15 Voter Demands: The CBRM Councillors' Pledge

 

Please play a role in Cape Breton's future. Share the link to this pledge to your personal Facebook page or group. Ask your district councillor and their challengers to accept all 15 parts of this pledge. If they won't, ask them to explain why not.


Copy & Paste the SHARE Link for Your Facebook Page:

https://capebreton.lokol.me/voters-demand-the-cbrm-councillors-pledge

Note to Councillors and Challengers:

During the next few days, I will be reaching out to each of you to ask you to publicly make this pledge and acknowledge it here in the comments. I'll also be actively encouraging the public to join me in doing so.

Please show that you are able to communicate via social media and that you take responsibility for each of the pledge items 1-15.

If you object to any of the 15 items, please show your leadership and communication abilities here. Explain the basis of your objections. This is the art of transparency, accountability, and modern communications.

For Prospective Challengers:
Your Salary & Perks as a CBRM Councillor or Mayor + How To Run

Responses from the Candidates:

Below I will post some of the social media responses from the candidates, but I still encourage all candidates to post their responses here, in one central place.

Earlene MacMullin, Challenger to District #2
(Formerly Councillor Charlie Keagan who passed away this year)

Clayton Smith, Challenger to District #2
(Formerly Councillor Charlie Keagan who passed away this year)

Amanda McDougall, Challenger to District #8

(Incumbent is Kevin Saccary)


Gordon MacDonald, Challenger to District #1

(Incumbent is Clarence Prince)

George MacDonald, Current Councillor of District #9 and Deputy Mayor

Wally March, Challenger to District #2

(Formerly Councillor Charlie Keagan who passed away this year)

Lloyd Wilkie, Challenger to District #2

(Formerly Councillor Charlie Keagan who passed away this year)

Clarence Prince, Current Councillor of District #1

Lowell Cormier, Current Councillor of District #11

Eldon MacDonald, Current Councillor of District #5

Darren Bruckschwaiger, Challenger to District #10

Ray Paruch, Current Councillor of District #6

Ivan Doncaster, Current Councillor of District #7

Steve Gillespie, Challenger for District #4

Paul Theriault, Challenger for District #6

Eldon MacDonald, Current Councillor of District #5

Upon my successful re-election my pledge to the residents of District 5 and the complete CBRM will be when I talk my oath of office during the swearing in ceremony
FORM 39
SECTION 147
SECTION 50, EDUCATION ACT
COUNCIL MEMBER’S/SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER’S
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE AND OF OFFICE
I, Eldon MacDonald, swear (or solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors according to law; (the name of and reference to the sovereign to be changed as occasion requires.)
And that I am duly qualified as required by law for the office of Councillor District 5, of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality of the province of Nova Scotia.
And that I will truly, faithfully and impartially execute the duties of the office to which I have been elected to the best of my knowledge and ability;
And that I have not received and will not receive any payment or reward or promise thereof for the exercise of any partiality or other undue execution of the duties of my office.
Sworn (or affirmed) at____________________
in the County of___________________________
this _______day of____________________,
_______, before me
______________________________________________________________
Judge, Justice of the Peace
(or for council members, also Mayor, Warden or Clerk)

These are my responses to the 15 questions asked above.

1/ Upon my re-election my voting will be carried out in accordance with my oath of office, in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years. My decisions will be made based on the information regarding the issue before me.

2/ Upon my re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office, in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

3/ I have stated in the past I have no issue with implementing a new system. In the end a new system will be put forward during the next term of council. At that time my decision will be based on the information regarding the issue.

4/ I will continue to work with all organizations across the CBRM and conduct myself in the same respectful manner I have over the last 4 years. It is equally important that organizations must also communicate respectfully. In my opinion it is important to note that no outcomes in dealing with media requests should be predetermined until you know the basis of the issue at hand and the information involving the media request is known. If media interviews are requested around an issue the facts involving the issue need to be stated by either side of the issue respectfully from both sides.

5/ Upon my re-election I will continue to make the district I live in my priority. This is the manner in which I have conducted myself over the last 4 years for the residents of District 5.

6/ Upon my re-election I will continue to conduct myself in the same manner as I have over last 4 years.

7/ I will continue to conduct myself in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years, respecting all communities of the CBRM. Criticism comes in many forms, corrective/constructive criticism I have always viewed as positive. Unfortunately I have seen much criticism circulated based on rumors, based on second/third hand information, based half-truths or on what an individual thinks is accurate information even though they are misinformed on the facts involved in the issue.

8/ Upon my re-election I will enter this election with the same intent I entered the last election, to complete my full term.

9/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

10/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

11/ / I will continue to conduct myself in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years and in accordance with my oath of office. I will not make predetermined outcomes for or against any proposals without knowing what properties are involved, what end outcomes are expected and the pros and cons of the project. As an example the Southend Community Centre has presented a proposal to council involving green space involving three ballfield’s, this green space will be transpired over the next 5 years providing many affordable housing units based on ability to pay based on annual income. This project is important to our community fulfilling a major issue and need in our community for individuals who are currently living below the poverty level. Many use more of their income to cover higher rents taking from providing other basic needs they could acquire with lower rents. CBRM is currently under a major Recreational Master Plan review which will involve many of our green spaces throughout the entire CBRM. Tough discussions and decisions will need to take place involving this review, those decisions should be based on the work of the consultants and staff on what is the best way to move forward in dealing with these various properties identified in the Recreation Master Plan.

12/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years. Decisions involving projects presented to council should not be predetermined; projects should be based on the information involving the project. For instance there will be times when project are presented to council that will request a non-profit organization to purchase land from CBRM for one dollar, such projects should be considered based on merit of the project and the benefits that will be provided from the agreement. An example of such a project is the previous agreement between CBRM and Breton Ability Centre. A land transaction for the price of one dollar was approved to move the project forward, this project is a major residential/commercial development that will address multiple challenges that our municipality faces. The project will see numerous residential housing units build for seniors housing which is needed with current waiting lists, affordable housing units with rent based on percentage of annual income, units for assisted living/mentally challenged which is needed with current waiting lists, commercial space and retail store creating needed employment. Over all this entire project will see an increase in CBRM’s tax base, increase employment at the Breton Ability Centre and new retail jobs, not to mention the numerous jobs that will be created for construction trade workers over the various phases of the project. The agreement also protects CBRM’s interest by reviewing the project in 5 years to ensure it is moving in a positive direction and if the project does not come to fruition the property reverts back to the CBRM for one dollar.

13/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

14/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

15/ Upon re-election I will carry out my duties in accordance with my oath of office in the same manner as I have over the past 4 years.

