At risk of alienating some friends and family I’m going to say that all three Ward 2 candidates are unfit for public office and recent actions suggest two of three are running a sleazy campaign. Unless another person declares by Friday’s deadline to be nominated I’ll be leaving that portion of my ballot blank. I can not vote for candidates who trigger my bullshit alarm.
Let’s start with the incumbent’s record, and I don’t mean his thirty year old criminal conviction which as irrelevant to this election as what the German President ordered for breakfast this morning. Bill Armstrong has been instrumental in having important issues differed, rediffered, and blocked at council. His prime contribution to his constituents is keeping a chair warm. When he does make a decision it seems to be in favour of narrow special interests who practice NIMBY or pandering to prejudices. His sleazy unsubstantiated accusation that another candidate was stealing signs and the third candidate was in conflict for belonging to a community groups are prime examples why this man should be out of office October 28th.
The runner up last time, by a narrow margin is Steve Polhill, who’s biggest drawback is his father. Bud Polhill has been in local politics for twenty years, been a guaranteed vote for Luddite causes and treated London’s treasury as bank machine for the developers and auto sector. Steve in the last election accepted donations from many of the same sources as his father and quickly attempted to capitalized from the incumbent’s accusations of sign theft, and the revelation of the thirty year old conviction.
The third candidate, Nancy McSloy, is the one who revealed Armstrong’s thirty year old conviction. To call attention to the incumbent’s alleged bullying of ward residents is fine, so long as some of those people are willing to come forward. But to say you fear for your family’s safety because of something that happened thirty years ago is just nasty and dirty politics. Using the family as props is gutter politics meant to distract for the complete lack of original ideas and substance. I do like Nancy’s attempt at reforming the LTC, but that is not enough to overcome questions her recent actions have raised about her character and who she is seeking advice from.
Ward 2 is a part of London with serious issues, problems and opportunities. The fact all three candidates are practicing bait and switch campaign tactics, and using personal attacks disguised as concerns suggest to me that all three would serve London better by withdrawing from the campaign. Ward 2 needs better transit options so the areas unemployed can get to the remote areas jobs are being created in. The entire city needs to review standards for contractors, Trafalgar was repaved within the last four or five years and looks like it has been abandoned for the last twenty. This area needs infill projects but every attempt is killed by NIMBY groups and incompetent representation on council.
The ward needs leadership from someone literate enough to understand the civil service reports not inertia and costly additional studies to defer a decision. Hopefully someone who understands this jumps in the race. Sadly I expect the ward will end up with the councillor it deserves and not the one it needs to move forward.
Note: Edited because I lumped Steve Polhill in with the other candidates for acting sleazily without evidence. I still have concerns with those who financed his last campaign and some of the policy views articulated so far.