EDITORIAL: Nelson mayor’s race uninspiring

An incumbent mayor, a former mayor and a clown walk into a forum

Forgive me for feeling uninspired by our three mayoral candidates.

All the talk about how Nelson’s small-business community has been forgotten amid four years of Deb Kozak’s mayoralty has inspired not one representative of that aggrieved community to run for the city’s top job.

Instead we have an incumbent mayor, a former mayor and a clown.

Incumbent Deb Kozak has approved a 50 per cent raise for the next council, bouncing the salary above that of the average household in the city, against the recommendations of an independent committee. Former mayor John Dooley says he will reverse the decision, while contender Bernie Brown has declared she makes $12,000 a year as a street performer.

I, like many of you, attended Saturday’s two-hour mayoral forum, where moderator Glenn Hicks did his level best to stir the pot with the three candidates, oftentimes cutting them short in an effort to interject some illusion of dynamism into the evening’s proceedings.

But the gambit fell flat, and not for lack of effort.

Discussions around cannabis legalization, funding for supportive housing, mental health and wildfire prevention in West Arm Provincial Park chewed hardest on the clock. But these are issues outside the purview of even the most ambitious city government.

And now Monday plays host to a climate change forum.

Don’t get me wrong, the need to address climate change is beyond urgent, and civic leaders should be asked to, at very least, acknowledge its existence as a baseline for fitness for the job. But aside from laying down sod or speed bumps on Baker Street, any candidate’s pledge to make a difference on climate is no different from my pledge or yours.

I admire the desire to hold every elected foot to the fire of a burning planet. But asking a Nelson mayoral candidate to address global warming is asking them to shout back the tides. In a city with no major industrial sector, the debate only depletes our chief non-renewable resource — time.

For the first time in my life I will be abstaining from voting for a mayoral candidate. Given their performance at the forum, the choice boils down to a we-used-to-do-it-this-way candidate, a we’re-still-in-talks candidate and a street clown.

Just Posted

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

West Kootenay radio club says local network in need of upgrades

Club president Lane Wilson estimated $100,000 of work required

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing man

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read