COLUMN: Perhaps it’s my turn to take some heat

If you read the previous pages of this edition, you will understand why I no longer will be seen downtown wearing a tatty quilted shirt and grubby jeans; or failing to say “hi” or wave to everyone I meet.
For those who, for some reason, are reading this first, then I confess that I have decided to seek a seat on city council.

If you read the previous pages of this edition, you will understand why I no longer will be seen downtown wearing a tatty quilted shirt and grubby jeans; or failing to say “hi” or wave to everyone I meet.

For those who, for some reason, are reading this first, then I confess that I have decided to seek a seat on city council.

As most regular readers will know, I have often taken councillors to task. I’ve never been shy of expressing an opinion, never hesitated to be outspoken on issues I believe are wrong, or not in the best interest of our community, particularly those that do not appear to address future growth and planning.

So, after months of wrangling with the idea of seeking office, a decision was reached that if I believe change is necessary, the only way to bring it about is to run for office and see if people agree with me.

I also believe that if I have the freedom to criticize the actions of council members, then I should also be equally willing to face criticism.

Most actions of council are appropriate. However, there are also occasions when decisions have been made that have not been well thought out, or have ramifications that adversely affect our future and the wise use of our tax dollars.

But this space is not the venue to debate that … that’s the purpose of an election campaign, and over the next couple of months I will be listening to people, learning about their vision for the future of our community, and talking about what I believe needs to change.

Therefore, this will be my last column about the actions of city council. If you decide I am a worthy candidate, then any future comments will be made at the council table. If I am not elected, then who cares what I say about the goings-on in city hall.

Also, to be fair to other candidates who are seeking your support, I will be taking a four-week hiatus (don’t you love such words) from column writing from the time nominations close until election day.

In the meantime, I am going to find a copy of Roberts Rules of Order, just in case I am successful. After all, it would be unseemly to use ‘unparliamentary’ language such as “that’s stupid” or “don’t be an idiot,” since I have been known to utter similar epitaphs on things or people when foolish proposals are being considered. Speaking up or out has never been one of my “short suits.”

So there you have it. After 25 years in the newspaper business, almost 18 years in the back rooms of provincial politics, behind the scenes in a great many civic elections, I am now a “wannabe” politician.

I can’t do it alone, and I’m going to need a lot of help. Also to demonstrate just how modern I am, and until now mostly foreign to me, I’ll try to keep you informed through, among other things, Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to offer support, or tell me I’m an idiot, you can email me at markrushton@shaw.ca.

Otherwise, and as uncomfortable as I am with cocktail party chatter, look for me in the community, glad-handing to ingratiate myself with the electorate. And don’t be shy about telling me exactly what you think.