It’s a busy field of five candidates in Gloucester-Southgate where incumbent Diane Deans is running again to continue to represent her ward. Seems to be a unified theme here among her challengers that it’s time for a change. That may be true, but only the voters can determine that – for the candidates challenging her – it’s not much of a platform.
Yes, Deans has been on city council for a good chunk of time, but she continues to be one of the hardest working politicians on council. She’s also a real leader, building alliances on council to push her residents’ agenda forward. And she has a vision for the city, not just her ward. That’s hard to argue with.
At the Rogers all-candidates debate, three of her four challengers were there to make their case. And honestly, all-candidates debates aren’t an easy thing, (More honesty, as a columnist, with some really strong opinions – I was terrified at my first debate – and knew I hadn’t come across well at the end of it. That suspicion was confirmed when a resident came up to me after the debate, told me my resting face looked angry and I should smile more!)
But enough about me and back to Gloucester-Southgate.
At the Rogers all-candidates debate, challengers Alek Golijanin, Sam Soucy and Robert Swaita were actually pretty impressive. Save for the number of times the phrase “I couldn’t agree more with you” was uttered, they appeared to have some very thoughtful comments on the ward. But as much as the incumbent has many advantages, it’s far too easy for challengers to make promises that – in truth – they simply can never deliver on. You simply can’t with any legitimacy, promise to keep taxes down and yet promise the world.
Do they know their limitations? Don’t think so. Go to council. Spend some time there.
If you want change, you’ve got some alternatives. If I was voting in Gloucester-Southgate, I’d make a quick mark for Deans – a hard-working candidate who has been fighting for her ward and this city for years.
MY APOLOGIES TO ORLEANS: It’s a bit shocking to see the number of candidates running in Orleans, the ward left without an incumbent with the surprise exit of incumbent Bob Monette. He’s been a solid rep for the ward – and a great city rep as well. More on Monette in future blogs. But here’s the truth. I simply can’t evaluate all of the candidates running to replace Monette – and I would never, ever endorse someone unless I was 100% confident of that endorsement. You’re on your own, with my apologies,