Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mayoral Candidate: Bob Ligertwood

I like him already. Just one picture is all it took.
Imagine Doc Brown has had time to settle down, but needs glasses, and learned to slick his hair back. Now put him in a suit. Hell, why don't we just give him the position now?

He has run for office before, in 1992 gaining 0.73% of the votes in the year Jan Reimer was elected, in 1995 earning 0.26% of the votes when Bill Smith was elected, in 2001 with 0.22% of votes while Bill Smith remained Mayor, and 2007 with 0.82% under the name Robert Ligertwood while Stephen Mandel defended the position he had earned in 2004. Personally, I think this kind of trend is not a good sign, but hope springs eternal, right? He even echoes Kennedy in his "I am an Edmontonian!" but without the subtle reference to pastries, I'm not sure it has the same effect. Also without the whole "decorated war hero" bit, but it's really the pastry reference that makes it.

He is also of the opinion that our infrastructure is in sore need of revitalization. Like others, he mentions that the core services are being neglected, and pledges to focus on those, but when pressed about some neighbourhood's concerns over high-rise buildings being erected he pats them on the head and tells them to go play, the big kids are working, no you can't have an arena, stop whining.

Someone might want to drop him a memo that even when construction jobs are going "over budget", such as the 23rd avenue interchange, you can't just "not continue" with it. It's not like a date, where when your companion orders the lobster, you can just excuse yourself to the bathroom and ditch out the window (she can cover for you, right?); the interchange knows where you live, and might spray paint your windows.

He also admits that he feels the 13% pay raise, up to $72,000, is reasonable, which puts him in a vulnerable position as far as cost-saving pundits go, but I can't really disagree. When I compare the salary to my own, they're only earning a third more than I do (Stop doing that math! You don't need to know!), and all I do is sit on my butt and push buttons. Councillors at least make decisions. The only decision I make is when I'm sitting on the can and the phone rings, whether I should finish in a rush, hurry out the door, and desperately try to grab the phone with my pants around my knees, or just say screw it. (The fact that others work in my area, facing this dilemma, and I don't doubt the "hand washing aspect" is sacrificed for time, keeps me up at night.)

Like most candidates, he is pro-democratic process, he wants people to get out and vote; he believes the people elected would act differently if 85% of the population voted, instead of the paltry %30 we have on average. He believes it is because city-sponsored events have fallen in number. Apparently in 1992 there was %50 which has fallen to %28 in 2007. Sorry, was that confusing because there's no reference to what the percent represents? It's obvious. He's saying he likes to quote meaningless statistics without any frame of reference or context, and use it to uphold his position. If you don't want to take his word for it, you can study these realities for yourself on the Internet. No, I didn't miss copying the link. He just says "study these realities for yourself on the Internet." He blames the media. There's not enough information out there. Don't worry, Bob, I've got your back! We can fill the world with information*!!
*may not be useful, accurate, or true.

Unless underage people can access that information. Mr. Ligertwood does not believe children should have unsupervised access to computers in the Edmonton Public libraries. He argues that we must feel completely safe with our children at the library alone. Please read that again. "feel completely safe having our minor children at the Edmonton Public Library on their own". I don't have children, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the idea that anything could happen to them while they were out on their own is scarier than the idea that they could stumble on a dirty website. I think once I feel comfortable letting them wander to the library by themselves, I will likely feel comfortable that they are mature enough to stay away from bad sites. (Perhaps an expert opinion; Mom?)

He is also opposed to the bylaw prohibiting aggressive panhandling. Please note the date involved in this (2009); even the Vatican is moving at a faster rate than this guy on dealing with issues. Anyway, since he had a positive experience with a panhandler (Alice the Quarter Lady) he doesn't think that any of them are dangerous and so we should all live in harmony and happiness. I agree that there are occasionally good people who are in tough situations and they deserve assistance, but these are not who the law is aimed at, and stereotyping all homeless people as good people is just as wrong as assuming they're all bad. Here's the latest development on the situation; not a bylaw, but a much better solution. Gives me warm fuzzies.

Since it is the topic of the moment, his take on the municipal airport is quite simple, he would like it closed. He feels the arena would be a better investment for the area, and heck, they can keep one runway open next to the arena for "rich guys". The way I see it, the airport is an all or nothing endeavor. Either we close it and reap all the benefits, or keep it open and gain those benefits. To keep it half open would be ridiculous, which is why no one else has suggested it. 

Anyway, I think that's enough from Mr. Bob Ligertwood. I am just not sure I could elect anyone who would use the phrase "would of been" when they meant "would have been".

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