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

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Society plans restoration of historic Kootenay Lake fishing boat

The Merriwake had been submerged in Kootenay Lake near Kaslo before being salvaged two years ago

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Most Read