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2006 Municipal Election Candidate Coverage

This Article is By: Moderator - Kingston Electors    On  Dec. - 05, 2005


Kingston Electors has begun to get thoughts together on how to approach the next municipal election with a view to adding depth to the discussion of local issues.

All of us are dismayed at the lack of preparation shown by some candidates in the most recent election. Learning on the job seems to be the accepted approach to holding office. This is just not good enough. The municipality is a large public corporation. Elected representatives manage/set strategic directions and set our tax rate. Shouldn’t you expect new candidates (and currently elected councillors) to have a good grounding in municipal finance, planning matters and the nuts and bolts of streets, sidewalks, public participation issues and their views on administrative organisation, the growth strategy, the transportation master plan etc., etc., etc?

Prior to the last election we compiled a long questionnaire for candidates to determine their priorities:

Kingston Electors 2003 Election Questionaire and our conclusions - click here.

You will note that LVEC – the issue that has dominated this term of Council is not on that list. Council in fact has two sets of priorities – the "Focus Kingston" list:

Click here to review Focus Kingston documents 

and the list of priorities compiled after the last election.

Click here to review City Council Seven Strategic Priorities 

No doubt a new set of priorities will emerge after the 2006 election.

From Kingston Electors point of view, the way to strengthen the election process is high on our list of objectives. We were criticised last election for the time it took to complete the questionnaire and the limited exposure completed questionnaires received. The lack of readership was probably the result of the newness of the web site and our failure to advertise adequately.

This year we are exploring ways to get the best out of the candidates, give their answers the candidates the publicity they deserve and give the public a forum to check, at their leisure, the thoughts of the candidates.

Our tentative plan is to:

  • Post all literature from all candidates

  • Set up an interview team of at least two volunteers to interview each candidate with a set of prepared questions. We hope to choose interviewers who are skilled at capturing and recording thoughts and ideas. We will make judgements on levels of preparation and insight but not on well thought-out policies with which we may disagree. We will post a summary of our interviews.

  • We hope to research and post voting record of incumbents.

All this will require a lot of volunteer time.

Please comment on our tentative approach to the next election.