Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sean Chu Is In Fact Running For Ward 4 Alderman!

  In a previous post last month, I had wondered if Sean Chu would run for Ward 4 Alderman in the 2010 Calgary Municipal Election.  I had a brief coffee today with Sean and he in fact confirmed that he is in fact running for Alderman in Ward 4.  ( The Herald also has this story online now and it will likely be in tomorrows paper.) 

 Sean confirmed to me that he has decided to run and will make his official announcement at the Edgemont Community Association on Thursday May 20, 2010 at 10:30am.

 As per my previous post, I think that Sean's extensive community involvement and his 17 year career as a City of Calgary Police officer prove that he would be an excellent Alderman.  Sean has agreed to do a quick interview on Calgaryrants.com in the near future, so watch for it!

The race for Ward 4 just got a little more interesting!


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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Interview with Calgary Ward 1 Alderman Candidate Chris Harper

This is a continuation of a series of interviews that I will post about local candidates that are running in the 2010 Calgary municipal election. I do not endorse any of the candidates necessarily, unless stated otherwise. The intent is to allow the candidates a forum in which they can share some of their views.
This interview is with Chris Harper, an local active community volunteer that will be running for Alderman in Ward 1 this term.  Chris is a part of a new generation that "gets' social media and I first came across this chap on Twitter in fact! 

 What do you think is the biggest issue facing the voters of Ward 1 that is totally unique to that part of Calgary?

CH:  The largest issue facing ward 1 is change. The ward has been represented by the current Alderman since 1983 and has seen some substantial changes since then. Overall the residents I have spoken with feel that they have been well represented; however, state that the once healthy relationship with their Alderman is no longer present. Unreturned phone calls, lack of communication, and silence from their current Alderman are strong concerns for neighbourhoods especially as the challenges of a large City continue to mount and impact them.
This has led many I’ve spoken with to feel the current Alderman has done what he can and it’s time for someone new to step forward and rebuild the relationship with their Alderman they once depended upon and start to effectively address the issues they are concerned about.

The incumbent, Dale Hodges, has been the Alderman since 1983. Over the past 8 elections, Mr. Hodges has proven to win each election in a landslide. However, the 2007 election was one of the closest ( in Ward 1 standards anyways) over the past 25 years. Can he be beaten this time?

CH: Every election is a choice. Every incumbent faces the decision of voters and that decision is what makes anyone “beatable”.

The current Alderman has built a good legacy for Ward 1, but he’s not the future. It’s time that my generation stepped up to the plate and showed the maturity and leadership necessary to build a future upon that legacy.
I’ve knocked on many doors over the past months (great exercise by the way!), met many people at community meetings, and received feedback personally. With the exception of three people, all have stated that they feel it’s time my generation stepped up to the plate and carried things forward.

Long-time supporters of the current Alderman are also saying they want a new generation to step forward. I stand as credible choice to deliver that change and renew the relationship with the neighbourhoods in ward 1 and the City of Calgary. For that reason, I feel that this election is the one where ward 1 will be renewed and better represented.

I like your mantra "Making efficient use out of what we already have". Does this mean you would oppose tax increases in Calgary, favoring to trim budget waste?

CH: I’ve worked with many organizations to do more with what they already have. The reward of putting this way of thinking into action is that efficiency becomes part of how things get done, as opposed to a contrast of how they should be.

  I would oppose unjustified tax increases in Calgary. I do not feel they are necessary. The only increase I support is an increase in understanding how our tax dollars are spent and how we can do more with what already exists. I’d like to see us stop thinking that budgets are the solution. The solution is found in how things get done. It’s about process waste and budget waste. When things get done efficiently, we can do more with what already exists and deliver more effective services to Calgarians.

  I don’t believe that City employees are where the waste is. I absolutely do not feel it is necessary to bring about layoffs to those employees delivering the services Calgarians depend upon. Giving employees greater control and judgement over providing services to Calgarians will improve the quality and value of the services provided. If there were reductions in staffing in a particular department, doing more with what we already have as a City would be ensuring those employees are placed in areas where demands for service are greater than the City of Calgary’s ability to deliver it.

  Leadership at the City has an opportunity to drive more positive outcomes by focusing not just on the budgets as the key measurements; but also the quality of service delivered to Calgarians. One of the key purposes of any City is to ensure that citizens are provided with services they can depend on. Let’s focus on delivering that without punishing tax and fee payers further.

