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

Leafs lose marathon season opener

Nelson fell 3-2 to Fernie in double overtime

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

CHECK THIS OUT: Libraries as safe spaces for the homeless

Anne DeGrace writes about an upcoming movie and talk focused on libraries and homelessness

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

PLACE NAMES: Kaslo and Sandon neighbourhoods

Narrow valley saw Sandon’s main street over a creek

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

Most Read