When you go to the polls to vote on Saturday (Nov. 19) if you are not a supporter of Ian Sutherland you have a difficult choice to make.
Your options are limited: vote for Terrill Patterson, don't cast a mayoral vote at all or vote for Sutherland.
Here are a few thoughts about the two candidates.
Sutherland has proven over the last three years that he is up for the job. He has successfully formed relations with provincial politicians and bureaucrats in Victoria and he has performed well under the pressure of violent incidents involving Squamish youth, closure of the backcountry due to forest fire risk, a flood, a failed referendum on recreational amenities and a significant train derailment.
The mayor has also had his challenges. Some argue he is a bully and that his fiscal strategy is leading us to inevitably large tax increases in the years ahead.
Now, consider his opponent.
I like to compare Patterson to people like former Prime Minister Joe Clark or former Premier Dave Barrett and former B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Wilson.
These four politicians all proved they were effective opposition leaders. Wilson never made it to the big office but Clark and Barrett did. They didn't last long because once they got into power, they made choices that led to their downfall. They, like Patterson, were born to oppose.
Patterson has never been elected and this isn't a good time for that trend to change. If he is elected mayor, he won't do an effective job. He will serve this community much better at the back of the council chamber at Municipal Hall where he is most comfortable and most effective.
He knows the local bylaws and he's good at helping regular citizens get through the maze of bureaucracy that can sometimes prevent people from getting what they need out of Municipal Hall.
Patterson is also good at bringing overlooked issues to light when local lawmakers are making decisions.
I don't see Patterson being good at working with provincial and federal officials to get what the community needs from senior levels of government. I also don't see him working effectively with the six councillors and the staff at Municipal Hall. I know from my many years of covering local politics that Patterson is a contrary individual who lacks effective interpersonal and leadership skills.
Terrill Patterson will best serve this community over the next three years in the opposition seat at the back of the council chamber and not in the mayor's seat.
Patterson is a good man - I like him, just not as our mayor.
Vote as you will, but consider who and what you are voting firstname.lastname@example.org