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake that Dale Hodges has made as Alderman?

CH: I feel one of the more significant mistakes that the current Alderman has made is about relationships.

As an Alderman, it’s important to do your best to represent all neighbourhoods in your ward and the City. The current Alderman seems to focus on a select few neighbourhoods at the expense of the others. While this approach may win elections, it doesn’t win much for the ward as a whole.

We all pay taxes and user fees and we all deserve to get what we pay for. In my opinion, that includes a relationship with my Alderman. If my neighbourhood has a low voter turnout out does that mean I should not have a relationship with my Alderman? Of course not.
I’m intent on ensuring that each neighbourhood has a relationship with me as Alderman. I want to be open and accessible to anyone who reaches out to me and as much as possible reach out proactively myself.
I won’t always know all the answers, but I want neighbours to have confidence that I will find those answers for them regardless of which neighbourhood they live in.

As a 27 year incumbent, Hodges would seem to have a huge fundraising advantage over your campaign? How do you plan to fundraise? Do you think a lack of funds may hinder local campaigns?

CH: Our fundraising efforts have been underway for some time now. Considering how far out we started from the election, we are seeing a significant level of support financially which has enabled us to leverage technology and become very active much earlier. In addition, we’re seeing some great strength in the number of volunteers coming on-board.

I’ve worked with many individuals in my professional and community life. The support from them has been a key factor in our fundraising plan and one which has made me feel confident yet humble.

In addition, the campaign team has organized a fundraiser on June 24 at Cetnini Restaurant & Lounge where we will bring like-minded thinkers together for a great evening. Should our fundraiser go well we will be near our target necessary for funding the campaign.

A lack of funds does play a role in some races; however, when voters believe change is necessary, arguments and funding can do little to change their mind.
In my mind the biggest factor impacting local campaigns is the lack of restrictions on how much can be spent. Democracy, and participation in it as a candidate should be accessible and my observations are that we are gradually moving away from that.

  Chris has an excellent website and is all over the Social Media world connecting with people.  Check out his site at http://www.harperonside.com/   Best of Luck Chris!


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Monday, May 10, 2010

Interview with Ward 12 Alderman Candidate, Roger Crowe

 This is a second of a series of interviews that I will post about local candidates that are running in the 2010 Calgary municipal election.  I do not endorse any of the candidates necessarily, unless stated otherwise.  The intent is to allow the candidates a forum in which they can share some of their views.

This interview is with Roger Crowe, an active community volunteer that will be running for Alderman in Ward 12 ( Ric McIver's old riding) this term. 

I am a resident of Ward 12 and a potential voter. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the voters of this ward?
After meeting with and speaking to many residents of Ward 12, there are some obvious issues that come to mind. I have summarized these issues on my website at http://site.rogercrowe.ca/

One of the most glaring needs that inevitably comes up in any conversation is the inadequacy related to transportation; roadways, traffic and public transit. I have lived here in Ward 12 for almost 40 years now and I, and approximately 80,000 other members of the ward have to deal with these issues every day. Deerfoot Trail can only accommodate so much volume, so either we need alternate roadways, or alternate methods to get where we want to go. Public transit should be encouraged, but, unfortunately, the reality at this juncture, is that people will utilize it when it is competitive in terms of convenience, cost, and time with other transportation options. We must make public transport not only viable, but attractive to the good people of Ward 12. One easy step would be to introduce HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes so that people riding the bus could receive an incentive for doing so; the idea is that buses and carpools using the HOV lane would spend less time sitting in traffic. This seems to work well in cities such as Vancouver, which has a rather rotten road system all in all, but this seems to alleviate some of the suffering. I have written briefly on this topic in a critique of the Municipal Development Plan, PlanIt, please find it here at the CARTOD website  http://cartod.wordpress.com/cartod-and-planit-mdp/

A recent article on the Calgary Beacon website hinted at some bad blood between you and Ric McIver, hinting that you believe that Ald.McIver is pushing for recreation facilities in Quarry Park over the proposed Seton site for personal political reasons. Do you still believe this to be true?
I have no ill will of any sort towards Alderman McIver. He and I would both like to see a recreation centre built in the South-East, and we would both like to see this proceed immediately. We share much common ground around this issue. Where we diverge is in where we feel this future facility should be built. I have no interest or desire to speculate on Alderman McIver's reasons for his choice; he obviously feels
that his reasons are valid as do I regarding my rationale for this centre to be located at the Seton site.

