Almost 40 minutes later, we were satisfied that we had been talking to a genuine, honest and thoughtful candidate.

While in a recent article in the Record, she states that a third middle school was a priority, Kirpaul (and all of the candidates) submitted their brief blurbs before the Grimston Park Blowup. Since that time, many candidates have learned, like the citizens of the West End, of the details behind the school building options. She stated that she wanted to lead and direct a process that would solicit options from stakeholders and the community, synthesise them down to a manageable format and present them for deliberation to the public. We need some schools built but which ones do we need, how do we want to organise them? She also advocated a level of transparency and informatuon sharing that can only be achieved through the internet.

So then this evening, not 15 minutes ago dear readers, I was called by another Kaur-ista. “Hello, I am calling in support of Kirpaul Kaur”. After a brief an ironic conversation, my call waiting started to beep. I ended the Kaurnversation and picked up the other line: ” Hello I am calling on behalf of Kirpaul Kaur!”

Woah, if that is not someone who can get things done… I don’t know what is.

ENDORSED: Kirpaul Kaur by the two voters at Tenth to the Fraser.