From AbbotsfordFIRST. Suggestions that AbbotsfordFIRST councillor candidate Sandy Blue faces a conflict of interest if elected to City Council are both inaccurate and premature, at best.
If elected to Abbotsford City Council, Blue would be able to carry out her responsibilities as Economic Development Manager for the City of Maple Ridge without being in conflict with her duties as an elected official.
Blue has the right to pursue interests outside the parameters of her professional life. As long as she fulfills her responsibilities in her professional role, she is free to contribute to the community of her choice in her private life, politically or otherwise. Until the election has passed, any criticisms about conflicts of interests are premature and it is inappropriate to comment on her decision to run for council based on groundless speculation.
Speculation about perceived conflicts of interest are serious business and, should the unlikely scenario of a potential conflict interest arise, Blue has the opportunity to declare them and remove herself from votes as appropriate. Instead of criticizing her for having an outright conflict of interest, she should be allowed the opportunity to declare such conflicts on a case-by-case basis like everyone else in our free and democratic society.
Should she not also be granted the right to freedom of association like everyone else?
Abbotsford comes with very unique assets from an economic development point of view. It is not plausible to believe that direct competition will result between the two municipalities in which she would potentially serve. Her role in Maple Ridge is non-political, and she will be doing distinctly different work in Abbotsford as a councillor.
Public servants and elected officials should be held to the highest standard of professional ethics. Their decisions should be closely scrutinized and challenged on a regular basis. Well accustomed to such scrutiny, Blue has both the experience and wisdom that will allow her to appropriately handle the unlikely scenario of a conflict of interest.
Abbotsford cannot afford to go on without her contributions to the troubling state of affairs plaguing the local economic environment at this time.
If one has any doubts about Blue’s abilities, they should look to her strong professional performance of more than thirty years to dispel such doubts.
If anyone has questions about her motives, they should look at her extensive list of volunteer contributions to Abbotsford’s community for their answers.