Quadrennial Springtime, and some citizens are sounding like they’ll run for Mayor or Councillor. At least some are thinking, hopefully many will offer their skills and intelligence. I think we’ve got more people involved in opposition than I can remember. but the burning question is how many will run and on what platforms?
In Hudson’s last municipal election, at their request, I met with and spoke impartially to both mayoral candidates. I was very pleased that we had two actual thinking candidates with real world experience running for mayor and contested races in all sectors for the first time since I can remember. I don’t charge for advice and always warn that anything they learn will be worth exactly what they paid for it.
It’s not rocket science, the major concerns of Hudson are really obvious and both candidates had similar questions. But each candidate had a different approach. Mayor Prevost chose, for reasons he felt comfortable with, to run without a cohort of potential Councillors while the other candidate ran a complete slate covering all electoral districts.
When you have only six Councillors to be elected, a potential mayor without a slate will have to make do with what’s chosen for them, while a potential mayor with a slate will usually not run the table and will have to do what’s chosen for them. The difference might be that the potential mayor with a slate will have more minds engaged to formulate a platform and might therefore be able to cohesively gel into group action more quickly. I don’t think that’s been a problem for Mayor Prevost, with one obvious exception, he’s had the visible support of all elected throughout his term.
Both candidates last election developed comprehensive platforms for a wide range of Hudson issues, and both were equally in the dark about the reality they might find on the other side of the polls. My sincere feeling is that neither could have expected or planned for the depth of the challenges they’d face. Thankfully, both were just oblivious enough to what they were undertaking that by running they gifted us with an actual election and public discussion of issues.
We’ve been blessed to have some gumption and resolve in spite of poor health, loud negative noise and many other issues that might have caused lesser souls to bail out with justification. I feel that we, as a town’s people’ have contributed to and watched the negative toll on Ed Prevost’s health. When one is ill, one hopes for peace that he didn’t have, and I’m proud that Mayor Prevost has never allowed himself the use of his health as an excuse but has stayed calm and soldiered on. He and his wife and family are owed our sincere thanks for diligence and selflessness under trying conditions.
As we look towards the November 2017 we, as a public, should have a much better idea of what was wrong and has been fixed, what remains wrong, and what has been done wrong in this term. That’s not criticism, it’s the reality that no government is perfect. In the essence of any democracy, massive success is a very low passing grade of 50% of those who choose to speak, of those even willing to express an opinion. So, if only 49% of a populace want to tar and feather you, you’re exceptional.
There’s no time like the present to ask questions of potential candidates, but at the least we should be seriously planning the questions we wish to ask of candidates who may run. If we prepare by understandings how we intend to judge a good candidate from a less good candidate maybe we’ll make fewer mistakes and get better people.
Feel free to list them as comments on this blog, any candidate who doesn’t read this and other blogs won’t help much. What are your major concerns, what can you live with, what can’t you live without, what do you see as Hudson’s future? Are your platform and concerns balanced against the possible withing municipal law and the good of all citizens?
If you don’t think Hudson needs change and like it just the way it is, frankly go stick your head back in the sand, because without significant changes we’re all going to be getting our asses kicked badly for a long time to come.
One person can’t change Hudson. Six Councillors and a Mayor can’t change Hudson. The primary responsibility of democracy shares the burden of change with all electors equally. To be successful that demands interest and involvement that generates knowledge among the majority so that they may understand the sacrifices and benefits of any proposal on a community wide basis.
Let’s prepare and welcome the discussion with measured caution and serious questions that stop us staring at the past assigning blame and start us looking towards a brighter and happy future for all in Hudson.