Saturday, 7 August 2010

Three Questions for Windsor City Council Candidates

With only a little over a month to go before Windsor City Council turns lame duck, thoughts begin to turn to election day.

I do think we should offer some of our current councilors a job in city administration somewhere - pushing paper and punching a calculator - the very things that some people in this city mistake for political leadership but are best suited for obedient employment, perhaps in civil service.

I want to hear our candidates tell me something OTHER than that they are going to sharpen pencils, go through the budget line-by-line, or share their vast business experience in setting annual budgets and keeping taxes low. We've had enough of that.

I want to hear what our candidates see as the future of our city, and where they intend to show leadership. Here are three areas to consider your vision.

What's it like to be a citizen (not a taxpayer, a citizen) of Windsor? How close do we live to a library? Do our children have access to affordable recreation and sports activities? Do the poor have a preferential option in policy or will policy, direction and by-laws be crafted to appease the well-to-do? How do you define quality of life? Do you support Green alternatives to the daily drive like mass transit and bike lanes? And yes, here's where you get to deal with the tax question - what are we prepared to pay for our common and shared expenses? Are taxpayers more important than citizens? (Not all citizens pay taxes. Children, for example, are not municipal taxpayers. Do they deserve less consideration?)

What's it like to run/own a business in Windsor? The tax question could come up here, too. Beyond taxation, are the rules and regulations onerous? How serious are we about downtown Windsor?

What's can a visitor to Windsor expect? Are we committed to tourism infrastructure, promotion and marketing our city and area? Are there things to do, places to go? Are we actively working to improve access to the city by air and rail and border crossing?

Candidates for council should share their vision for Windsor, and these three areas are just one way to consider the future under your leadership, should you be elected.

Don't tell us you're going to slash the budget and meddle in the details unless you're applying for a management job at City Hall. And an elected seat at the table is NOT for the micro-managers among us - it's for the servant-leaders we are so desperately seeking.