|Report on the Mayoral ‘Debate’ at the Chamber of Commerce, October 30, 2006|
This Article is By: Kingston Electors On Oct. - 30, 2006
Report on the Mayoral & at the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
October 30th >2006
By Kingston Electors Volunteer Reporting Team
In the Municipal Election three years ago the Chamber sponsored a ‘debate’ on TVCOGECO. Unfortunately the presence of several fringe candidates resulted in the loss of edge to the session.
attempt to get closer to fundamental issues the Chamber changed the
format -–staging a breakfast - $15 for members – sold out. There was
evidence that some of the questions had been arranged before the
meeting. As a result the questions had more depth, although they were
generally pitched to a Chamber audience.
could hardly be termed a ‘debate’ as there was no opportunity for the
candidates to challenge the views of the others although fundamental
disagreement was obvious from the beginning. This was after all a Chamber meeting – significantly younger attendees than any other
meeting I have attended. I would guess that most of those present were
still in the work force. A general ‘business’ bias was expected and
have reached the stage in the campaign when two out of three of the
candidates have honed their messages and there is not much more to say.
Kevin George has yet
to spell out a governing concept for voters to grade. This may indeed
turn out to be a strength as we get tired of hearing Rosen on ‘success
through success’ and Downes on ‘success through quality of life’.
usual this is not a difference about ends, it is a divergence on means.
No one can doubt the sincerity of either. Both are solid, conscientious
men. One has the impression however that the die is set. There are not
many on the fence right now. We are waiting for one of the candidates
to make a major mistake.
theme that is emerging is from Rosen who stresses more often that the
decisions made during the last term – LVEC, multiplex etc were
decisions of Council not his alone. Of course this is true technically
as he has only one vote. However it is difficult to have it this way
and also argue that he was elected with a mandate for LVEC. I know no
other member of Council was elected with that mandate. The next Council
will be different indeed and any mayor will not have as much freedom to
set the municipal agenda, if only because Rosen has had that
freedom. There will be no more like Bittu George who says he had taken
three years to learn how Council works. Many vying for office know how it works and agenda setting will be more of a collegial experience.
with my reading of all the literature and watching all the videos there
is the possibility that the next Council may hang itself on the tax
issue. Getting a grip on taxes in Kingston is not an easy thing to do.
In the long run it might not even be advisable. (You won’t find a
politician willing to say that!)
get back to the Chamber meeting: We learned that Rick Downes is
bilingual and that KEDCO is a very humble group (Bernie Robinson says
so), Kevin George thinks the city does not get value of money in KEDCO,
Downes thinks composition of KEDCO should reflect the composition of
the city generally, and Rosen thinks the value of KEDCO will be seen
only in the long term.
interesting meeting but the guys are tired. This campaign is certainly
as intense in its demands on the candidates for mayor as any federal
campaign. We must slow this down in the future.
on election events are provided by Kingston Electors to help further
discussions and debate on municipal issues. The observations, comments
or opinions expressed are those of the reporter and do not necessarily
reflect those of Kingston Electors.
-- Kingston Electors