First, I want to thank my wife and daughter for their support over the course of my campaign. Sharing my vision really helped me see it through until the end and the credit for that accomplishment goes to them.
Next, I’d like to thank all of those who supported my campaign, read my blog posts, tweeted, retweeted and favourited my messages of hope, criticism and jokes (yes, I did try to be funny now and then). I also extend major ‘thank yous’ to everyone who emailed, spoke words of encouragement, voted and congratulated me for having the courage to run for public office. I’ve gotten to know some very nice people especially the good folks in the Old East Village. I’d like to give a shout out to them. Even though I didn’t become city councillor, I have won (actually we all have won) the satisfaction of knowing that the incumbent Steven Orser (the dark cloud over Ward 4) will no longer get to embarrass our ward or city as Ward 4’s incumbent any time soon.
As I have stated from the beginning, there was a new dynamic in this election not seen before, and it was triggered by the scandalous trial and antics of former mayor, Joe Fontana. The name recognition of the incumbents that has always predicted the outcome of London’s municipal election just didn’t quite work this time, except for 3 people: Usher, Hubert and Armstrong. It even baffled the political analysts who always seem to think they know how voters will react. But I was impressed that Londoners moved forward on electing a new council because the finally said, “enough!” We all pulled through and hopefully this chapter of city council’s dysfunction is long behind us.
With 11 new faces, a historic event for London, we’ve put ourselves back on the map, so to speak. There will be learning curves for the new councilors and some mistakes, hopefully not too costly, but we took a risk for change – a much needed risk for change. We’ve broken out of our ‘mold’ and into uncharted territory by taking a leap of faith. So I’ll watch with baited breath how this new council will function.
I’ve heard the skeptic’s point of view and I would be remiss as a former candidate if I didn’t say that I have some concerns about the Premier Kathleen Wynn/Jesse Helmer connection but, time will tell. After all I did challenge him on his “fair tax” plan, which I hope never comes to fruition. That said, Mr. Helmer’s no Orser, so we have someone who is willing to make a difference and can effect change.
As for my plans, I will go to work like I always have but be a lot more active in the community when I can. I’ll likely spend more time in the gallery during council meetings and stay abreast of the current issues. I’ll tweet and blog post when I can. After this run, it seems like I’ve been bitten by the local political bug although I’ve followed things on the federal level. Aristotle did say, “Man is a political animal”. Someone suggested I should run for a federal seat. I’m honoured for the suggestion but for now, I’ll keep it on the back burner.
Some of my initiatives I’d like Mr. Helmer to address, if possible: the food trucks, transitional psychological support services for Canadian vets, etc. That said, I think Mr. Helmer’s work is cut out for him because Mr. Orser left this Ward in state of ‘limbo’, in my opinion.
One last thing, for the 8 years of ineptitude, nonsensical bombast, wasteful spending and community neglect we all got from Stephen Orser, here’s my farewell message to him. When you watch the video you’ll get the point. Thank you all and all the best.