Kendra Coombes, Challenger to District #11

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Ask your district councillor and their opponents to pledge their acceptance of these 15 demands for better, and more responsible #CBRM leadership. Please share.
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Michael MacNeil Follow Me
#16 I will not change our by laws to suit any business or individual when there are better alternatives for that business or individual(⚓️ Sydport) #17. I will follow up and make sure that if promises are not kept, immediate action will be taken to honour agreements. #18. I will not spend money we don't have to compete with our neighbours and will instead work with them. #19 I will not give away exclusive rights without due dilligence and ask to see the money
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Update: All current CBRM councillors have been contacted via email.
Earlene MacMullin Follow Me
My name is Earlene MacMullin and I am a candidate for District 2. Here is a link to my fb page where I have addressed the pledge. It is a little detailed (no doubt more than required lol) but it was too long to post here in the comments. https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Earlene-MacMullin-CBRM-Council-District-2-Working-for-You-729701690506007/
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Updated the article with the earliest responses from candidates (when they replied via Facebook or email). So far, the challengers are being very thoughtful and are highly agreeable with the principles expressed in the pledge. Props to Deputy Mayor George MacDonald, District #9, for being the first of the current council to respond (via email).
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Has our mayor been included?
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
No, I alerted only councillors for this one, though the pledge would be just as applicable to him in the role of mayor.
kim sheppard Follow Me
Hi Joe, this pledge looks a lot like my campaign strategies. Your pledge lists the many subjects that enticed me to put my name forward as a candidate, such as the “Travel Allowance”. I agree on travel to be paid only when used, why should anyone be paid a weekly allowance of hundreds of dollars to drive around the municipality. Most workers receive reimbursement per kilometres travelled, why should government employees be treated any different and not just counsellors , ALL GOVERNMENT employees. I am in agreement with all aspects of your pledge and would just like to point out that I agree in total transparency of all meetings as long as the Protection of Privacy Act is followed. I will work for the people and want to help grow CBRM. I am looking forward to positive changes and I am ready to take on the challenges and responsibilities that come with it.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Sounds great, Kim. Thank you very much for joining the discussion and giving your support for the pledge. It's impressive to see that so many of our challengers are showing up so early. It's time for a change, and it's nice to see our next potential councillors energized and open to communicating out in the open, on community platforms. :) Note to all: Kim is running for District #12, with incumbent Councillor Jim MacLeod, and at least one announced competitor (Tera Camus) so far. This may be a highly contested district. Kim Sheppard's Campaign page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimsheppardforcitycouncil/ Side note: With council losing its only two female councillors who won't be reoffering, it's fantastic to see so many women among the challengers for October's elections.
Lynn Hussey Follow Me
I am completely in support of this pledge, BUT it's only as good as the person who takes it and honors it. So many just do 'word of mouth' and will tell you what you want to hear.Speaking for myself, I always remain cautiously optimistic where politics are concerned. I have found 'they' continuously let me down. I'm REALLY sick and tired of being disappointed and disgusted by what they do with OUR money. Here's to new blood and Honest/Transparent governing. I'm all for it and it's LONG over due.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
We can remind those that don't bother to respond that they ignored a public platform and failed to support some very straightforward, rational expectations. If they can't be bothered showing up here, that will be VERY telling indeed. For those that pledge, but fail to follow through, we remind them on every occasion. However, ultimately, this pledge is also for us as voters. It should also act as a framework to remind us what our expectations should be, what to watch for, and what elements of every action by council to evaluate. If you apply this framework to Archibald's Wharf, as a key example, most current councillors failed in a big way.
Lynn Hussey Follow Me
Yes they did fail miserable as far as Archibald's Wharf is concerned, but I honestly don't think it bothered them any. Well, it's heading in the right direction to make them step up and do what they've promised to do, all we can do is keep on them! Maybe the certain one's will surprise us and take it upon themselves to take the pledge to heart and honor it.
[comment deleted] Posted
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Only an oversight, in the business of getting all the screenshots ready to share here. However, Earlene certainly went above and beyond. Outstanding answers; very thoughtful; with lots of detail and clarity added where appropriate. Could not have asked for a better response or effort. Props! People like promises. They don't like when they are not fulfilled. But committing to a framework, or platform, basic set of agreed upon expectations or "promises"... if you prefer that way to describe it... is important. A modern communicator doesn't back away from committing to something. They are just prepared to describe what lead up to them missing the mark - when and if that happens. Well intentioned folks, including leaders, often commit to things that don't quite get there. Conditions change. New unforeseen situations arise. Their capability doesn't always match their intent. Without a framework, we don't know where they stand before we go to vote. And afterwards, we don't have a baseline to hold them accountable to (when promises are specific). These guidelines offer very little opportunity for debate, unless someone wants to challenge the travel expense item (unpopular, but still a subject for debate). Other than that, if someone strongly opposed any of these items, we seriously have to ask if that candidate is worth us taking the risk on, for a full four years of time that Cape Breton simply cannot spare. So, yes, promise something. Then try your best to fulfill it. And if things change, let us know how and why. That's the kind of communication, transparency, and accountability we need. Perhaps the biggest test here is simply who actually shows up. If they don't show up now, don't expect them to show up during the next four years.
Lynn Hussey Follow Me
I agree Joe BUT they are being paid to do what they've promised to do, guess I'm not so forgiving, but I expect people to do what they've agreed to. So, just do it, please no lame excuses as to why you can't for fill what was 'promised'..I just don't 'cotton' to lame excuses..I'm just sick and tired of being let down ..
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
As it relates to *current* council, I don't think there were many promises made. And, I'm not sure they've been acting with much of a sense of structure at all - from what I've observed. They just look towards the mayor's chair and nod with a look of "Whatever he said, it's good with me". However, if we use a tiny droplet of common sense, and consider the no-nonsense 15 items in the pledge, then we can see how well they performed for each of these factors. And it's not good news. There are a whole lot of participation award finishes - which is the best we can provide if we're sensitive to their feelings at all. Or if we want to be more traditional, we're going to need a big red marker to scribble out a series of "Fs". For future council, knowing that we'll have some new faces for sure, I'll be willing to look at every situation in independently. I can't reject reasoning that hasn't occurred yet. However, if it's more of the same, then I share your sense of frustration, and I wouldn't be very accepting of weak excuses.
Lillian Dolomont Follow Me
Thanks Joe.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: District #2 is seeing multiple challengers come forward. It's going to be a hotly contested district. Just received a response from challenger Wally March. He's accepted the pledge. Thank you very much, Wally, and best of success with your campaign. Original post updated with a copy of Mr. March's reply.
[comment deleted] Posted
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Thank you for your response, Tera. It's refreshing to see those who are not only willing to respond, but also to raise objections as to aspects of some of the points. Disagreement with explanation is a good thing. It creates understanding. Debate is healthy. #4 was about respectful communication. It wasn't a prohibition of use of the mainstream media. *All* media sources, old and new, should be utilized for communication. With that said, once elected to council, that communication needs to be delivered at a higher standard. And so #4 refers specifically to "attack". Resolving issues prior to media involvement is a good thing. But transparency via the media is necessary. I think that can be done without entering attack mode. The best example is Councillor Kevin Saccary undermining the Synergy Louisbourg group in the media on two occasions. It was conduct unbecoming a CBRM councillor. Regarding #5, I also believe that a hub and spoke model of management is important, but it has to be more than just an abstract principle. Each of our communities has distinct identities. That's ok. In fact, it's an immensely valuable part of our culture. #5 notes that councillors represent all of the CBRM. But they are elected to represent their districts. They just have to keep in mind that a healthy CBRM creates opportunities for all. Being able to make the distinction is challenging. I think there are very few on present council that are able to understand and manage that balance. Regarding #9, fair point. Including "all" in the pledge item was not the best choice of words, for reasons you've outlined in your response. However, I'm not quite sure it's valid to suggest that decisions aren't made at in-camera meetings. By the time councillors get to public session voting, I'm quite certain most already have their mind made up. So the item should not disregard appropriate use of such meetings, which are valid, but definitely should push back against excessive use.