From the desk of Darren W. Wood, mayoral candidate in the Oct. 27 city election.
In sum, if Wood wins and doesn’t get council during the first meeting of the term to 1) Return weekly trash pickup 2) Cancel the Orgaworld contract and 3) Ban closed-door meetings, he’ll quit right there and then.
Here’s Wood’s promise to us. Comment as you will.
Raising the Bar for Candidates:
I have decided that since most everyone is making the same promises this election cycle in Ottawa, there should be a way to determine who is serious about their platform and who is doing the traditional blowing of smoke up the voters butts.
In order to set myself apart and show the taxpayers of Ottawa that I am serious about implementing change, I have pledged on my twitter account to my followers and now openly to the media that I will see three promises carried out during my very first council meeting as Mayor of Ottawa. These issues have been expressed to me as being important when I talk to people on the street, in coffee shops and in grocery stores. These are the items I am told by the voters I have talk to so far, that they would like to see done, sooner rather than later.
1) Actually get Council to Restore Weekly Garbage Pick Up
2) Get Council to pass a motion instructing staff to get taxpayers out out of the Green Bin Contract
3) Pass a “Transparency Act” or get council to agree to the idea of staff putting together such an act making behind closed doors essentially illegal in city hall (with the the exception where any provincial or federal law dictacts certain items must be discussed behind closed doors – apparently there are some instances). The purpose of this act would be to give the voter more over sight into how city hall is spending their money and the ability to hold staff and Councillors alike accountable in real time and not just every fours years.
My guarantee to taxpayers….
If I fail to not only put these issues before council during our very first meeting, but also fail to get these three items to pass a council vote, then I will resign my seat as mayor.
Now I was told by a twitter follower that others, including former Mayor O’Brien had promised the same thing. So let me be perfectly clear there is no misunderstandings. I will not promise to resign at the end of the first term…. If I don’t carry out the three items listed above successfully at the very first council meeting, I will resign at the close of that meeting.
I think we have reached a point in Ottawa politics where it is time for politicians to offer a real guarantee to voters and not just ask them to take our word that we will keep our promises.
My opponents can call it grand standing, and some whiners will call it a publicity stunt, but what I call it is a guarantee. Something I would challenge any other candidate to do. Put your money (or your job in this case) where your mouth is. Give the people the things they are asking for most (and realistic requests at that) at your first official council meeting or leave your elected office.
I don’t expect any other candidates to follow my lead because I do not believe any of my competitors have the confidence in themselves or their platforms to get such a bold goal accomplished.
For those in the media stuck for an angle for this story, how about calling it what it really is, a candidate doing something that few before him have done, backing up his platforms to the people with more than empty campaign promises.
McGee and Kennery are taking unpaid leaves from Watson’s office at City Hall until November to work on the re-election campaign. They have been Watson’s director of community relations and press secretary, respectively. Acting staff have been put in place in the mayor’s office.
McGee has been working for Watson for several years, going back to his days as MPP. Kennery has been Watson’s press secretary for about two years.
Before going on holidays, I chatted with Watson’s main rival, Mike Maguire, about his own campaign. Maguire said his team, which he figures has a core group of 25, is planning ads to run after Labour Day.
“It will be full-out. Signage, advertising,” Maguire told me.
There was a rumour circulating last month that Maguire was considering pulling out of the mayoral race and challenging Coun. Scott Moffatt for the Rideau-Goulbourn ward seat. Maguire laughed that off and said he’s taking his mayoral campaign seriously.
One municipal election candidate has received more attention over the past 24 hours than, possibly, the mayor.
Brendan Mertens, 29, is running in Bay Ward against incumbent Mark Taylor, former councillor Alex Cullen and another candidate, George Guirguis.
Judging by his videos, I wasn’t sure if Mertens’ campaign was serious. Dang, they’re funny, though.
Turns out Mertens is serious. In my short conversation with him today, he listed his concerns about water bills increasing, flooding in Britannia, green bins and transit fares.
Married and looking to plant roots in the community, Mertens — who’s originally from Peterborough — said the videos are a way to turn people’s attention from the same old political candidates.
“You’ve got to go against the grain. If I came out in a suit and tie I would go unnoticed,” Mertens said. “Look, the Ottawa Sun and I are talking right now.”
He works in the health care field and previously worked in TV and film.
“I’m a huge fan of comedy. That’s pretty much my secret weapon in this campaign. Well, not really secret,” he said.
Running gags in his videos so far have been his anti-bear campaign and his pursuit of taking down Poland.
So what’s with the Poland thing?
“I’ll say no comment,” he said.
Will it be a running theme during the campaign?
Here’s a guy who knows how to drum up interest. Not an easy thing for an unknown candidate to do.
I accidentally called and e-mailed the wrong Brendan when I was trying to get in touch with Mertens this week. The Brendan I originally contacted was Brendan Gorman, another council candidate who’s running in West-Carleton March.
Turns out Gorman, like Mertens, is from Peterborough and I had a good conversation with him about his campaign in the rural west end.
Gorman, 35, is a former competitive cyclist who most recently worked for the Ottawa Sport and Social Club. He also worked for a bank as a financial advisor.
“I had it in my mind at some point I’d run for office,” Gorman said. “I’d like to go through the experience.”
Gorman didn’t say anything negative about incumbent Eli El-Chantiry.
“I’m not anti anybody. I’m pro me,” Gorman said.
And so, dear readers, that’s your news on the Brendans running in the Oct. 27 municipal election.