All Candidates Meeting Report
I just got back to the office from tonight's All Candidates meeting at the community center in Peachland. The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce, who I thought did a great job! Rocky Rocksborough-Smith was the master of ceremonies and used that ‘million dollar voice' superbly.
The event started with the candidates all lined up around the perimeter of the gym with their tables and literature. This was the ‘meet and greet' period. I went through the line greeting each of them and asking questions. The evening was quickly foreshadowed when I reached Keith Thom's table. As I tried to ask him a question, he quickly decided he didn't like what was coming and rudely interrupted and tried to talk over top of me. By contrast, Patrick Van Minsel, whom I've criticized extensively was polite, friendly and willing to engage. Keith did not present as the caliber of employee I want as Mayor.
Who Were The Big Winners Tonight?
- Pete Coolio (Council)– Pete goes from ‘zero to hero' in one night. Pete knocked it out of the park for probably 7 of the 9 questions posed to the councilors. Pete has a down to earth, roll up the sleeves, common sense approach that is going to be very valuable on council. In my books, Pete is a top choice for council.
- Mario Vucinovic (Council) – I've been watching Mario on council for quite some time. He is clearly a very valuable asset to the community and tonight did not disappoint. Like Pete, Mario nailed pretty much every question perfectly. As far as I am concerned, Mario is in.
- Keith Fielding (Council) – Keith brings with him a mountain of knowledge about processes and procedure and has a keen understanding of the local and current issues. He was clearly right on the ball with almost everything he said. Keith gets my vote.
- Pam Cunningham (Council) – I've also had the pleasure to watch Pam work for about a year. She brings a fountain of knowledge and is such a hard worker. I think if you looked up “Due Diligence” in the dictionary, you'd probably find Pam's picture! She gets my vote.
- Karen Mustard (Council) – Like Pete, Karen would bring fresh blood and fresh ideas to the table. She is a lateral thinker and very capable. Having zero experience in this environment, she handled herself very well.
- Cindy Fortin (Mayor) – Cindy was probably the biggest winner of the entire night. She is so intelligent. She picked up on things that everyone else missed. She was knowledgeable beyond the scope of the forum. Cindy was honest and realistic. Because of her youth, experience, and drive, Cindy is my choice for mayor.
- Eric Hall (Mayor) – Erice was a close runner-up to Cindy. My fear with Eric is that he might stir up issues with Peachland staff, and may not have the drive to do multiple terms back to back. For this reason, Cindy gets the nod.
These are five councilors and one mayoralty candidate that I will support moving forward. I see the council like it was a recipe for a great dish. If you want that dish to turn out well, you cannot include toxic ingredients. There is one councilor choice left in my list of choices. It seems to be a toss-up between Rick Ingram and Terry Condon. I need to meet and chat with these two.
As gregarious as Patrick Van Minsel was tonight, I can't get past his performance at the Chamber. I do not believe he can serve two masters, given the intense workload that it would present, not to mention the whole issue about conflict of interest.
Who Were the Biggest Losers Tonight?
- Keith Thom – It's not even close. The biggest loser as far as I can tell was Keith. If I closed my eyes tonight, I'd swear Keith was channeling his inner DONALD TRUMP! I couldn't keep track of how many times tonight Keith told us how good he was. If he wasn't bragging about helping “an old lady” to fireproof her property, then he was telling us how he hob-nobs with deputy ministers and government leaders! To add insult to injury, Keith told the audience that he wants to raise taxes because we haven't kept up with inflation! The ignorance and naivety of his statement was purely mind-numbing.
- Harry Gough (Mayor) – I had hoped for more from Harry. He surprised me by publically criticizing his peers for complaining that he doesn't live here. He admits to not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I'm afraid it showed tonight. He was not up to date on issues and processes. He failed to do his homework and was unable to keep up with the pace. He can't be seriously considered.
- Bob Henderson (Mayor) – I actually felt sorry for Bob. He seems like a nice guy but I'm not sure why he entered this race. He was not ready and seemed of touch with almost everything.
Who Left Little or No Impression?
- Leanne Sarsons – Leanne is a very and likable person. She had strong family support tonight and she spoke well. My sense was that the work would be too involved and too “over her head”. She is someone I would want to vote for, but cannot because of the complexity of this recipe we are assembling – called “The Peachland Council”.
- Andrew Kwaczynski – Andrew too was likable. But sadly, he was much like Leanne in that the issues were just too involved and out of scope for his skill set.