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Your reply to #5 is interesting . If you think that the formal name of CBRM and the former HRM are helping the cause of bringing communities together , likely they are not . These names were picked because Savage tried to sell the concept of amalgamation by saving the old "county" names and the identity of a county . He was really taking land from the county and giving to the City . Halifax and HRM are now in a real mess as the "council" bought into a scheme from the bureaucrats to rename, to rebrand, every sign , every bus, police car , park , etc as now just HALIFAX . They did not tell the council they were eliminating all "community" names on signs . Then the people realized that for example ,the name Dartmouth was slowly being taken off all signs, maps ,media , you name it. CBRM was a name to really replace the Cape Breton county name . Trouble is , it has overshadowed the name of Sydney and all your towns and villages. It gets confused by even Nova Scotia media who think CBRM represents the whole of CB Island . Sometimes Clarke and even consultants seem to think he represents the whole of CB Island . SO if you get elected , do try to replace the CBRM name with something more generic and do not make the same mistake Halifax has just made by trying to "rebrand" itself backwards to just being Halifax City and eliminating the community names like Glace Bay . .How about changing to the "Harbour Regional Municipality " or the "Celtic Regional Municipality " ?
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
I see #4 as highly necessary. I don't see council as "canaries in a coal mine". They are aware of the duties and responsibilities of the position. Communications are part of this including social media and in being there face to face for who they represent. If a councillor missteps in a statement they need to be held accountible, and either give full explaination of their statement or if it is real bad, resign. As for #9, just because something is "legal" does not make it right. While there are exceptions for "secret meetings" like the privacy act it should not be overused or misused where not appropriate as that leaves us where we are...0 transparency.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Update: The main article has been updated with a copy of the response from challenger Lloyd Wilkie in District #2. Lloyd agrees with the items in the pledge, but noted an exception with point #9. He clarified that there are some valid uses of in-camera (private) meetings in the course of municipal business. Note: Mr. Wilkie posted his response approximately 48 hours ago on Facebook. The delay is my own in updating the post. Apologies.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Update: Article updated with an email response from Councillor Clarence Prince, District #1. Thank you to Mr. Prince for responding to my request. Only 2 current councillors have responded so far, of 8 total that are reoffering. Of the 6 remaining councillors who have not replied, Councillors Eldon MacDonald, Kevin Saccary, and Ivan Doncaster *all* have Facebook accounts. Therefore, they are skilled enough at social media (or have assistance) to be able to respond. If they do not, it constitutes a refusal to participate in the discussion. I'm sure their constituents (a) would like to know, and (b) deserve to know, where they stand on the items listed in the 15-point pledge.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
Well, at least Clarance has a smartphone! Tera Camus answered on her own campaign page. I'll poke her to respond here too.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Tera's post is here on goCapeBreton (see above). She posted here too.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
oh good... I knew I read it somewhere. I will have to unpoke her!
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
If you're in a poking mood: [email protected] REPLIED (see article for comments) [email protected] REPLIED (see article for comments) [email protected] DID NOT REPLY (Has Facebook page) [email protected] DID NOT REPLY [email protected] DID NOT REPLY (Has Facebook page) [email protected] DID NOT REPLY (Has Facebook page) [email protected] DID NOT REPLY [email protected] DID NOT REPLY The following are not reoffering, but I invited them to comment on the pledge: [email protected] DID NOT REPLY [email protected] DID NOT REPLY
Lynn Hussey Follow Me
I'm 'Liking' this!
P Sheehan Follow Me
Joe : Love your idea of the pledge . Wish there were more people from more municipalities on the Island in this discussion . Maybe you can come up with a way to now reverse the pledge and turn it into questions such that it could be a "performance appraisal " on the municipalities and any current council members.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I'm not sure if this has been incorporated here somewhere... Joe, maybe you can edit it in somehow? https://capebreton.lokol.me/councillors-pledge
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: Our third CBRM councillor, Lowell Cormier, of District #11, responded to the pledge over the weekend. The main post has been updated with a copy of his response (scroll up to see it). Apologies for the delay in updating, but much appreciation to Lowell for participating. He now joins Deputy Mayor George MacDonald, and Clarence Prince as the only 3 current councillors who have responded to the multiple requests to accept the pledge or provide feedback on any objections to their constituents. So far, the rest have ignored it entirely. Does it leave you wondering which parts of the pledge they won't fulfill? Councillor Cormier made an important note in his response. You should be aware that he along with Councillor Saccary, and the recently passed Councillor Flynn were the only 3 councillors who were *not* accepting the $140/week expense claim without providing receipts. Recognition is due to these three councillors for making the right decision. In a CBC article, Cormier was quoted as saying that his work with the school board made him familiar with the typical process of filing detailed expense claims in order to be reimbursed. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/travel-allowance-councillors-cbrm-budget-controversy-1.3517327 Also notable, Councillor Cormier also signed up at goCapeBreton in order to post his response. That demonstrates a willingness to participate on a local platform that has become a central place for community focused discussion on CBRM issues. I hope that he considers participating in these discussions. It's important to get direct feedback from our representation.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Not to be a cynic...but how can we verify these councillors have not accepted the $140 weekly travel allowance...and if not where can we establish the amounts taken. If I remember right the amount received can be much greater with paperwork. How can we ensure that mileage is for actual work in the region and not just personal travel? Anyone have a source to see what expenses each claim.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
I stand corrected. His claims are the lowest of all 12 month councillors followed by Ray Paruch. Now consider this...many councillors are approaching 20,000 /year in travel. So explain to me how a councillor receiving $140/week can accumulate that amount...up to $1500/month?only a few are below $10,000 and some of those are 4 month expenses at almost $4000
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I see you have found a source Wayne... good. I was going to answer and I might as well since I am here. In the best of all worlds, or even in a reasonable world, we have CBRM staff who are there to implement policy and maintain records. Not all of us want to know the details, but those who do would reasonably have access to the data, via CBRM, I imagine.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
As noted below, there is no data available to show anything but "expenses". There should be transparent and open documents showing where every dime is spent....Saccary at over $18,000 in one year...he is the cash wasting winner in 2014/2015 budget year
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
2015 Budget - expenses Mayor Clarke $49,857 Deputy G MacDonald $16,389 (5 months) Deputy Saccary $18,642 (7 months) Council: Bruckschweigar $3,949 (6 months) Cormier $5,643 (12 months) Detheridge $15,053 (12) Doncaster $11,217 (12) Flynn $1,802 (4 months) Keagan $12,041 E MacDonald $12.417 (12) MacLeod $15,270 (12) Paruch $7,280 (12) Prince $16,158 Rowe $9,997. As you can see from these numbers, there is a great deal of money spent on travel with no explanation? Do Councillors travel this much? If so where? They are allotted $7,280 so anyone over that needs to start explaining. So say $600 (and change) a month...so the highest at just over $1500 a month, where has the other $900/month or if not monthly, the extra $11,000 per year?
P Sheehan Follow Me
If all the municipalities used a standard computer system and standard software , then administration would be simplified and it would be easy to display more information for the administrators and the public. Other governments ( Fed MP's etc ) display the total expense claim for the public . The wheel doesn't have to be reinvented. Project management software systems exist today that detail every penny, every cheque , every company , every employee .
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
Exactly. Who is to say that 18,000 was not misrepresented. It wouldn't be hard I wouldn't think. Double dipping would be easy with the current system
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Our 15-point councillor pledge has made its way all the way to Amherst. A local man there who is running for councillor has acknowledged it, and adapted a version of it for his own campaign platform. If a councillor from Amherst is able to acknowledge it, most of our local challengers have acknowledged it, our Deputy Mayor has acknowledged it, and two additional current CBRM councillors have acknowledged it... Then where are the remaining CBRM district councillors? I can assure you they know about it. I've contacted them via email, and followed up with a reminder. So you should reach out to them and remind them as well. If they can't commit to these 15 points, we're in trouble if they are reelected. Note: In my next two reply posts, I'll share a copy of the statement by the Amherst man running for council. But here is the direct link: https://www.facebook.com/EdChildsAmherst/posts/1142980259094540?pnref=story
