This post is all about my views, of course. You should understand that I am almost 60, and I've had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing more in life than most people should ever have to in three lifetimes. Yet at the same time, I am blessed by the wisdom it has allowed me to balance my logic with. Not really the trade off that I would have ever expected, growing up...
Most people think that cute sayings are just cute sayings. And until you have experienced something, you just can't honestly relate. Sure, its easy to think you understand. We all like to think that we do. Yet so many still run around believing they have the world by the tail.
Things like "Ignorance is bliss" and "Rose colored glasses" have real meanings. Sadly, many are offended when people tell you that. After all, it's only a natural reaction when someone tells you that you don't have a clue. I can only suggest you relate back to when you were a kid, say around the 14 to 18 year old mark. You remember that you KNOW you just knew everything. The "older" folks would often tell you that you didn't have a clue. And you didn't actually realize they were right, until you got older.
Do understand this. I am not saying I know everything, and that everything I say is 100% right 100% of the time. But do understand that my past experiences that the majority of you will never (thankfully) live through, have opened my eyes in a huge way, and I am no longer mystically blindsided by cute words. So with that said...
Politics is often choosing the lesser or evils. In this election, for the Mayors spot, there are really only 3 people that at this point, are within the running. I have no clue or experience with the others.
First, we have Karen. She constantly hypes about her years of experience in this and that. Yet when you listen to her, it seems that everything is all about what SHE is going to do. She thinks she has the best ideas for Edmonton. Well, I'm not so sure that implying to the surrounding communities that Edmonton is the big voice, and they need to fall in line with what she wants to do as mayor. Lets just annex everything around us, and continue to build outwards. Pfft... spoke like a true developers hero. She keeps wanting to build out, instead of up. Costs be damned, we need to do it.
How many years did we have a "developer friendly" mayor? And look at the state of our city now. It's in ruins, because tax money has been used to prop up the developer community. Taxes have not gone towards necessities, they have gone towards luxuries.
Karen has a history of not listening to her constituents. The job she was hired to do, and failed at.
Then we have Don. .. So young... 34 years old. One of those "world by the tail" people, with grandiose ideas. A nice guy that is a smooth talker. Yet with all of Don's experiences, he hasn't really had any of the "bad times" to balance his judgement with. Not that I wish anyone to have those but... Don just doesn't get what HIS ideas are going to do with taxes, and how drastically they will affect a huge number of people that are barely surviving as it is. And I can tell you that he also has a LOT to learn about respect.
A few years back, Don tweeted out a "BOYAH" type of line about the City Center Airport. So excited and thrilled over some type of development progress. I sent him a tweet back, reminding him he shouldn't be so excited, especially since he voted to close down a critical runway needed by the medical community. And as a result of that runway being closed, a baby in northern Alberta was not able to get a medivac plane. The baby died. Now, had the proper runway been available, the plane COULD have taken off in the bad weather. Sadly, we will never know if the baby could have lived. It's chance at life was removed because the runway was closed... and it seemed to be closed out of spite. A terrible decision by council. And all of those that voted for this have to live with their decision.
Anyway, Don responded back. I was expecting to hear a "yes, its very sad about the baby". Keep in mind all of those on council WERE informed of this incident. But instead, Don choose to attack ME, and tried to accuse me of trying to stir the pot... Hey Don.. I can sleep at night. I was not the one that voted to close that runway.
Don has also blogged on how great it is that the CRL will be taking the education tax away from the province. Some form of "free money" I guess. There is no doubt in his mind that a billionaire needs that money more than our kids do.
Both Karen and Don have supported the funding model of the new proposed arena complex. A project where literally every dollar going in is tax money. Even the 100 million that Katz is putting in, is our money, not his. This project will end up well over 700 million dollars, by the time you add in all of the extras and infrastructure costs. A personal palace for Katz, that we are told "we" will own. The list of lies and deceptions are huge. If you have an interest in seeing all of the baby steps Mandel and crew have mislead you on over the years, you can read about it in my Arena Timeline posts, with the information all supplied by Mimi.
So we are going to put out 700 million dollars. And its been estimated Katz will pull in 700 million dollars in profits from our building. Out of which we get nothing. You can read more about that in this blog post I did a few days back.
So... with all that said, that leaves us with Kerry. Let me say that there are things I don't like about some of what he says, especially with going ahead with a funding deal that I feel could very well be criminal in nature. However unlike both Karen and Don, who I believe have breached the public trust... Kerry has tried to stand up for doing things a better way. He is the only one of the three, that has consistently asked the public what THEY want, and has tried to represent not only his constituents, but he's been listening to and asking all of Edmonton what their thoughts are.
He's also put forward some contentious ideas on some things. The difference is, he's started a topic of discussion, knowing the idea may be a little insane. And he's invited people to help GROW the discussion, hoping to find more ideas and better thoughts. And because of that, people accuse him of having "no plan".
And some parts of having "no plan", is really a good thing. Let the people speak, hear what THEY have to say, and then start to pick the better ideas into more fruitful discussions with the goal of coming up with a proper plan.
Karen and Don clearly don't care what the people think. Public consultations have been done only to appease the technicalities of the laws that require them. I queried most of city council members directly, or spoke when their Executive Assistants (EA's as the city calls them) and without fail, they all have said that the majority of what they have heard, as been against the arena DEAL itself. They choose not to listen to the public.
So from the aspect of the lessor of evils... I'll take anyone that's willing to listen, and actually cares, over anyone that just spouts miracle words and could give a shit about what you think. My choice therefore has to be Kerry.
Let me make it clear. No matter who gets elected... I will be watching all the moves you make as Mayor. And I will have no fear in calling out what I think (using logic) as being bullshit.
Are you an "ignorance is bliss person"? Have you learned not to be sucked in by the cute phrases? Have you really THOUGHT about the true pros and cons of things? ... Here's a gentle reminder about the City Center Airport. Money is tight. What the city won't admit to is the true cost of the ecological cleanups that will be required. Oh sure, they did a "report" (coughs) on soil testing. But they didn't test everywhere. The excuse will be "oh, we could not test THERE because it was private property". Uh huh... talk with any of the old timers from the airport. They know.. and wait for another 500 million to be added to the cost, and a good 10 to 20 years for the eco-cleanup to happen. Feel free to call me insane. I spent the time talking to the people in the know. The ones who were there for 20-50 years. The ones that have no hidden agenda, and have no reason to lie.
Either way, time will tell. It always done. Karen and Don are masters at hoodwinking people. But hey, what do I know...