Seriously. Go to candidate websites, read their policies and views, and then vote. Edmonton had a 33% turnout last time and I suspect it will be a bit more being that there are more candidates running and we get to select a new mayor.
So where am I at? In the last day, my support has bounced around all three mayoral candidates. I've never been this torn about voting in my whole life. It's usually crystal clear to me.
These issues that I'm considering and that have different weighting and priority for me and they're not listed in any particular order. I'll put who I think has the advantage on the issues.
- Downtown. I live, work, and play downtown and I've seen the great progress over the last six years and it's very exciting. Being a huge Oilers fan, I'm excited about the new arena project and especially the location and how closely it's connected with the business core (two blocks from my office) and 104 Street Promenade. Street patio and food truck deregulation has been fantastic. The urbanization plans for West-Rossdale are very exciting too.
Advantage: none, as all projects are moving ahead and all supported one thing or another.
- Drainage. While we still need more affordable middle-class housing downtown to slow the continued urban sprawl. That said, our sewers and drainage are taking a toll with the massive influx of new condos and people to downtown. Major upgrades need to happen.
- Taxes. Will they ever not go up? I know how some of the city managers work building empires within the bureaucracy and how backwards budgeting is. A serious full audit needs to be done here but it'll have to come from council and a strong fiscally-minded mayor.
Advantage: Diotte, Leibovici.
- Debt. We're playing catch-up and thankfully, interest rates are low. Better to borrow and spend now then later when costs are more than the interest we're paying now. Wish we did this back in the 90's.
- LRT. Edmonton used to lead the way for cities under a million. Calgary is way ahead of us.
Advantage: Iveson, Leibovici.
- Capital Region provincial tax distribution. The City of Edmonton is getting screwed by the size of the surrounding cities and their use of our city without paying taxes.
Advantage: Leibovici, Iveson.
- Attracting business, jobs, and people. This is a big priority and core to the economy. Edmonton has lots of jobs out there, but we're actually lacking skilled people for many industries. Post-secondary schools, industry, the province and city need to do more and work together more here to ensure we have the right graduates who can easily transition into the skilled workforce. This area requires a lot of vision.
- Roads and infrastructure. Advantage: Diotte.
- Kerry Diotte: C-
- "Diotte or Detroit"? Bad bad bad idea. Anti-arena type TV ad at local business was also not smart which gave it a negative feeling campaign.
- 3 years on council, city beat journalist for over 20 years. Knows the city well.
- Don Iveson: A
- Positive, upbeat, and feel-good... folks from all ideologies working on campaign.
- 6 years on council
- Best vision
- Karen Leibovici: B-
- Dull campaign despite lots of money. Signs and advertisements everywhere.
- Many years on council, as an MLA, and president of Canadian Municipalities
Well, I thought this exercise in getting this all down would help. It only confused me more. I've got about 4 hours to decide. I wonder how many voters will not vote because of the difficulty in the decision.
Do I go with my gut, my brain, or my gut brain? Do I stick to my ideology or go off? Does ideology even matter when most of all, you need the ability to build consensus?
So I think I'll have to have a couple Guinness and decide because right now, I can't.
But please vote!