Tell me why you would make a better Alderman than your opponents? What candidate will be the hardest to beat in Ward 12?

  It is my feeling that the good people of Ward 12 would like to support a candidate who represents their views; I have been living in this ward for almost 40 years now, living and dealing with the same issues each day as the other residents of this ward. I grew tired of telling myself, "hey, someone should really do something about that". Approximately 15 years ago I made the choice to stop telling myself this and start doing something about those things that I felt needed to be rectified. So I started becoming engaged in community affairs and my interests spread to the point where I now work with a number of groups dedicated to trying to make a difference here in Ward 12, and in Calgary as a whole.

A good Alderman must not only represent the interests of the people that they serve, but they must also have the skills, abilities, etc to represent those interests effectively. I have what it takes here and have a proven track record of getting things done at the community and municipal level; no one else running in Ward 12 has a solid track record of consistent success representing the interests of the people of this ward. In my work with CARTOD, http://cartod.wordpress.com/about/, the Seton Committee, http://www.wingspansoftware.com/seton/  and as President of the Willowridge Community Association, http://www.willowridge.ca/, I have successfully lobbied all levels of government,  I have stopped the thoughtless implementation of cellphone towers, and worked extensively will all levels of the City of Calgary on major multi-million dollar projects, such as the Anderson Station Transit Oriented Development project, in addition to many other activities. I share the views of the good people of Ward 12, I am able to be effective in representing and championing these views, and have a proven track record in doing so. No other candidate in this ward can make these claims.

In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake that Alderman McIver has made as Ward 12 Alderman?
I for one, would liked to have seen Alderman McIver declare his candidacy for Mayor earlier. Ric, I am sure, had his own reasons for the timing of this.

Did the decision of Ward 12 Alderman Ric McIver to run Mayor have any impact on your decision to run in this election? Would you have run against Ric McIver if he was still on the ballot?

I pride myself on being very grounded in reality; I don't feel that I, or anyone else for that matter, would likely have been able to unseat Alderman McIver in Ward 12. He has proven to be a very popular choice with the residents of the ward.

With no incumbent in the riding, are you finding it easy to fundraise and find volunteers? Is ever candidate on a level playing field?

Through my numerous groups and committees that I sit on and work with, I have been fortunate to meet and work with many talented and dedicated people. Many of these people have been very quick to throw their support behind my campaign, I am very grateful for this.

Certainly, I would welcome additional support and could certainly use it. This will be an eventful campaign and I anticipate further entrants into the race in Ward 12; perhaps the early entrants such as myself may possibly enjoy some advantage due to the fact that a number of us have already started the ball rolling, so to speak.

Roger Crowe

Aldermanic Candidate, Ward 12
President, Willowridge Community Association
First Vice-President, Seton Committee
Founding Member, CARTOD

I would like to personally thank Roger for sending in his responses to me!  He seems to be well organized and has some new ideas to share.  Ward 12 is definitely going to be a good race to watch! 


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Friday, May 7, 2010

Why is Linda Fox-Mellway looking for publicity over the South East Calgary Recreation Centre Site? ( Better Than Chocolates and Heavy Metal?)

 Is Linda Fox-Mellway still around?  I was really surprised to hear Linda Fox-Mellway's name in the news this week as she has really seemed to have gone into hiding over the past 3 years in my opinion.  Personally, I thought this irrelevant Ward 14 Alderman was packing up her office in anticipation of her pending loss in the October election.  Well folks,  she has poked her head out of the office door this week to make some waves about where "she" believes the South East Regional recreation centre should go, pointing to a site in Seton which would appear to protect her association with the Trico Centre facility.