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part I: ### Here is the text I delivered to the newspaper today. Former Town Manager, Ed Childs, is again running for Council. "My last campaign focused on one issue, lower taxes and this still remains a major issue for the people of Amherst," Childs says. " Today," he continued, "lowering taxes is just part of the way to return power to the citizens of Amherst. For too long the citizens and their wants and needs have been ignored by both administration and Council. It's time to put a "Citizens First" emphasis on everything that happens in this town." Childs has developed a pledge, similar to one being circulated in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, that explain his position clearly. He is also in the process of bringing forward a Bill of Citizens Rights for adoption by the new Council. Childs' Pledges to the People. 1. I will work for you, the people of Amherst. You will always be my first priority. 2 In order to vote "yes", I will demand complete and honest information from staff and others. 3 I will treat all citizens with respect, courtesy and honesty and will demand that staff do the same. 4 I will work to provide open and full communication to all citizens. 5 I will NOT support secret or private meetings where decisions are made. 6 I will protect and preserve public assets. 7 I will expect staff to operate with integrity, honesty, and demonstrate ethical behavior. 8 I will demand value for expenditures and will monitor expenditures closely. 9 I will respect my community. Your voice is important and valuable to me. 10 I will drive to lower the tax rate. ###
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part II: ### I strongly believe that we can get Amherst moving forward again, but it requires a commitment to change and a large change of attitude. Mayor and Council need initiative to research and assess the issues, courage to make the difficult decisions, and the will to insist that these decisions are implemented in a timely way. Background Lives on Lamy Street, married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Chartered Public Accountant with a Diploma in Municipal Administration from Henson Collage, Dalhousie University. Over 20 years experience in municipal management Experience in senior management in both public and private sectors. A "not very good golfer". Likes to travel and eat well. Amherst should be for the PEOPLE It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family WE CAN GROW AND PROSPER I want to hear from you and can be contacted in several ways Email [email protected] Phone 902 667-0208 Facebook According to Ed ###
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
The pledge article has been updated. Councillor Eldon MacDonald of District #5 has agreed to respond to the request to take the pledge, but requested an extension. I will be following up with him again in the near future to make sure that he follows through with providing input on his position regarding the points in the pledge, for all of the residents of District #5, and for everyone in the CBRM upon whose behalf he'll play a role in making decisions and influencing our future in the CBRM. Note: Eldon replied on July 28th. My update here is on August 1st.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: Darren Bruckschwaiger, who is vying for District #10 has responded to the pledge. He agrees with all 15 items and makes specific observations about three of the points. I'm particularly impressed with Mr. Bruckschwaiger's comments on #3, regarding the travel allowance. He's apparently reviewed all other responses, and asked a very practical, but also very important question. He raises a strong point in regards to what the Deputy Mayor suggested. George MacDonald said the $140 has already been decided and is "being dropped". So, Bruckschwaiger suggests that if it's already on the books, then enact it and be done with it. That's the kind of practical, no nonsense, action oriented thinking we need (badly). He also had no issue addressing #8, regarding staying on the job. He's ready to come back. In reviewing council videos, it's clear that he was a major loss to council. He was someone with objectivity, who challenged ideas, and was able to communicate clearly. His style was differentiated from that of Paruch, Rowe, and Eldon MacDonald, the other three councillors willing to raise concerns to the mayor. Specifically, he was willing to wage criticism, but seemed particularly in tune with asking solid, on-point questions, but then formulating a practical suggestion. I look forward to reviewing more video and learning more about him. From my initial research, I'm appreciative of that style of communication before council. He seemed more measured than Paruch, more willing to take a stance than Eldon, as heartfelt as Mae Rowe, but likely a better communicator than all three. TBD. After recently writing an article challenging him for violating #8, I was surprised by the public reaction. There was an immense level of support, and I saw much more of a response on Facebook than anticipated. It's clear that what he's done for his community has solidified his support there.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: Councillor Ray Paruch of District #6 has accepted the pledge. You can see his response at the bottom of the pledge article above. Mr. Paruch made specific emphasis on his personal commitment to transparency. There is very little room for argument there. He is the most vocal councillor. On many issues, were it not for him, the public would have little to no awareness of some very concerning aspects of our municipal leadership and operations. Pushing back against a weak council, and facing a losing vote has never stopped Paruch from standing up for what he believes is right, on our behalf. That is a measure of integrity and fortitude. The information he brings forward has repeatedly empowered those of us who write about these topics in our community to continue sharing that information to a wider audience - letting us help to make sure people are aware of stuff that might otherwise be completely hidden from the public. He is the leading defender of the citizens of the CBRM before council. With Ray's acceptance of the pledge, that now makes 5 of the 8 current councillors that will be running again this year. The current hold outs are Kevin Saccary, Jim MacLeod, and Ivan Doncaster. Of these three councillors, both Mr. Saccary and Mr. MacLeod are currently featured in my article "Five Fellows to Fire": https://capebreton.lokol.me/five-fellows-to-fire-saccary-macleod-clarke-macdonald-prince
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: Here is a page dedicated to tracking who is running for CBRM council. Includes 2008 and 2012 results: https://capebreton.lokol.me/list-of-candidates-running-for-mayor-and-council-in-the-cbrm
Dan Yakimchuk Follow Me
Joe, I have reviewed all comments to date. The response that stuck out to me was from Eldon MacDonald. It could just be my interpretation, but to state that he has many more things to prioritize between work and personal life that are higher on his agenda than commenting on the pledge suggests that the pledge is not really high on is agenda. Also, the comment that his eventual response will not change how he will conduct himself going forward also appears to lack commitment to the pledge. In other words, he has more important things to deal with and he is going to do what he does with or without your pledge. I hope I am reading that wrong.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Dan I'm kind of surprised with the lack of open discussion by most candidates. You would think that they would take advantage of a free local news site like go cape Breton and let the voters get an idea on their vision, opinions, ideas and give us hope that they will be different than the present council and speak up. We might end up with the same mayor but we can not afford the same quiet council that will vote to please him.
P Sheehan Follow Me
Michael, Don't be surprised . There aren't too many politicians at any municipal level in NS that really use opportunities to communicate , and this CB Lokol is the best I've seen .
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
In defence of some of the "old school" folk, not aimed at your comment about Eldon necessarily Dan, they just aren't equipped to understand social media for politicians. I have overheard many people from that generation being warned by their grown children that they should be very careful about social media. I heard one visiting son tell his father while at Club55 (club75 actually) that he shouldn't answer email he doesn't recognize until his son sees it first. Now, for someone who is totally or close to totally illiterate in social media, that may be good advice. Some of the old school councillors are in that category. That doesn't excuse them in my mind. They have to learn, or move over. I am surprised with Eldon as well because I know him, and I think he is one of the better councillors we have. I don't like the flower baskets, but he is a skilled community development kind of guy and knows that there are sectors who really like it. He worked very hard on a number of issues in the downtown core and managed to bring sectors who previously just fought to a compromise agreement. I don't want to lose that, but I think he does have to do a little more work in communications. He would not have told the CB Post he was too busy for an interview with them, and although he is somewhat active on social media, he doesn't realize yet that low or high on his agenda, a high eyeball request from an online site is as good as the CB Post nowadays.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
An important note about this particular page (or any page on goCB) is that it's "active content". While a typical news story gets a few days of engagement (if it is really good), it then dies off. This particular pledge will be actively promoted and cross referenced with all of my other writings, and shared by other community members here or in social media as they sit fit, all the way up to the election. So it has already had solid hits that rival and likely exceeds what local papers will get on this type of content. However, it won't be forgotten like those articles are. It will receive continual hits all the way to October 15th. And in recognizing that, what they say here, can be very valuable to their campaign. It's an opportunity to create a good impression that will follow them all the way to the election. And that's a huge ROI (return on investment).
