Monday, September 16, 2013


There are 13 men and women vying for my vote as Councilor At Large in the City of St. John’s Municipal Election.  I can vote for up to four.

Many of the candidates are well known community activists who will make good councilors, if they can get past their narrow self-interests and examine issues from the perspective of the city as whole.

At this point, there is only two, of the thirteen, that I have made up my mind to support.  I have filled in the oval for Art Puddister and Derek Winsor. 

Puddister is the former councillor for my Ward. I always found him approachable, he returned calls, attended community events and supported causes like Virginia Park Elementary School and pushed for sidewalks to be built along Logy Bay Road. He is also a business leader with a strong sense of integrity, transparency and financial common sense.

Derek Winsor is a small business owner with a social conscious. He has been engaged in social justice and community issues for a generation. He has coached sports for youth, is Program Director of Bridges To Hope and was very open to our overtures as a community in the ten-year fight with Eastern School District to save our community school. He was elected as the school board trustee for Zone 10, a position he resigned from when he felt that the forced amalgamation of the province’s English boards was heavy handed and wrong.  I think his style of independent mindedness; giving to the community and understanding of business make a great combination.

Kristine and I are still trying to come to terms with who will get our other two votes. In the past, I have voted for Tom Hann and Sandy Hickman. I like them both but am torn at the moment. 

When we in this part of the East End were looking for solutions to the issue of odor from the new super dump, Hickman was insensitive to our plight. His comments about other sources and exaggerations bothered me greatly.  Danny Breen came by, met with us and agreed that there was a problem. He worked with council, the city’s bureaucracy and the operators of the dump to resolve the “imaginary problem”.  The problem was indeed the dump and poor engineering. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on mitigating the problem. For me Sandy became part of the problem, an impediment to local concerns. 

I would have preferred if Tom had run for a ward this time, making room for more junior councilors in the at large category. We have campaigned for him on two occasions (still have the bumper stickers to prove it) but there is a nagging resistance this time around. Perhaps, it was his support for the Fortis Towers proposal.

One candidate that I will definitely not be voting for is Deanne Stapleton. 

She was on my possible list until today. I liked her platform and her commitment to the community, particularly her school council activities. 

However, when her flyer turned up at my door today wrapped in an unnecessary plastic bag she lost my vote. That kind of disregard for energy, re-cycling and the growing issue with plastics in our landfill tells me she is not ready for the job.

If you can give me a compelling argument on behalf of at least two other Councillor At Large candidates, you might earn them a couple of votes!


Anonymous said...

I think it was done so it would not be a wet mess in ur mail box ... she has run a grass roots low thrills big on integrity campaign... not like art puddister who has spent a fortune on big art... get it.... big art of big art... kinda like a fart.. but just the solvents alone to make his signs would be 1000 times more harmful than all the bags she used... get a grip and understand a true enviromental miss use.. not a paid indorsement from the Art world

Peter L. Whittle said...

I have a grip and a vote. That vote a few others are going elsewhere. If all you can throw out is character assassinations, enjoy your we failed party on defeat night.

I do not know your candidate and felt that on paper she would make a good choice. The unnecessary plastic cost my vote.

The optics suck.