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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
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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