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
That is true Joe, but the popularity it has is also a weakness. Discussion is getting VERY hard to follow, and the main article, edit after edit, is also getting complex. I was hoping you would do a clean rewrite at some point. It would be a shame to lose the momentum, but there really are just a handful of folk in the discussion. Fresh eyeballs would maybe like a cleaned up version at some point.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
I'm hoping that since it opens with the 15 points of the pledge, that will be the key value for new visitors to the page. After that, there will be a lot of reader fall off. I'll likely be following up at some point to cover those who rejected the pledge. I definitely want to make sure that people know whether or not those running in their district took the pledge, and give them the opportunity to read what they said.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
I have an idea how joe could refresh this topic and give all candidates an opportunity to show what they got. Start a new post. Keep it simple. Ask questions in individual comments and allow the candidates an opportunity to respond to that particular question. For example 1st question could be What do you think about the sale of Archibalds wharf and do you think it is too late to get it back? 2nd Question could be How can we battle child poverty in Cape Breton? 3rd question could be if not the port than what? What else can we try? New ideas. All ideas. Crazy or far fetched. We need them all Hopefully more voters will ask questions when it gets momentum and the reader can only read the answers to the questions that they are really concerned about. Typing this on my iPhone so maybe a few typos and might have to rewrite, but I think you will get the idea
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Agree. Imagine electing a councillor who will vote on these issues before knowing where they stand on them. However, that's what usually happens. Because they campaign based on good guy/good gal; liability and familiarity. I'd also love to know whether they publicly endorse the mayor for re-election or not.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
I wouldn't expect that enforcement, or lack of, for Cecil. This is a small town, and you would not be wise to cubically go against your future leader, almost like publicly rejecting your boss. It is easy to tell who has ever voted against Cecil... Mae Rowe, Eldon MacDonald, Ray Paruch, anyone else?
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
We are their employers, though they'll act as though the mayor is. I would state that I didn't support the mayor's reelection as a part of my platform. And I'd surface every bit of pushback behind the scenes later.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
Yes I would too, but I am not the kind of person who would get elected!
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Madeline I have to disagree. We are in a way hiring somebody to represent our best interest when we vote some one in power. If they are sitting on the fence now, they will be useless to us and our interest when they get in voted in. Actually they will just be a financial drain. I agree with Joe in the CBRMS unique position 3 Rd worse place to live in Canada and high child poverty it is crucial we know how a candidate feels about present management
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
We are not talking about their work, or them representing us, or the work they would do on the issues that are important to us, we are asking them go publicly go against another person who is running and with whom they will have to work. I don't think it is the same thing. A strong person like myself would definitely do it, but I do lack certain social graces as we know. If someone wanted to get elected and go a good job representing us, I wouldn't insists that they declare that they are against Cecil. I think it is too much to ask. I accept your other view on it though.
Wayne O'Toole Follow Me
It is a little different then a "boss" in that they cannot fire you, discipline you nor dock pays. If more councillors stood up to the mayor more could be accimplished. I do get your point though, but more on a college level then boss.
madeline yakimchuk Follow Me
Hey, I am going to stop commenting because the jump to comment function from the email is not working and it is taking too much time to find the comment.... another reason why this post maybe should be cleaned up. I did want to say, now that I am here, that standing up to the mayor is not the same as publicly declaring that you do not support him.
goCapeBreton.com Team Follow Me
Sorry about the trouble with the comment links not working reliably. We are working on fixing that issue.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
With the number of rumours I heard about alleged objectionable behind the scenes behavior throughout the years, I'm curious why councillors don't immediately release their concerns to the public and put them on record before council. They would be surprised how quickly such behavior would be altered. I speak in general context here.
P Sheehan Follow Me
The format here is not page wide and we see every comment in full,so a lot of space required . The comments are stacking up vertically as the format cannot go horizontal at all . As good as it is , it is hard to follow after a while as the topic takes twists and turns . Would it help if a summary 2 lines of the topic stayed visible as you scrolled ??
goCapeBreton.com Team Follow Me
Peter ... the topmost comment in each thread has a little green up arrow that allows you to collapse or expand an entire thread. This might help. We are also going to try to fit in a 4th level deep indent. Right now, you can see up to 3 levels deep with replies, but when you hit the 4th level reply, it appears at the same indent like a 3rd level reply. This is because of lack of space on mobile, but we might be able to squeeze in a 4th level. We'll see.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
I'm glad that many have made an attempt at acknowledgement. However, I sense a tone of reluctance in several cases, and the effort made in many responses was negligible. This won't be the observation only of me. But I can imagine voters in each district looking at a candidate's response and thinking: "Wow, that's all they had to say about it?". Contrast the brief ones with that of Earlene MacMullin's, who provided such a thoughtful, detailed, comprehensive answer. I think the effort made in the response here may give an indication of the level of effort that we can expect in the future. If someone can't read a short document and give 300 words in response, is that the type of person you can put a lot of confidence in when it comes to analyzing complex projects, policy, and various issue papers, etc? TBD. I'm not sure the basis for Eldon's delay, but my expectation is that since he hasn't responded yet to take the pledge, that he'll do so with some detail when he does. He won't receive my personal *hire* recommendation (for what it's worth to those who view it) without taking the pledge and I'll consider it a serious warning sign. Once again, TBD. For now, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on his late submission. And I know he expressed that he may have something pressing to deal with at hand. Note: While I drafted the pledge, it's based on matters of concern to the entire CBRM. It's not written in stone, but I've invited all to clarify and suggest changes. They can add, subtract, amend and explain as others have already done. So it's not taking the pledge for me. It's just a topic that I've brought to the public attention. The response has been positive. The public has shown interest. And any new challengers or incumbents can take comfort in the fact that most challengers and a majority of incumbent councillors have now recognized the pledge. They'll be in good company.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
By request of a Facebook commenter, I've added a link to a resource provided by goCapeBreton about how to run and what the salary, etc, offered is. Your Salary & Perks as a CBRM Councillor or Mayor + How To Run https://capebreton.lokol.me/want-to-run-for-office-heres-a-quick-guide
P Sheehan Follow Me
Joe : why not take your pledge and reshape it into a report card with a 0- 5 score for each such that the bottom score is 0 and best is 500 and let people score what you councillors have done in the last 4 years .
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Great idea. Time permitting, I might take you up on something similar for existing council who are reoffering.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: I was in touch with Councillor Ivan Doncaster. He confirmed that he is re-offering for October's election. His announcement will be upcoming in the newspaper. He also said that he intends to respond to the pledge. I believe that leaves us with only two councillors re-offering who have not yet (1) acknowledged/taken the pledge, or (2) indicated that they will be acknowledging it. Thank you, Mr. Doncaster, for participating.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
For any councillor candidates who have yet to realize the value of social media communication, you should learn from the leadership of Earlene MacMullin, challenger to District #2. Following her quick response to the pledge and thoughtful, detailed answers, she posted on goCapeBreton, an introduction to herself and some of the key elements of her platform. At the time of writing, she has just under 1,500 views on this site alone, not to mention additional social media shares. What she has shown is a willingness to communicate openly, and that she has a command of social media platforms. We won't have to wait for journalists to give us a few selected quotes from her. When she needs to share information to her district, she's proven that she will be able to do so. And so she has demonstrated a key advantage over anyone else that does not do so. https://capebreton.lokol.me/let-me-introduce-myself---earlene-macmullin-district-2-candidate
