Several people asked me last week who they should consider voting for in the North Bay municipal election. They were casting their ballots in the advance polls because they might not be around or busy on election day Oct. 22.
Primarily, the people who contacted me were interested in what I thought about the mayoral candidates. As a former North Bay Nugget reporter and columnist, I have written about three of the four in the past and have some insight regarding local politics.
This is the first municipal election in almost two decades that I haven’t been a full-time journalistic observer and analyst. For most of it, I’ve been a keen participant in the dialogue and more than willing to share my opinions. My first column about North Bay city council was written 30 years ago when Stan Lawlor was at the helm, I was a property taxpayer during the Jack Burrows years and covered most of Vic Fedeli’s tenure.
It’s a bit different this time. For the last couple years, my work focus has been more on general news and sports. And municipal developments were not my first priority leading up to my last day with The Nugget Aug. 31.
Disclosure: I have not attended debates or campaign events. Most of the new information shaping my opinions is from media coverage and direct dialogue with some (not all) candidates. A fair bit is gleaned from social media trails, campaign material and whatever past knowledge can be mixed in. There’s a good Facebook Page called: Elected by You: North Bay 2018 that’s been acting as a portal with links to a variety of local media coverage and postings by candidates. And the Nugget published online today a roundup of links for what it published for each candidate HERE.
Note: There was a period in mid-August to mid-September when I was thinking a few of the council candidates might end up hiring me for campaign advice or communication services. That would have been an interesting new experience.
As it turned out, my services were not a hot commodity, and a better opportunity came along to keep me busy during this so-called retirement. So I decided, on Friday, to cut the last possible campaign fishing line before reeling it in as paid work.
It gives me a free conscience to comment in more detail about this election. I'll start with a foray into the mayoral landscape tomorrow and will follow with some commentary regarding council member options.