THEY’RE OFF AND RUNNING (THIS TIME, FOR SURE, I THINK)

And they’re off! As far as we know, anyways.

I screwed up yesterday and got ahead of myself. Just as well, because Doug Ford was about to sow confusion into the entire process. Though I’d like to see how he figures to save $25 million on 22 Toronto Councillors (that’s $1.36 million a councillor – how much do they get paid?).

If the provincial election earlier this year wasn’t enough for you, you’ll be happy to know that the quadrennial horse race known as the Ontario Municipal Elections is now off and running, at least as far as City Hall knows (provincial communications aren’t very good at the best of times and disastrous in case of change). Quadrennial means every four years, but you knew that, but there are a few who might not.

Friday was the last day you could sign up to run, with nominations closing at 2:00 to be precise. So, if you were thinking of giving it a shot, you’re too late now. And if you were being bugged by friends and acquaintances to go for it, you’re now off the hook.

Anyways, we now have a full field in the Thorold race, with no spots but the French School Board Trustees uncontested. And, out of 17 candidates for Thorold City Council (yes, 17) 2 for Mayor and 2 for Regional Councillor, only 4 are incumbents. In fact, of the candidates for Mayor, Councillors and Regional Councillors, they’re the only incumbents to the jobs they’re running for, although there are a number who are trying for a change of view.

If you want to know who these people all are, have a look at the City’s Candidate list. Some of them will no doubt be considered better than others, but I won’t let you off the hook here: you’re just going to have to do your homework and, if they come to your door, ask them questions. Appropriate questions, that is. The colour of their underwear is not appropriate (or relevant).

And, as part of Doug’s last-minute changes, we won’t be voting for the Regional Chair’s position for the first time after all, although we apparently picked up another candidate since yesterday. Maybe just as well, as most people have barely heard of the Region except in cases of scandal. So, no homework necessary here, as the Chair will be elected as always by the Regional Councillors who are elected next term.

So, the race is on and the list of candidates, which has been growing for a couple of months now, means lots of people to come knocking on your door and stuffing your doors and mailboxes with literature for you to read on vacation. But, if that doesn’t thrill you, at least you can take solace in the fact that, under the new by-law, they can’t put up their signs until 35 days before the election. That means that you’ll be able to clearly see the recycling materials the wind has blown from blue boxes until Monday, September 17.

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