Opportunity is knocking? Who is going to answer the door?
Sure, many are called and fewer are chosen, but this fall there will be plenty of vacancies to fill at St. John’s City Council.
Currently, three incumbents have announced that they will not be seeking re-election:.Veteran Ward 2 councilor Frank Galgay; At Large councilor, Gerry Colbert; and rookie Ward 4 councilor Debbie Hanlon.Two of the three enjoyed rock solid support and were considered neigh unbeatable. This sets the scene for competitive races in in Ward 2, Ward 3 and for councilor at large.
It is only the second week of January, all of the dominos have yet to fall. Ward Three councilor, Bruce Tilley has not announced his intention to seek re-election. At Large councilor’s Tom Hann & Sheilagh O’Leary appear eager to change roles. O’Leary wants to be mayor and Hann is considering a run for deputy mayor.
Neither has made a formal announcement. If either decides to seek a new role, they will gamble by vacating their current roles. This mean's that up to six seats could be vacated by the time the writ is dropped.
If Hann was hoping that the Deputy-Mayor’s role might be vacated, making his accession to the role much easier, he was wrong. Shannie Duff confirmed to me on New Year’s Day that she will be seeking re-election in the fall. Will Hann gamble his seat on council in a fight against Duff? Time will tell.
There is no shortage of issues in the City of St. John’s. There is no shortage of capable men and women to fill these vacancies. The question for me at this point is, not if I will run, but where?It is easy to sit on the sidelines and be critical of the city's approach to providing water, sewer, recreational services, snow clearing, infrastructure challenges and tax rates.
Sitting at the table planning and implementing your vision of the city hinging on priorities, expenditures and income, is a different matter. Participating in the municipal race provides individuals with an opportunity to debate these priorities.
I wonder, can this fall's municipal election be transformed into an issues campaign?
It is a grand time to shake things up with new faces and new approaches.