Election 2018: Common Themes

This campaign has eighteen candidates running for positions of mayor, deputy-mayor or ward councillor in Mississippi Mills. Seven of them are current members of council. Nine of the eleven challengers are running negative campaigns. Their brochures and social media provide a long list of failures of the current council and how the challengers’ plan to fix them. The current Council is not perfect and cannot claim to have always made the best choice, but it is not guilty of all the infractions attributed to it.

Here are some of the common complaints taken from brochures and statements at candidate meetings. 


Election 2018: Municipal Finance 101

According to brochures from nine of the current slate of candidates, the municipality’s finances are a mess. Their statements at candidate meetings reinforce that perception: apparently, the municipality taxes too much, it has too much debt and it mismanages reserves.

Voters should view all such remarks with skepticism. First-time candidates--and reruns trying to make a mark--always make alarmist statements about municipal finances. I did in 2010. I wasn’t lying—I just had my facts wrong. That is okay. It is an honest mistake. Sadly, one mayor candidate is calling for a forensic audit. That is just posturing and fear mongering. (The town has its books audited each year by the same firm that audits the county and most municipalities in Lanark.)

Let’s have a look at reserves, debt and taxes. (I have had all this material vetted. You can count on the numbers.)


Election 2018: Who are the PRATAC Candidates

The Pakenham Ramsay Almonte Taxpayers Advocacy Coalition Inc, a.k.a. PRATAC, has emerged as a force in the upcoming election. It has used inflammatory information to whip up support, especially in rural areas. Given the group’s strong opinions on local issues—e.g., they are against bike paths, against the heritage conservation district, and for ATV use along the OVRT in Almonte, and given their members have a goal to put one of their followers in every position on the new council, voters may like to know who the PRATAC candidates are.


Election 2018: Second All-Candidates Metting

I attended the second all-candidates meeting September 19. Held at the Stewart Community Centre in Pakenham, it show-cased candidates running for councillor in that ward, plus for mayor and deputy-mayor.

There were several common themes: