I misread to whom you were referring. I lost it in the paragraph break. I assume you are referring to Mr. Savage as the peek-a-boo politician. There for photo ops, gone when it comes time to say anything of substance.
I've also read the HRM Act. I agree that Council wields most of the power. Although the CAO does have a shocking amount of influence on the process. I have troubles whenever an non-elected official can act the way Mr. Butts has been. I would like to see the CAO position to be more like an Executive Director-under a Board of Directors, also.
However, I do not think this proposal is merely a minor procedure difference being proposed, but rather a huge shift in the mechanisms of accountability and transparency that oversees Council as it wields its power. There is nothing wrong with oversight, in fact I find it a very desirable thing. This platform piece is much bigger than that and to me shows a commitment to citizens, respect of their role in a healthy democracy. I thought it was really nice to see a substantial idea put forward.
As a digression, I heard that developer had to bring in a crane operator from Europe also as, apparently, they are operated different over there.
Anyway, I enjoyed the back and forth.
JoeBlow - I'm sure he has lots of great things to say about Halifax. Why would he be running for Mayor if he didn't love the place? That argument makes no sense. But, I don't think there is a single person in this Municipality who doesn't think Halifax could be improved and if you don't think that accountability measures are needed for Council you are in the very small minority.
And you are equating Martin saying nothing on one issue as opposed to Savage saying nothing about anything? Sorry, Savage did answer two questions posed to all candidates on twitter and he essentially parroted Martin's policies. Again, I've put questions to that tumblr site he has set up to be "engaging" and still no answers. He has that "TeamSavageHRM" twitter account that is run by a blogger and essentially buffers him from having to say anything or being accountable for anything that is said.
Martin has tonnes of material on his site; more than I have ever seen on a Municipal politician's site. He's showing he has ideas. He's obviously not afraid to put them out there for debate. A leader like would be good for the city. Worona answers questions non-stop and is the most active candidate on twitter and is not afraid to say he is still learning (good for him, he is coming with more game than most expected). Fred, quite frankly, says whatever the hell he wants, and that is good for the people he represents. At least they are being open. (I was in Boyd's cab not too long ago... he definitely has things to say too. Things that are entertaining if not feasible).
I don't know where the skyscraper argument comes in. In the meeting I was in he talked about density in the core. I know one thing though - the tallest residential building in Manhattan is 51 stories, 48 stories in Halifax makes no sense. I doubt that it was ever really intended to be built that high. I am a big fan of more development but that is not the right way to go about it. Martin seemed to positive on it, but I am not going to speak for him.
There is always room to make Halifax better. This platform is about accountability and transparency which is so dearly needed in local politics. This is about Council oversight by citizens (How absurd! Citizens have no place overseeing their elected officials!) This is a basic of Sunshine Laws everywhere.
The policy says "While the specifics of this Sunshine Ordinance (which I commit to champion) will be worked out with full, open, direct public involvement..." and has mechanism for even cancelling meetings, I am sure the proposed Task Force and citizens would work out Minutiae. Again you seem to losing the forest for the trees. The fact is this is a "Big Idea", a principled platform piece, long overdue and the thing to come out of HRM politics I can remember (The process behind HRMbyDesign was pretty substantial, but you know: RIP HRMbyDesign).
No one is saying that Halifax is not a great place to live, but it is not perfect. Read Martin's policies and responses, they have all been about giving people and community more influence which is an improvement.
When you aim to fix a place you don't change what is working; you change what is not. City Hall is not working and this addresses it. HRM needs transformative ideas, strong citizen influence in civic affairs and civil debate. Martin is showing he is not only open to this, but willing to push it.
I am hoping to get something from Savage's soon and will judge it on it's merits, but if the way he is campaigning is any indication he seems to quite happy with the status quo and not serious about engaging citizens in any meaningful way. It would be a shame to be faced with four more years of that nonsense.
Boo JoeBlow. Do your homework. You're losing your touch.
Go read the policy and you will see that after 48 hours IT CAN"T BE CHANGED without incurring penalties from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force. It avoids last minute changes to the agenda a la Peter Kelly.
Besides, I am sure basic process minutiae will be what saves HRM.
HRM certainly need leadership or innovative ideas.
You interesting in hearing ANYTHING from Savage, JoeBlow?
Or just spinning the message?
Finally, a candidate putting out some substance. Seems like the only one.
Having read through his platform and he seems to be putting forward lots of good ideas and includes the reasoning behind it.
I've talked to him in meetings where he's presented to groups I am a part of and he's pretty impressive. Honestly he is a lot stronger a candidate than I expected. He's got real ideas and takes his time to put out thoughtful and well reasoned answers to questions. No political talk or new speak, just good solid policy and ideas that he is not afraid to debate.
I'm finding (and I know I am not the only one) that it's impossible to get Savage to answer anything. I've tweeted to him, I've post to that useless tumblr site and all go unanswered. He's also come to talk to groups I'm in a, while refined and likable, just seems to give political answers. He's likable but we need to fix this city and quick.
Savage's and his team keeps saying "Mike's still talking to groups". So is everybody. Mr. Savage - what were you doing in the months leading up to your announcement? On paper you should have a base knowledge of the issues. What do you stand for?
It's clear that Mr. Savage ran for the "anything but Peter Kelly" vote and now that it is time for him to bring ideas he doesn't have anything. What HRM needs is IDEAS and debate and a Mayor that is less interested in politics than people. We're just getting rid of one of those. For heaven's sake even his slogan - "I like Mike" was lifted from Ignatieff (which was lifted from Dwight Eisenhower). Come on.
Thanks, Mr. Martin for actually putting forward innovative well reasoned solutions. Fred Connors for being a visible and outspoken champion of the North End, Matt Worona for always being available and starting debates in social media, pushing accountability and ambitious reform. This is what we need - champions who aren't afraid to stand for something... we just got rid a Mayor who always led from behind.
Our new Mayor should be working with the people, talking to them, be able to generate ideas and not be afraid to openly debate with other candidates and citizens. This race has been very telling.
"Dalrymple told the CBC his concerns came as a member from the hall's board, not as a councillor, adding he wasn't trying extinguish free speech, but just didn't want them meeting there."
...and I just don't want (obviously dim) Councillors abusing their power (signing the letter as a Councillor and not as a "member of the Board" but that happens almost non-stop.
This is truly a gutless move by a coward.
Normally I would show respect to an elected official but I am so sick of members of City hall (especially Peter Kelly) abusing their power so I am going to instead quote ralmn "Darlymple, you're an asshole."
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