The city's mayoral campaign got a little more interesting last evening when Tom Martin fired both barrels at Mike Savage, the candidate the polls say leads the race heading into October 20th's municipal election. It happened during his closing comments at a candidates debate at Citadel High. Martin painted Savage as a member of the politcal elite spending his way to win the election. "I don't want the backing of political parties in municipal politics," Martin told the audience. "I don't need the extragance of a $200,000 campaign. And we as citizens can never offer up the mayor's chair to the highest bidder." Ka Pow!! Savage certainly has the backing of representatives connected to the three political parties. And he is running a costly campaign. Whether Martin's comments will resonate with the voters or be considered the last gasps of a losing effort remains to be seen, but at least the election campaign is finally getting a little spark.
Savage by the way calls Martin's attack "bizarre...inappropriate," adding he didn't think a mayoral campaign is the place for these "kinds of personal attacks."
Mayor Peter Kelly will leave office next month with a low approval rating from the residents of the city he's governed for 12 years. A Metro Halifax "City Matters" survey gives Kelly only a 5.7 ranking out of 10. 23% ranked him higher, 18% lower. There is no question the time had come for Kelly to leave, three terms in office is plenty. And he has had his share of issues, from concert-gate to the expulsion of the Occupy folks from the Grand Parade. But Kelly, to be fair, has worked hard for this city with successes like the harbour cleanup and the Canada Winter Games. He certainly deserves more credit than this survey gives him.
The mayhem on city crosswalks continued last evening. A 19 year old man is fighting for his life in the QE2 Hospital today after he was struck while walking on a crosswalk last night in Dartmouth. It happened at Pleasant and Carleton around 9. The driver of the car did stop immediately but police have not yet decided on what if any charges will be laid. Hardly a week goes by we don't hear or read about a crosswalk mishap in this city, yet city hall's Traffic Authority refuses to consider the many excellent alternatives the public's been suggesting the past few years from flashing red lights instead of yellow to crosswalk flags. There are too many of these mishaps. It's time to not just talk about it, but to improve crosswalk safety.
I suspect the city may have a lawsuit on its hands. I'm sure developer Joe Metlege is talking to his lawyers today after yesterday's Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision siding with three community groups and quashing the sale of the St Patricks-Alexandra school to Metlege. Blame city council for the mess. It bungled the sale to Metlege who had threatened legal action against the city if the sale did not proceed. Stay tuned.
Have a great day. Get involved. And if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.