So, the names are in the hat and that hat is being tossed in the ring. From the historically horrific turnout at byelections I'll assume right off the bat that maybe half of you know about the impeding byelection, and a third of those will actually turn out to vote (insert 'get off your lazy ass and vote' speech here).
It's nothing personal; it's simply historical facts. That leaves us with a summer "kiss the recreation vote goodbye" election. Right now we have a minority government caused by the passing of Squamish's legendary trails advocate Ray Peters. Now that the trails have no voice who's going to step in?
Important to note: our last byelection brought Mayor Ian Sutherland to council, so if anyone really wanted to be Mayor for the 2010 Olympics this would be the tried and true recipe to follow.
But that's then and this is now with the race for council just beginning. Taking an early lead it appears to be Greg Gardner and Ted Prior. Upon first hearing of Greg's intentions I thought, finally. Greg has been a huge mover and shaker in this town for so long, we could save a lot of money if we just gave him the mayor's seat now. Well, that was before he came out guns a-blazin' over our waterfront development.
Now there's a touchy issue. People are scared because they don't know what's going on and our town has more than enough examples of historic screw-ups to validate the worry, ie. the Brackendale dike. The world eagle destination complete with breathtaking walking dyke and just at the main viewing point you hit a menacing fence yelling "Scram!".
The anger and resentment thrown at those who live there is misplaced. It is zoned their property, so liability-wise, they'd be foolish not to forbid access to hundreds of thousands of people. This sort of short-sighted silliness weighs heavily on minds when they think our smart growth waterfront is to be given willy-nilly to condos and industry.
Is it? Well, who knows. Very few have the time and energy to look into all the facts and even when we do sneak a peek, the communication from countless days of public input is confusing at best. Like any vision project, it all comes down to trust and that's not something anyone is comfortable with when it comes to politicians.
So we have Greg, the undeniably charismatic lawyer/car salesman/developer/politician (what, no real estate licence?) telling us the waterfront deal is sour. Then Ted, the developer/family man/waterfront trail advocate saying it's the way to go. Only time will tell both the future of our waterfront and who will be filling those big shoes on council.
I'll end this week by thanking all of you who have encouraged me to run again. Don't worry/celebrate just yet, I'm not going anywhere. It is simply bad timing coinciding with the arrival of yet another Raiser, and another reason to stick up for this town.