Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Endorsement for the Elections Part 1
Judy Wasylycia Leis
This has been a tough election. I can't remember a time that it took me this long to decide on who to vote for. I have gone back and forth a number of times on council and mayor.
First, let's talk about mayor. I will set aside the two other candidates Rav Gill and Brad Gross. I have looked at their campaigns and their platforms. In the end, they didn't stand up or stand out enough for me to support them.
It came down to two candidates: Sam Katz and Judy Wasylycia Leis.
I have taken a look at Sam Katz's record. It hasn't been an outstanding one unless you are only concerned about taxes. The property tax freeze remained but infrastructure continued to deteriorate. The reason: Because we are not doing enough each year, year after year.
Infrastructure has been a huge concern but I have to say that the overlooked issue this election has been crime. Statistics Canada emphasizes that violent crime is out of control in Winnipeg.
In six years Sam Katz, this should have been an area that was worked on continually. You haven't.
There are too many times that I think Sam Katz is in it for himself. There has been a string of broke promises not the least of which has been term limits. West End Dumplings is pretty concise about those promises.
Add active transportation which is Sam Katz's failure on such a grand scale and I am throwing my hands up in the air.
I looked at Judy Wasylycia Leis and my fear is that she has been an NDP team member for so long that she won't know how to be her own person. I still fear that.
Being mayor in Winnipeg is being a boss. It isn't a collective. And while a mayor is one of 16 votes, they are also the top dog in the city. It is a management job. I expect the mayor to stand up and fight for the city even if it is against an NDP premier or against NDP policy.
I am not completely convinced by the policies of Judy Wasylycia Leis. I'll be angry if mosquitoes are carrying me off next summer and I was not exactly happy with the campaigning following the shootings this weekend but I do know this: I appreciated someone saying taxes had to go up if we are to keep up with infrastructure and services. Sam Katz kept saying he would know more after the election whether taxes would go up. The promises of Katz have to be paid for somehow and I have not seen any indication of how that is going to happen. I found his stand unsupportable.
So, tomorrow I will cast my vote to turf someone out.
I am with trepidation voting for Judy Wasylycia Leis. My support comes in large part of my opposition to the drift I see in the city now.
You can bet that if my candidate does get in that I will be on their case to fight crime, repair infrastructure and manage finances well. I am perfectly prepared to toss my selection over the side in four years if that doesn't happen.
By the way, Sam Katz: You still owe me money. Please pay back your Crocus loan.