It’s a two-way race in Beacon Hill-Cyrville ward where real estate agent Michael Schurter was a surprise last-minute candidate.
Incumbent councillor Tim Tierney was just getting ready to pop the champagne in celebration of being uncontested when On the City, From the Burbs phoned him to break the news of an unexpected candidate. What actually followed after that conversation between Tierney and I is now under an OPP investigation. There are unproven allegations that Tierney reached out to Schurter and offered to make a donation to the Ottawa Food Bank if Schurter didn’t go ahead with his registration. Tierney has said he did nothing wrong. Unfortunately for voters, the OPP investigation has cast a huge shadow over this particular raced.
During a media scrum following his registration as a candidate, Schurter said he was running because no one should be acclaimed, saying that’s not democratic. Well, I admire anyone who puts themselves forward, but as I pointed out to Schurter – if that was his sole reason – that’s really not providing an alternative.
“At the end of the day, I think he’s a good councillor,” Schurter said during the scrum. Well, if Schurter is happy with Tierney’s representation, pretty hard to buy into some of the allegations he’s making now about Tierney’s leadership.
Another concern? Schurter replied to a CBC survey calling for a “negative percentage” tax increase, but wants to see the Ottawa Police Board budget increase more than 2%. Apparently that’s the new math. As an aside, this sort of budget talk is pretty common from new candidates, vowing to reduce taxes but do more for city residents at the same time.
It’s certainly not clear how well Schurter knows this ward, one he doesn’t live in. I don’t believe you neccessarily have to live in the ward you run in. Neither Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder or Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans live in their wards, but I’ll bet no one knows their wards better.
But there’s just something out of sorts with Schurter saying he plans to move into the ward. Just a little too convenient.
It’s hard to understand why Tierney was so intent on being acclaimed. And depending on the outcome of the OPP investigation, it could be his downfall. But innocent until proven guilty.
Tierney has made some unfortunate office purchases on the public’s dime. Let’s hope he’s learned from those mistakes. He’s worked hard on the Ottawa Library file, seems to keep his residents happy and works hard on their behalf.
There really only is one choice in Beacon Hill-Cyrbville and that’s Tierney.
In Rideau-Rockcliffe, incumbent Tobi Nussbaum is being challenged by candidate Peter Heyck. Heyck seems like a nice, sincere man who cares about his community. But even he doesn’t seem to believe he has a chance of winning.
Heyck didn’t seem to have any issues with Nussbaum, and didn’t have a strong developed platform. At a Rogers debate, Heyck urged people to vote – then – as if an afterthought, remembered to say he’d like their vote. It certainly was one of the most cordial of debates. While clearly new, wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if Heyck makes a return run.