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Inside Out
News from around the horseshoe

By Bill Hutchins Illustration by Wayne Westfall

Voters are getting ready to head to the polls for the second time this year.

After the provincial election was decided in June, local races for municipal councils and school boards are now underway.

The race for Kingston city council includes a slate of familiar candidates and some newcomers for mayor and 12 municipal district seats. “This is shaping up to be an exciting election for Kingston. Not just because we have a great roster of candidates but also because of the referendum question regarding Ranked Ballot Voting,” says John Bolognone, city clerk and returning officer.

Two former councillors — Vicki Schmolka and Rob Matheson — are seeking City Hall’s top political job, along with incumbent mayor Bryan Paterson seeking a second term, plus newcomer Eric Lee.

Some of the issues in Bryan Paterson’s campaign for re-election include creating a culture of collaboration among the community and councillors, finishing the third bridge crossing, developing a youth employment strategy and creating a people-friendly city. “I believe everything we have accomplished to date has laid a foundation for us to build and accelerate,” he noted during his campaign kick-off speech.

But three challengers are calling for change. Vicki Schmolka, who served on council from 2006 to 2010, says she’s troubled by the lack of transparency at City Hall and fiscal accountability when it comes to property tax increases. Vicki recently joined with other citizens in appealing the proposed 16-storey Capitol condominium in the downtown, arguing that the developer should not be allowed to go more than double the height than what zoning rules allow.

Rob Matheson, who also last served on council from 2006 to 2010, wants Kingston to live up to its goal of becoming Canada’s most sustainable city while improving the city’s extremely low vacancy rate.

Eric Lee, a political novice who’s known to many locals as the “elevator guy” during his employment at the former S&R Department Store, is also seeking the top political job. . . . .

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