Quick Background:

  •  The Calgary has earmarked $70MM for a regional recreation centre in the "deep southeast" area of Calgary.  Through their processes, which can be long and frustrating, the City has done an extensive consultation with the people in the catchment area, asking what they want to see built and what facilities are important to them. 
  • The city then appointed an official non profit group made up of designated community association representatives called the South East Calgary Recreation Society ( SECRS) ( for more info check out http://www.secrs.ca/ and www.secrsinfo.com ) the Community Advisory Group that will work in collaboration with the city to make recommendations about what the community wants built and where they should build it.  All of this must follow the established city of Calgary guidelines.
  • There is another volunteer group called the Seton Committee, whose mandate is to ensure that the SETON site is the only one chosen.  This group is made up of wonderful volunteers and I have a few friends on this group (I even attended a meeting before joining SECRS) and they are dedicated to the Seton site.  They feel ( probably correctly) that a Quarry Park location would be too close to their facility and would cause the Trico Centre some financial hardship.  
  • The SECRS group ( of which I am a member) has explored the various options and the city is now looking at proposals to build either Seton, Quarry Park and/or another recreation site at the same time ( or at different times) to help get the money flowing
For some quick, excellent reads...check out these links: http://www.calgarybeacon.com/2009/12/trouble-brewing-over-70-million-se-calgary-recreation-complex/  , SECRS Website Seton Group Website., SECRS Blog

Linda Fox-Mellway has recently tabled a notice of motion ( see below) that the City proceed with the Seton site and get on with it.

NM2010-APRIL 29

WHEREAS on 2007 November 6, at a Special Meeting of City Council, Mayor Bronconnier’s motion arising regarding “Coordinating Growth of Recreation and Sports Infrastructure” was approved, in which City Council approved, in principle, the investment of $210 million from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) Grant Program for the development of three new Regional Recreation Centres, (including libraries) to be located in the NE, SE and NW quadrants of the city;
AND WHEREAS the Recreation Amenities Gap Analysis (November, 2008) clearly identifies the need for a regional recreation facility in SE Calgary;

AND WHEREAS the Recreation Amenities Gap Analysis identified that residents in the SE catchment area prefer the development of a regional recreation facility;

AND WHEREAS the Joint Use Coordinating Committee (JUCC) has already secured a site as identified in the southeast Planning Area Regional Policy Plan (2004 January 19) for the development of a senior high school and a regional recreation facility in the Seton area of SE Calgary;
AND WHEREAS the Seton site is the identified location that is sufficient in size within the SE catchment area to accommodate both the indoor and outdoor amenities required for a regional facility;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council confirm and dedicate $70 million of the MSI funding set aside for regional recreation facilities, previously approved by Council, for the planning, development and construction of a regional recreation facility including the opportunity for library facilities at the Seton site;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that Council direct administration to begin the process of planning, design, and development of a regional recreation facility at the Seton site using the Council-approved MSI guidelines, leading to the construction and selection of an operating model for the Seton facility and report back on progress to SPC on CPS by January 2011.

I live in Cranston, right next to the Seton site...which I believe is a feasible location also. So whats the problem here?

1) This motion will be debated behind council doors, with no input from the public.
2) This motion shows that Alderman from outside wards can be lobbied to manipulate the process. The City of Calgary Dept of Recreation and Planning and Ald. McIver have worked continuously with the community advisory group and stakeholders to progress the project through the development process. So then what is the value in the City of Calgary working to establish a Community Advisory Group, having these volunteers spend hundreds of hours following the MSI guidelines if an Alderman from another Ward can be pressured by lobbying groups to influence decisions outside of her riding?

3) What is the point in following a process that was approved by City Council? Does this set a precedent for other future committees and hearings?

4) Linda Fox-Mellway has never taken the time to meet with the SECRS Group. Likely because she is a huge fan of Trico and its model. Check this link here for details. This just smells like political opportunity on her part in my opinion.

To me, it does not matter whether you support Seton, Trico or Quarry Park! I want a facility built in my area sooner than later also. The problem that I have is when MIA Alderman like Linda circumvent the process that the City of Calgary Alderman established themselves. Why is she deciding to get involved in civic affairs now? Perhaps she needs some good press, instead of her usual mantra of buying chocolates for supporters and Metallica Tickets for her kids on her city expense account.
Thankfully, there is a strong candidate rumoured to be considering challenging LFM to her Ward 14 seat this October. Event though I live in Ward 12, I will support the new candidate and will donate some funds and volunteer time to this challenger. I guess there really is nothing like getting involved politically in someone else's Ward, is there Linda?

Happy Friday!