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Ivan Doncaster, Current Councillor of District #7 has responded to the pledge. I updated the main article. However, here is a copy of his responses. He made notes for each point of the pledge. Thank for for participating, Ivan. ### 1. I agree. 2. When I am prepared I will vote yes. To demand more time is an item that Council has to vote on to give me more time, thereby deferring the item to our next meeting. 3. I agree. 4. I have a Public Facebook page that is updated quite regularly and I communicate with the media when called, not for the purpose of attacking any groups or anyone. 5. Yes. 6. See # 4. 7. I have no problem with number 7. 8. I have never quit in the past and I have no intention of quitting in the future either. 9. We need transparency to succeed! There are necessary in camera meetings to deal with personnel and financial issues, because otherwise you could run into legal ramifications. 10. I agree. 11. I do respect our green spaces. Because some areas are being used very little due to our declining population CBRM has to work with the residents of these areas to address issues of declining use. 12. I have done this in the past and will continue to protect public assets, assuring that I study/investigate any public sales coming before me. 13. I respect our public funds. We need to review our sustainability fund and student grant programs and work with the other levels of governments when funds become available for shared projects. 14. Residents of my district vote me into office and I will represent them and the Municipality with respect in all areas of my duties as a councillor. 15. I see myself as a leader with over 20 years of experience and learning as a councillor. I am known to ask the hard questions at council meetings and I strive to make my decisions conscientiously and will continue to do so. ###
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Ivan Why did you vote Yes for the sale of Archibald's Wharf when the community of North Sydney was in such an uproar on the decision? Why didn't you ask for more time before such a controversial decision?
[comment deleted] Posted
P Sheehan Follow Me
Michael : although I do not live in CBRM, I followed that Archibad's wharf story as couldn't believe what I was hearing as often go to North Sydney ,have often taken the ferry , been to Indian Beach etc and saw the amazing opportunity once Marine Atlantic announced they would build. The sale by CBRM just did not make any financial sense. So my question is : is there any sign of a document that the staff prepared recommending this sale to council and what appraisers gave them their market prices ?? If I lived in North Sydney, I'd vote against every councillor and Mayor over that alone .
Robert MacDonald Follow Me
The entire process, from initial rumour of sale to our present day display of barbed wire fencing was a scam. The residents of North Sydney had neither time or resources to battle what had long since been decided by Cecil Clarke.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Challenger to District #4, Steve Gillespie, responded to the pledge several days ago. My apologies for not adding his response sooner. Note: If anyone else has responded, and your response is not yet included in the article, please send me a reminder. I want to make sure everyone's response is fairly included.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Update: I received notice that Paul Theriault, challenger for District #6, has taken the pledge and has provided his comments. Note: The article is updated with a copy at the bottom of the text. Please check it out. Scroll up. Thank you for participating Paul. I appreciate you taking the pledge and providing a thoughtful response.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Joe I will be running for district 3 however with regard to the pledge, I believe it to be too vague to be of any use. Its almost like a candidate stating I will work fulltime to be your councillor. How do we know if that person is working fulltime or what can we do about it after they are elected? Your pledge is a good idea and it worked to get the candidates attention. Now lets have pledge # 2 where it gets more specific. Questions like Should we be storing a big pile of coal in downtown Sydney without asking the residents how they feel? Should we consider community policing? Are we going to lose our railway right of way? Should the first nations be involved with our business development? Any ideas on how to eliminate child poverty? Should we try to get Archibald's wharf back? Could a second cruise ship dock at Archibald's wharf and save the tax payers $20 million ? My opinions are on my facebook page and I would like to see other candidates opinions because If I'm elected I want to be with others who want change. I will leave everyone with this. We are now number 3 worse place to live in Canada. After they start to pile 700,000 tons of coal next to the Cruise ship dock, Where will we be on the list? Remember the winds will take that dust to every district.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
It's the difference between (a) guiding principles, and (b) specific issues in the CBRM. The pledge is the former: guiding principles. The only exception could be #3, as it pertains to the $140 weekly travel allocation. And it could be adapted to simply reflect "accountability in spending". The pledge should be a universal committment that isn't dependent upon any particular issue, or any particular candidate. Each mayoral candidate has put forth a *platform* that outlines where their focus will be. There's certainly nothing stopping candidates for council from doing the same. And I think that seems to be what you're moving towards. Platforms will vary. The pledge has principles that should be accepted with very little variation among candidates. I can't create a platform for someone. But I can certainly discuss it once a candidate puts one forward.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
I kind of did Joe. So lets discuss it. All candidates welcome
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Actually Why not a pre elected Council meeting on go cape Breton?
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
#6 I will use social media on a weekly basis to communicate with you,. How many are using that now except for election?
Dan Yakimchuk Follow Me
I bet Dr. Strangejob would be willing to chair. He not only took Joe's pledge, he also did one of his own.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
DR Strangejob We follow the same job hiring procedure that the CBRM have in place for hiring CEO's, so I have decided myself that you have the job because you have no experience in doing this whats so ever. Congratulations
Darlene Morrison Follow Me
I 100% support the 15 statements of the CBRM Councillor Pledge. I believe in transparency, in working for the entire island of Cape Breton and especially my District. I will work with all councillors and the Mayor. I feel that the travel expenses allowed for councillors is far too much and I will only claim what I have a legitiate claim to. Thank you for the opportunity to openly state my agreement to the Pledge.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Thank you, Darlene. I appreciate you taking the pledge. :)
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: As promised, incumbent councillor Eldon MacDonald has responded to the pledge. His response is length. It has been added to the bottom of the article (scroll up). Thank you, Eldon, for taking the time to respond.
Mathew Georghiou Follow Me
Joe, I can't believe how successful you have been in getting councilors and candidates to respond to this pledge. You must have invested an enormous amount of time into chasing so many people down. I hope people appreciate the volunteer effort you have put into this just so you can do good for our community. Most people would choose to spend their summer on the beach :-) I must also say that I find the responses quite interesting and perhaps revealing about the personalities involved. Some people appear to respond enthusiastically to the pledge questions, while others seem to be quite passive aggressive in their answers ... with what seems to be reluctant participation, almost like a hostile witness in a court who feels like they are being forced to respond to a question they don't want to answer :-)
Christian Murphy Follow Me
I agree Mathew, Joe has done an incredible job of keeping these issues alive. It's my belief that there are few people not pleased with this exposure. Joe, I believe you and Mary Campbell have created the new normal, all thanks to you Matt and your team. This is indicative of a public mood that are working to wards a new age of accountability. It's a revolution of words and the ability to share messages will tip the balance.
Michael MacNeil Follow Me
Joe is everywhere. I'm very new to social media and everywhere I explore I find Joe. Its totally amazing . Being a Candidate, I do appreciate all the volunteer work Joe contributes to bring about well needed change. Thanks Joe
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
I think it was worth the effort, and I'm glad the majority responded. I hope that the next council has the 15 points present in mind when making decisions. If these 15 points had been consistently applied during the last four years, we could have had a very different experience and a much less controversial election coming up. The answers do give many hints, some concerning. I found those who didn't put an effort into responding or those reluctant to do so the most concerning. Those who seemed to lack strong communications abilities also demonstrated a key limitation, and it's uncertain how effective they'll be in the role. You can't call 7,000-10,000 voters after every meeting to let them know what's up, one by one. But nobody has to if they accept that using modern communication tools is a part of the requirements of the job. I actually found those who challenged the finer details of some points very positive. The incumbent councillors should have found the exercise a little more challenging, as most, if not all of them, are in violation of several of the items. But real leaders can step up and take their lumps. There was no real gotcha here to be had. The 15 points were difficult to challenge because they were almost entirely common sense ethical standards. I can't imagine someone insisting they will never vote "No", won't try to be a leader, won't protect our public assets, etc. So I hope nobody spent too much time obsessing about how it must be a setup of some sort. Ha ha. :) Current councillors had better stay on their toes. Not all of them have things as locked up as they might like to believe.
Nadine Bernard Follow Me
