The All Candidates Meeting held at the HoJo Wednesday evening was equally well attended, but had a different sense of energy than the previous one.The absence of Aurora’s Sarah Palin lent the debate to more civility and room to explore both concepts and actual solutions to the massive rift she has created in our town. Although the mayor was unable to attend, she appeared to be there in spirit as evidenced by the support the Chamber of Commerce has clearly extended to her by providing her space on their welcome sign at the north entrance from town: Unless of course the Chamber of Commerce is true to their word as stated in an article in the Mayora Banner here: http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/887454–endorsements-fraught-with-peril that they aren’t endorsing any particular candidate and this is the work of Phyllis’ campaign team, which is entirely possible given that their choice of sign placement this election has been extremely questionable. The meeting was very well coordinated and I applaud all 4 candidates for keeping to their points and engaging in an informative Q&A session. Miroslav was a great source of comic relief in what was an otherwise stale debate. I think he helps bring a little brevity to the issues which are very large and have become heavily politticaly charged. Roger Clowater, who made some excellent strides in the first ACM seemed to reverse his course at this one. His pacing and emphasis were off, he chose to fire off short pre-scripted and obscure metaphors including one to the Berlin Wall. He lost the room more times than he captured it. It tires me to hear him ramble on an on about his desire to locate a University or Community College in town. He even went as far to say that this would be part & parcel with the town’s Arts & Culuture, as he was hoping the institution would be like O.C.A. where he claims he has purchased art from and likes it. Universities and colleges chose their locations based off several factors, I fail to see how Roger becoming Mayor could potentially sway the influence enough to land one. Secondly, after looking in the Master Plan and Promenade Study I wouldn’t even know where to put one where it would serve both the institution and residents without causing more problems to traffic & infrastructure. Roger may well be, as he claims: in it to win it. He will of course be disappointed come Oct 25th. Nigel Kean seemed to phill in for Phillis last night, at one point he actually said “I don’t think we can blame everything that was wrong with this past council on Phyllis Morris”. That was a big WTF moment for me. I doubt Nigel is naive enough to believe that he could win over Phyllis supporters, but I am no longer doubting that Nigel’s candidacy is solely to split the vote to get Phyllis re-elected. He did it effectively last election. He worked closely with Phyllis during his time on council and I’m starting to see a lot of his lawn signs being paired with Evilina signs which makes no sense at all. Nigel has lost all credibility and I would encourage all voters to exercise the following caution:
Nigel did make some good points mind you, as he did in the first All Candidates Meeting, however they were all the push-button issues, and his responses on the larger issues only described his past experiences but not his vision or solutions for how he would apply this experience.There was one question last night that Nigel did shine though. No doubt supplied by Sher St. Kitts, or one of the Phyllis-tines, the question was actually phrased : “Did you support the Canada Day Parade, and if elected how would you continue your support”. Nigel said that the year that Aurora didn’t have a parade he actually walked up and down Yonge St. with a flag participating in his own parade. I applaud him for that. That’s what patriotism is. If you have conviction and passion for your country it doesn’t matter how big or small an event is, you don’t crawl under a rock if there isn’t an event you simply make your own. That parade will probably resonate the most for Nigel, as it should. In regards to the second part of the question Geoff Dawe had the best response by far, and that was for the town to consolidate all parades under one umbrella and have them overseen by the town’s Special Event’s coordinator who has proven herself more than capable of the task. The applause on this point, and all of Geoff’s points were the loudest without a doubt. After it was enjoyable to walk around the room and meet with the candidates for council, although I thought that pushing them up against the walls made this difficult. I don’t think the venue was appropriate given the attendance and hope that the space at the Aurora legion will work better for the final All Candidates Meeting being held this Sunday, Oct 17th @ 2PM. I believe after these two All Candidates Meetings that I have all the information I require to make informed decisions at the polls. I will be sharing my views on each candidate by creating profiles for each on my site in the coming days.