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Interview With Calgary Ward 11 Alderman Candidate Ernest McCutcheon

  I hope that this first of what I hope to be a wide ranging series of quick interviews with local candidates that are running in the upcoming Calgary 2010 Municipal Election.  In the past, our local MSM has shown that they typically do not have the capacity ( or interest)  in focusing on all of the local candidates!  During these interviews I will ask each candidates a series of questions and have them answer them....unfiltered.  Unless specified, I do not endorse any of the candidates interviewed and only use the interview as a method to share the candidates views.  

 This interview is with Ernest McCutcheon, a candidate in Ward 11. 

  1) I grew up in Ward 11 also. Apart from the SW Ringroad...What do you think is the biggest issue facing the voters of Ward 11?

  EM:  The SW ring road is going to be a large issue over the next couple of years especially since other sections of the road throughout Calgary have now been approved, are in progress or have been finished. With the city growing, the congestion in the SW is only going to get worse. I wish I had a great answer as to what option is needed or is the best solution. Unfortunately, I don’t and will be the first to admit that (I don’t believe in giving an answer unless I know the answer). What I do know is that something needs to be done and fast. The solution should have the least negative impact on the residents, the environment and be cost effective (these three items have to go hand in hand with all being weighed equally). It comes down to planning. If we keep trying to put a patch on the problem, it will only cost more and be more difficult in the long run. I have tried to find solid cost estimates on the options and the information is pretty thin. The other options such as widening 14th street don’t make much sense to me either. While it may be an option in the future, I think it would need to be looked at after the ring road is finished. From a purely common sense point of view, if you widen 14th to get more people on the road you still have to get them off and the Glenmore access is pretty much full. So after you widen 14th do you then make more changes to Glenmore?

  As for other issues.... When talking to people, I always ask what they think. I know what I think, and I know what the media says but for me, what is truly important is what the residents think. The top items people mention are spending and accountability.

  I think we need to get back to basics. Though the city can’t ever be a business (and shouldn’t be), there is no reason the city council can’t take lessons from businesses. Businesses have to be fiscally responsible and look for efficiencies every day or they won’t be around very long. They can’t just go back to their customers and demand more but rather must find a way to be better and more effective. I am not advocating job cuts, but I am advocating that city hall needs to be as efficient as possible. City hall grows every year but services do not seem to improve as much. We need evaluate the budget rather than increase it every year as done in the past. Imagine the amount of money we could save if the spend it or lose it mentality was removed. Einstein said the definition of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This is what our city council has been doing! City Council needs to remember that the budget is not their playtoy, it is our money, yours and mine! We paid taxes and deserve to have it be spent responsibly.

Accountability is becoming a hot topic. In my opinion, this is as it should be because for far too long we have had a council that is accountable only every three years. When elected to public office, people seem to forget that they are there to represent all the people of the ward, not just the special interests or their own personal items. I think that the “in-camera” meetings need to be reduced. When there is a definite privacy issue or a security concern that is one thing, but without public scrutiny you can’t have effective government. If there is to be meetings behind closed doors, there needs to be some method of determining if it was necessary. And if not, then the records need to be made public immediately. This would allow people to question the decisions their representative makes.

2) What local volunteer work have you done in Ward 11? How have you reached out to the constituents in your ward?

EM: Tough question and one I am embarrassed to say I am lacking in. For the last number of years we have been running a small business and that has resulted in 12 hour work days on average. This is not meant as an excuse, but rather as a fact of life that when the recession hit I had to buckle down to survive with a fledgling business that was just getting off the ground. Before that, I was involved in the church I attended and traveled with a group to Uganda to build a playground and help at a school.

As for reaching out, I want to try and meet every person. I have tried to get in touch with all of the community associations and have had mixed responses. Some are excited about hearing from new people, others appear disinterested and some are happy with the status quo not seeing a need for change.
3) Campaigns take a lot of time, volunteers and money. I always respect people that put their name forward for elections. What made you decide that the time was right to run in 2010? Are you having a hard time finding volunteers? If not, where are they coming from?
EM: The decision to run came from some careful prodding of people I respect. My wife and I sat down and discussed the decision as we were expecting a new baby and I wanted to make sure that this was something she felt we could and needed to do. Family is important and often times it is too easy to get caught up with other things and forget that. So after many long conversations, we decided it was the right thing to do and the right time. Calgary is a wonderful city to live and work in. I have spent a lot of time in other cities across the prairies and have traveled throughout the US and have yet to find a nicer city. However, I think Calgary can be even better and I want to help make it so. I want to stand up and be counted, because if I don’t who will? We have so many people who are in city politics for their own agenda and themselves, forgetting that government is for the people. I have watched our municipal government over the past few years and cringed at what was happening. It wasn’t until someone told me to do something about it that I started to realize that I needed to stand up and not just be another person who sat back to complain, unwilling to step up and try and make the change.