Nadine Bernard candidate for District 5 I would first off like to thank you Joe for the invitation to respond to the pledge. Each point gave me a chance to reflect on what I can do, how will I respond and who will benefit in the most ethical manner. As a candidate for District 5, I hope my responses reflect my judgement, my moral compass, my awareness of issues and transactions happening in the CBRM. This site is a leading example of an open forum for citizens to openly express without fear or manipulation. My responses were on a level that people could relate to as a voting constituent and not as a current elected official which I will continue to model once elected. Pledge responses: #1 As an elected official the constituents trust your judgement with their best interests as a whole. A No vote to protect is a given. #2 From experience sitting on boards and advisory committees, critical information is necessary to make an informed decision. If information is not made available in a timely manner in a respectable time, I will request more time. #3 I agree with claiming travel expenses only with receipts. #4 As a member from grassroots community groups, I agree whole heartedly with respect communication. I most definitely will not use media to attack anyone. #5 The constituents within my district will be my top priority but as a servant on a municipal council I understand that all of CBRM citizens issues an concerns need to be addressed accordingly. #6 I understand that social media plays such a pivotal role in today’s society. I promise to be actively connected to the community and be readily available. Since it will be a main access point between myself and my constituents. #7 Constructive criticism is crucial in character building and professional development but also a beacon to the concerns of our community. #8 Once I am elected I am fully committed to the 4 year term required of me. I will work to the best of m ability to accomplish what I
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Thank you very much, Nadine, for such a thoughtful response to the pledge. It's really great to see all candidates who fully embrace this opportunity to share their values with interested voters. :) The individual posts from candidates who announce and present insight into their platforms on goCapeBreton has also been a great way to get to know more about the candidates. These posts have generated thousands of views for the candidates.
Nadine Bernard Follow Me
#9 Transparency equals Accountability. As an elected official we are entrusted with the faith in judgement regarding decisions made for CBRM. #10 Rules and regulations are put in place to create balance and fairness. Within the oath of elected officials you are required to practise and promise work and decisions made in good faith. #13 In a financially strapped and crippled municipality that was quoted to be a ranked as the 3rd worst municipality to live in and a child poverty rate of 34%. It is obvious our taxes should not be used for personal interest or to individually profiting ways. #14 When I am elected, I pledge to follow through with rejecting quid pro quo. #15 I have experienced first hand the challenging, the controversial issues and have never backed down or given up. A leader must know one’s limits and I will incorporate wisdom of advice an experience regarding my decisions and actions
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
It's time for change, and I'm in! I'll be challenging for District 7. This evening I'll be back here to take the pledge with detailed responses, just like many of you. :) https://capebreton.lokol.me/author-of-the-councillors-pledge-is-running-in-cbrm-district-7 My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Elect-Joe-Ward-CBRM-District-7-1405058702844741/ My Website: http://electjoeward.com
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part I: Ok, so it's my turn to take the pledge. I'm running in District 7. The pledge is a set of guidelines. Many of you (candidates) immediately recognized the opportunity to make clarifications in your responses. So I'll do the same where appropriate. 1. I have no problem voting down a matter proposed before council - when appropriate to do so. I also have no problem asking my fellow councillors to join me in doing so: on the record. There may be issues that I will ultimately support after review and evaluation. However, if anyone attempts to rush it through, I will defer my "Yes" vote until sufficient time is allocated. Anything else is irresponsible. Council must defend the concerns of the more than 90,000 people still living in the CBRM. That responsibility cannot be taken lightly. 2. I think it's appropriate that councillors communicate prior to a meeting, about items on the agenda they are unprepared for. There should be a precedent that asking for additional time is a mutually agreed upon strategy. These shouldn't be last minute, surprise requests. It should be the norm. 3. Travel funds are for gas and mileage. They are not intended as income, thought that is how the council treats it at present. I will not defer the issue. Council cannot suggest they support removing it, wait four years, and then suggest it should be decided by the next council. We can decide now. And I have a solution that will help councillors track their mileage more easily using their smartphone. I have it in place in my vehicle already. Let's put it on the agenda for the first meeting of the next council and be done with it.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part II: 4. What Kevin Saccary did in Louisbourg set the precedent for bad communication and using the media negligently. He used the Cape Breton Post to go after an important community group, backed by the CBRM. And it was irresponsible. When we are elected for council, we have a responsibility to our districts. We're paid a salary to be good representatives. For my own part, I recognize that representing council is a distinct role from that of a writer/blogger. While I will not sugarcoat anything, I will be present of mind that my communication as an elected councillor represents the entire CBRM, not solely my own opinion as one voter. I will not "play it safe" like so many do. However, constructive criticism should always be served with some recommendation of a solution as well. Much can be resolved in private communications prior to making a decision that could cause harm by careless speech in the media.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part III: 5. As district councillors, we have a big job. There are several large districts including District 7. However, the smaller geographic districts like those in Sydney, still have many active issues to pursue too. It's a busy job for those who are available to their residents. As such, we cannot lose focus on our districts. Beyond violating the Port of Sydney Corporation's corporate articles, perhaps what the four serving councillors and Mayor Clarke failed to realize is that it cost them time and focus from their primary duties. We have to choose our focus and investment of time wisely, and (obviously) with priority to our own district. HOWEVER, our single vote, cast for the district, is very important for the future of the entire CBRM. We must always keep that in perspective. Voting for the sale of Archibald's Wharf might not have seemed important to councillors in districts that are not District 1 or District 2. However, they might feel differently if it was suddenly a greenspace loss or an industrialization of irrecoverable downtown property in their own communities. 6. I'm a digital marketing expert. I'll fully utilize social media in a practical way. However, I recognize that we have many senior voters who are not active on social media. That is why I also launched my toll free line at 1-888-330-7579 so they can call in for updates after every council meeting, or any time they have a question or concern for me. I'll use my skills to set a new standard and help all other councillors to improve their communication too.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part IV: 7. There is no amount of criticism that I cannot find value in. I won't dismiss your feedback even if you deliver it to me in an angry or vulgar way. I don't encourage anyone to do that. However, if someone is so upset that they feel the need to lash out that way, then it IS our job to find out why. We aren't supposed to be accessible only to those who like us. We represent everyone in our districts including the residents who do NOT vote for us. Your criticism is the gateway to me figuring out what the community needs and how I can do a better job. 8. I am fully committed. If District 7 elects me, then I will be your advocate for four years. And in 2020, we will decide what the next steps are for us both. 9. As many have noted, there are times where in camera (private) meetings are a necessary evil. There is a functional reason to do so. The criticism is never of that functional role they are used for. It is of the abuse of that process. I'm not going to stand by while reports are hidden. Unless I'm violating some regulation or law, what is appropriate to share will be shared with you, regardless of who might be uncomfortable with doing so. We should be judged on everything we've done; not on what we selectively share with you. The withholding of the MacNeil report, in my opinion, was enough to warrant the resignation of Mayor Clarke. In terms of transparency, you may have also noticed a trend with me. I will not be withholding the platform that I support. I'll be endorsing my choice for mayor, and several candidates for council in the coming weeks.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part V: 10. Current council has openly violated the rules. The two biggest examples that come to mind are violating the rules of the sustainability fund, and having elected officials continue to sit on the Port of Sydney Development Corporation board. If we disagree with the rules, we have an option. The option is to work together to refine them. If the intent of the CBRM is to utilize the sustainability fund in some other way that what is presently permitted, staff should revise the policy and bring it to a vote. That is my stance. If we don't like it, we must revise it and approve it before council. If we cannot do that, then we follow the rules as they are. 11. Any proposal to council that sacrifices a designated green space had better have a tremendously strong argument if the proponents expect my vote of approval. We cannot simply sacrifice the value of what was invested before. In many locations, like Archibald's Wharf, this prime locations are irreplaceable. 12. Public assets have a market value. Before selling them, we should know that precise market value. There are situations where it is in our best interest to do land transfer, under market value, to community groups. The waterfront area in Louisbourg requested by the Destination Louisbourg project is a great example. However, we do not need to liquidate assets to corporate interests. If they are doing well, then they have cash or finance options available to them for their business expansion. If anyone believes that the land, buildings, and infrastructure at Archibald's Wharf was worth only $200,000; then they need look no further than the washrooms built on the Sydney waterfront for a similar cost. The washrooms were a good investment and addition to the waterfront. However, they also point out what was always glaringly obvious to the people of the Northside.