Like many others, I’ve been participating in Port Moody 2011 Municipal Election, a Facebook group started by Gregory Cossey of Port Moody. Early on Gregory explained to me that he didn’t have enough information (to make an informed decision) and probably many others probably didn’t either. It’s going to be difficult for many to decide where undecided votes will go, so a big shout out to Gregory.

While this page only has 60 or so people talking, beyond the traditional methods of engagement (e.g. All Candidates Meetings, mailings, signs, etc), it was a gift to candidates, to express their concerns, to get their views and solutions out there, and differentiate themselves from each other, including the incumbents.

Most of the new candidates are at a huge disadvantage because they don’t have the name recognition of incumbents.

At the first All Candidates meeting there was an inordinate amount of time spent by candidates letting us know about their Port Moody roots.

As you are aware the city is hiring a new manager. Do you think it is important how long the new manager has lived in Port Moody?

No, of course not, because we want the best person available and that means looking for experience beyond the borders of Port Moody. So why was it important for you to keep telling voters how long you and your ancestors have been here? It isn’t.

Few were up to the job of holding the incumbents accountable?

I saw one candidate in Coquitlam advertising a long list of committees served on (lots of activity), but little about what outcomes were achieved.

Activity is easy to report; after all, anyone can attend meetings or events.

It’s the results clearly demonstrating effectiveness that should count.

Several of the candidates spoke about a longer-range vision but have failed to get into specifics. This is the same with most of the issues.  At the Pleasantside All Candidates Meeting I heard one of the new candidates broadly state that he thought the previous council had done a good job, but didn’t say how or what he was going to do better! What a complete waste of air-time. Others have become sign-busters and got involved in other side-shows, rather than remaining focused on the issues and their solutions.

Where is the differentiation of candidates?

The incumbents should shine in this area given the past opportunities they’ve already had, but there are gaping voids in real meaningful, achievements and results reported by some of them. Look closely.

I’ve been open about two candidates I’m supporting, Robert Simons for Mayor, and Gerry Nuttall for Council, and for this very reason; results. I should add that I’ve also had the opportunity to work directly with these two candidates on different committees so my decision is based on exceptional first-hand experiences.

If you’re still having difficulty deciding who to vote for, don’t be fooled by candidates with lists of positions held or committees served on; look for concrete results.

Where is the differentiation in the candidates?

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