By George Evens. The recent Mission Messenger certainly raised more questions than answers, which if nothing else caused a stir of conversation in the community. Stepping beyond the obvious bias we have observed over recent weeks of incessant negative and repetitive comments by self-important former staff member and a disgruntled Councillor who imply we the voters may not be wise enough to separate fact from fiction.
Thus, the most damning evidence-based facts to emerge came from long time ally, close friend and supporter Bryan Fawcett who clearly broke the evident tie between old-timer mayor and MLA Randy Hawes with another hero worshipper, Mr. Ted Adlem now under CRMG banner in opposition.
Therefore, the public is left wondering if this is all we have and the best we can do – two long time friends now sworn enemies in the political arena.
Thus, three prevalent scenarios and important aspects of this passionately fought election quickly jump into our thoughts. Frankly, a very serious dilemma unfolds:
First; Ted Adlem publicly worshipped Randy and ironically, would not be in this situation if Mr. Hawes had not encouraged him. Most if not all woes following CRMG are attributed to Mr. Hawes as one architect and founder of CRMG, the public lay witness to poor vetting, poor organization and leadership that sadly resulted in an implosion of CRMG, non-confidence in mayor and through the ashes of despair, CRMG still fulfilled many promises.
The public therefore is faced with the burning question – who accounted for most progress, was it the CAO and disenchanted Councillors leaving or more singularly the mayor, and, does the public have confidence and trust, not in the obvious tax control but moreso, the other more intangibles, community reputation rebuilding needed and unfulfilled need to make Mission whole again and finally achieve an inclusive Community, that successive Mayors have not achieved?
Second; the scenario of ‘big money’ wins but, in this instance ‘big money’ is CRMG – the slate donating $27,000.00 to their own campaign. While mayoralty candidate Tony Luck rightly characterized the challenge to declare donations in advance as a “game” and was summarily dismissed but he was right, in this context it is a “game”. Mr. Luck agrees with advance declaration, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation advocate advance declaration and I am certainly in support but a mockery is made of a good idea in the context CRMG made donations to themselves amounting to $ 27,000.00, whereas no individual candidate will even raise close to that amount. But the “game” reference is that Mr. Hawes may garner donations from let’s say ‘special interests’ or ‘developers’ and could then be accused of being in someone’s pocket, hence the “political game” plays on, to discredit him, so while a good idea, I believe still disingenuous intent by CRMG.
Third; it is you and I, the individual voter, one of 24,475+ eligible voters, who in this passionate and rather closely contested election, need to get off our butts, venture out for 15 minutes to vote on one of the most crucial events in our lives, now four year term. CRMG was elected by only 7,343 who voted, 17,132 (70.0%) stayed home, such a shame isn’t it?
Seriously; we need to start picking people who will look after our many interests, not only low or no tax increase, but respect we receive from our elected Council, which I would hasten to add, as a political pundit and occasional delegation before Council, neither Mayor Hawes nor Mayor Adlem pass muster as leaders. But many issues affecting our daily lives are under the control of Council and staff, so it is crucial we can trust and have confidence our leaders are making good decisions in the public interests, listen to public opinions, provide Advisory Committees to solicit factual evidence-based data to make decisions, show empathy about our lives and daily lifestyles, stop pay parking plans at MMH, from good road conditions, improved infrastructures, environmental impacts and stop urban sprawl, to properly fund Animal Welfare & Humane Society needs, to reducimg unnecessary unhealthy noises, to waterfront/downtown progressive development and many major aspects. So; in this election it is crucial that you get out and vote, to increase voter turnout.
Long time political insiders, friends and allies of both Randy Hawes and Ted Adlem tell us information and respective camps encourage us not to vote for these people. Maybe the public lesson is, we can rely upon what may be perceived bias but insights we may never understand and thus, each argument ought to rule Adlem and Hawes out of contention. Then, the Voter can go with our own research and thoughts? Maybe the answer lies solely in picking the best candidates from the other three mayoralty independents and councillors running, who, given opportunity, may serve citizens best without dragging all their baggage and perceived biased supporters along. Simply; we can start with a fresh new team who wish to serve and improve Mission, not preserve their own political power?