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Part VI: 13. Council approved the CBRM taking on debt of $1.2 Million in order to buy land in Sydport to then lease to a business. Many will argue that we don't have an economic development mandate in the first place. However, we certainly don't have a finance mandate (in the role of lender). As a successful company, the business would certainly be able to acquire the land they were interested in. This particular deal is reportedly the precursor to John Whalley's alleged "constructive dismissal" event, for which he has filed a lawsuit again the CBRM. We are not a bank. No more wasteful spending on clocks. No more deferring collection of lease payments from our port. 14. I vote based on what I believe is right. Any negotiation points or reasonable concessions in projects involving multiple districts should be disclosed to the public. For significant projects, that should be in the format of a public consultation. 15. I do not have a reputation for giving in. We don't always prevail, but that is no excuse for not being persistent. I believe each councillor will bring forward some unique skills that council can take advantage of. I believe I will have a leadership opportunity in communications and developing policies to enhance transparency. And I believe that I can show leadership in rallying council to take our role more seriously than it has been taken these past four years.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
UPDATE: Kendra Coombes has entered the race in District #11. She's also given a very thoughtful, detailed response to the pledge. Her response is listed at the bottom of the original article. Scroll up to review it. Thank you, Kendra. With Kendra's entrance into the race to challenge for District #11, and my own entry into the race in District #7, we now have ALL DISTRICTS challenged. In a municipality scoring so low (3rd last) on a wide range of criteria in all of Canada, I can assure you that there should never be an acclaimed/uncontested council position in the CBRM. I'm very pleased that, regardless of what happens, people have stepped forward to offer alternatives. If the challengers are successful, we are going to have a very different council dynamic after October. There are some VERY strong people vying for seats on council.
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Nigel Kearns Follow Me
#1-3 1. I will work for you. I will vote NO sometimes to protect our community. “YOU” is the key word here! You are the shareholder in the CBRM and the Mayor and councillors, answer directly and only to you. We are all to be involved in all the process of governing our municipality. If common sense dictates a “NO” vote, that is what will happen. Unity and knowledge dictate the right decision is made. It’s as simple as that! 2. I will vote YES only when prepared. If not, I will demand more time. As mentioned above, together decisions will be made. Hasty decisions made with a lack of understanding or the appropriate time to understand is simply a fail and provides no service to you, the community. I had trouble even commenting on this as it is a “goes without saying” point. 3. I will claim travel expenses only with receipts. $140/week is unfair. Of course! One must submit factual and legitimate travel expenses. The funds belong to you the community. Most Councillors move around within the community and their districts due to daily life activities and most of that activity does not necessarily warrant reimbursement. Significant travel for specific meetings or activity may be an exception, and again, that must be properly approved and reported. It is just simple fiscal responsibility.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
#4-6 4. I will communicate respectfully. I will not use media to attack community groups. There is no room for personal attacks, opinions or emotion. Only the understanding of others views, needs and wants. Managed in a respectful manner allows one to focus on the issue at hand and address the key areas of concern to a satisfactory end. This shouldn’t even have needed to be listed on a pledge, but it is, so I comment. 5. I represent all of the CBRM, but I make our district my top priority. Absolutely! District 5 would be my first priority as that is why one would have been voted in. However, it doesn’t stop there. We are all CBRM; Mayor and councillors (and you, the public) MUST work together supporting the interests of their respective districts with the whole CBRM’s best interest in the forefront. To go further, we (the CBRM) must also champion and lobby for the entire community of Cape Breton Island, as this is our home. 6. I will use social media weekly to communicate with you. Social media and other forms of communication are a must! Council must engage the community, inform them as they are the ultimate shareholders. As Councillor, it is incumbent upon me to provide information as that is the key to trust. Trust that their voices will be heard accurately at the council table.
Bill Fiander Follow Me
Hi Nigel, I think the reason that Joe included it as part of the pledge was because of the district 8 councilor having used the local paper to go after Destination Louisbourg. You're right it should be pretty much common sense not to do this, but some people, unfortunately, don't have this quality.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
#7-9 7. I will respect my community. Your voice, including criticism, is valuable to me. This is the way life is. One cannot please everyone. All voices must be heard to allow the best decisions to be made. You must respect others opinions and beliefs. We are all different and possess different views. It is that diversity that makes us great. 8. If you elect me for four years, I will not quit on you. Of course not! Quitting on your community is quitting on one’s self; as this is where we live and stepping up to take on the role of the Councillor is not to be taken lightly. Quitting is not an option! 9. I will fight for transparency and push for all open public meetings. Transparency is not only a must; it is the only way! All citizens must be in the loop and have the opportunity to air their thoughts. Councillors must operate with the citizen’s best interest in mind, and their views must be known, and shared at the table. We (CBRM) must join forces and together mould our future together...a future we all desire and deserve.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
#10-12 10. I will follow the rules. Rules and regulations will not be ignored. Of course! Rules must be applied to all; otherwise, they are simply a tool for exclusion and democracy fails. There is no place for outside of the lines when it comes to managing our community’s best interests. Thinking outside the box, oh yes! 11. I will respect and maintain Cape Breton’s green spaces. Absolutely! Green spaces are an essential part of good healthy community living. They are part of an exciting and active community. We must not only maintain, but improve and increase green spaces. This is imperative to the positive energy a community requires to thrive. For those who live here now, those who will come home or for those who choose to live here in the future. 12. I will protect our public assets. No fast sales at too low a value. This is a must! Your public assets are just that; yours! They belong solely to the residents and your investments should be protected. But this will not be an issue, as you all will be aware of such deals and your opinions will be heard and shared as stated in pledge points identified above.
Nigel Kearns Follow Me
#13-15 13. I will protect our public funds. I respect that you don’t pay taxes in order to give public loans to private interests or be wasteful. This too is a “goes without saying” statement and clearly needed to be said. The public funds, as with the assets are yours! Simple as that, and must be handled as such. Proper due diligence, public awareness and engagement will ensure this is the case. Demand nothing less. 14. I will reject quid pro quo deals. I will not secretly trade favours with the mayor or council, nor private groups or business interests. Our future is one of unity driven by above-board practices, known activities and decisions. I will say it again, Mayor and council report to you and it is your best interests that must be forefront. Well thought out plans that truly benefit District 5 and our community at large is the only way to go. 15. I will try to be a leader. I will not give up because an issue is too challenging, controversial, or my colleagues try to sway my hand. This is a requirement of those who choose to serve the community. Mayor and Council have sworn to represent and lead you, the community. As with any business venture, project or mission in life; there will be challenges, roadblocks, and opposition in some form. These are only opportunities to create solutions, strengthen the community by its victories and forward movement. Perseverance is the key and together it can be achieved. It must be achieved! This is my pledge to you all. Nigel Kearns, Your Candidate, District 5
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Thank for you taking the pledge, Nigel, and for the very thoughtful responses to each of its elements. I join with you in scratching by head at why this pledge was necessary in the first place. I would suggest that all of it "goes without saying". And yet observing council for the last several years, it wasn't what was happening. So I wrote the pledge items as sort of a *reset* button, to make sure all council candidates pause and reflect on some of the essential basics. It's very troublesome that it has to include a reminder that it's ok to vote "No" (sometimes) for the best interest of our districts and the CBRM, or that we should make sure that we are prepared with enough information before voting "Yes". Yet that was still somehow a necessary reminder as well for present council. I'm seeing many hopeful new candidates that won't surrender a vote so easily. So I'm optimistic for what is possible come October 15th. Unfortunately, every element 1 through 13 was violated by one or more councillors. And though there is a level of subjectivity with elements 14 and 15, there were certainly some indications there as well.
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