  We are slowly finding people who want to help. I think people are tired; there are so many demands on their time but many are willing to find the time because they crave change as much as I do. As we meet more people, we are finding even more people willing to contribute their time which is great. Until the team fills up, I am going to do whatever needs to be done. That means that most days it is early morning with research and such, business hours is working on our business, late afternoon is phone calls, evening is doing campaign work and meetings. I finish my day by spending an hour or so with my wife and new daughter and then to bed. Sundays is my no work, no politics day. It is the day I reserve for family, that is the deal I have with my wife, and I don’t want to disturb people on a Sunday. We all work hard and need at least one day to spend as we choose, whether with family or friends. I am looking forward to meeting even more people who can respect my dedication to the campaign and hopefully the base of volunteers will start growing quickly.

4) Tell me why you would make a better Alderman than the incumbent? Also, what is the biggest mistake that Pincott has made as Alderman?

EM: I live in Ward 11. I believe that if you are going to represent a group or community, you should be part of that community. Because of this, the issues facing this ward are also the issues that I face personally as a resident. I think that it is important for the constituents to realize that the decisions that I would make as an alderman therefore also impact me. Twice it was suggested that I run elsewhere, but in both cases my response was simple: I want to represent the people I live with. I have received a lot of positive feedback regarding this choice I have made. Being a resident of Ward 11 when running for the position of alderman seems to be something that is important to people in the communities and that speaks volumes to me.

  I am conservative leaning. I believe in smaller government and agree with the statement that as government grows freedoms shrink. I think that when spending money the question has to be asked, “If this was my last dollar is this where I would spend it?” City council needs to have a touchstone of some sort. Today they don’t seem to. As I have said before and will continue to say, the money the city spends is not theirs it is ours, the residents of Calgary.

  I am not a special interests person, I think we need to care for our environment, but there are many other considerations as well. The arts are important but so are having the streets cleaned and the budget balanced. We need to work with residents and businesses to make our city better. There doesn’t need to be this ongoing battle between business and residents. When business is successful they hire more people, pay better and support important cultural things such as the arts. For me, this appears to be a good thing. We need to make our city attractive to both business and people.

  I want to be of service, this is a desire I have always had. When I was 17, I joined the reserves. Two years later, I chose to leave deciding that my family needed me more than the reserves. I had joined because of my desire to serve our country and I still think that it is one of the greatest callings to serve others in any capacity. I view politics as another opportunity to serve; an opportunity to serve Ward 11, the city of Calgary, the province of Alberta and Canada as a whole.

5) As the incumbent, Pincott would seem to have a huge fundraising advantage over your campaign? How do you plan to fundraise? Do you think a lack of funds may hinder local campaigns?

EM:  I think that the incumbents have an advantage simply because they are already in the position that we are all vying for. Those being said, if you plan properly, work with the people and work hard that shouldn’t be an obstacle that cannot be overcome. My team and I are contacting people we know (both individuals and businesses) and putting the word out that we want to be a positive voice of reason and change. One of the areas we are looking at trying to beef up is finding people to get involved in the fundraising (Interested???).

  As you will have noticed that I am pretty straight forward. If I don’t know something I am going to say so. We all have different opinions and that is what makes us great. I want people to vote for me not because I tell them what they want to hear but because they like who I am and what I stand for. We need people to stand up and say, “This is what I think and this is what I stand for!” Otherwise we are lost. Too often people who are in power or want to get in power will say what people want to hear, but I won’t do that. I would much prefer that people disagree with me so that we can have a frank, respectful conversation where we can express our views and be open to the other’s point of view.

 You can reach Ernest at his website at http://www.ernestmc.com/ 


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