Grade this year: D+
Grade last year: D
Reg Rankin has a lot of experience. He was around for the landfill crisis in the ’90s, which led to the creation of Halifax’s recycling program. He understands the issues related to amalgamation and has been involved in the tax reform effort.
But saying he understands those issues doesn’t necessarily mean he does the right thing about them. On the tax reform front, for example, I stridently disagree with Rankin: He’s playing with disaster.
And it’s possible that Rankin’s style of detail-oriented number crunching will sway the rest of council away from simple right and wrong. (He’s not of the managerial class, but Rankin vaguely reminds me of the oh-so-clever bankers who just destroyed the global economy, or the foreign policy experts who thought the Iraq War was a good idea.)
Another example: Rankin presented a defensible position on using economic stimulus funds for transit rather than for a new Central Library. It was a completely logical argument. It was also completely wrong.
I was inclined to give Rankin another D but I bumped him up a tad because he won a tough re-election bid. And, hell, I just gave Linda Mosher a C-, so I guess I blew the curve anyway.