The unofficial results are in and we have seen a mix of change and returning of the old guard happening. It’s a whole new ball game now; an entirly new dynamic. Here’s the list of who the fifteeen around the table will be:
Mayor – Naheed Nenshi
Ward 1 – Dale Hodges
Ward 2 – Gord Lowe
Ward 3 – Jim Stevenson
Ward 4 – Gael Macleod
Ward 5 – Ray Jones
Ward 6 – Richard Pootmans
Ward 7 – Druh Farrell
Ward 8 – John Mar
Ward 9 – Gian-Carlo Carra
Ward 10 – Andre Chabot
Ward 11 – Brian Pincott
Ward 12 – Shane Keating
Ward 13 – Diane Colley-Urquhart
Ward 14 – Peter Demong
The biggest question facing how this new council will work together is what kind of a chair will Naheed Nenshi be. Will he be a bullying mayor (not likely) or more laissez faire in his control of meetings? Or might he be more like Bronconnier and give alderman some leeway, but keep them on a short leash if they stray too far outside what is prescribed in the procedural bylaw. An alderman like Druh Farrell will live and die by the answer to this question. Nenshi could help focus her and turn her into one of the most productive aldermen on council. Diane Colley-Urquhart could be one to struggle if she doesn’t bring herself prepared to meetings with a plan on how to present her requests.
Of course the new faces on council will provide an interesting dynamic as well. How will Gian-Carlo Carra implement his vision? He’ll have to do the same as Colley-Urquhart and be prepared to have a plan too, otherwise he could find himself as the next Druh Farrell of council: someone with great ideas but struggling to get people to understand or enact them. It will all come down to clear communication with their colleagues for all three of these alderman. The same could be said of Shane Keating and Richard Pootmans as well. Both are strong aldermen, but could find themselves floundering if they don’t get into Nenshi’s good books or find a way to focus their asks into a clear, straightforward way. They could end up being at odds with the mayor and the majority of council and thereby getting themselves – and their voters – thoroughly frustrated if they don’t.
Gael Macleod is a bit of an unknown. I think she will probably fit well into this group and will be an effective alderman as Hawkesworth was before her. Look for her to do a lot of listening and learning in the early days before she proves to be one of this group’s steadiest members – provided she finds her niche.
Peter Demong is another big question mark. With McIver and Connelly gone he provides councils most conservative voice. Whether he ends up as the strong fiscal hawk on council or a “right wing nut job”- as he has been painted by some – will entirely be up to him. I expect he will buddy up to Jim Stevenson and Dale Hodges to look for some wingman support. If he gets this, and stays consistent in his messaging, he could prove to be a very effective voice on council just as McIver was for 9 years. I hope it goes this way as the alternative is becoming a laughing stock, dragging Calgary down with him. And no one wins in that scenario.
Provided Nenshi (as mayor) and Brian Pincott (as the “elder statesman”) find a mutual respect for one another and each others talents, Pincott could prove to be council’s best member. If Nenshi figures out how to keep his campaign followers engaged, Pincott could be one of the biggest beneficiaries by following the new mayor’s example and engaging his constituents in a way he hasn’t up until now. If Pincott was more transparent and had a bit more of a following like Nenshi, he could do some amazing things that would surprise even the most steadfast ideologue. This will take a lot of work on Pincott’s part and a willingness from Nenshi to help him. Pride will need to be swallowed.
The same as Pincott holds true for John Mar. If Nenshi and Mar find common ground Mar could be a leader on council. If they don’t, he could very well become Nenshi’s biggest pain. Unfortunately this would rob Calgarians of much Mar has to offer. The exact same could be said of Chabot. Mar and Chabot have often been “swing votes”. It will be fascinating to watch what way they swing now.
The one thing that I think is probably a given is that – provided they agree on the budget – Gord Lowe could become a de facto “second in command”. I’m confident Nenshi will look to him for guidance and, for lack of a better term, fatherly advice. (Nenshi won’t need political advice. Not that he’d listen to it anyway.)
We won’t have to wait long to see whatever new dynamic emerges because being locked in a room together for organizational meetings in their first week together followed by the lengthy budget negotiating process will force them to get to know one another before we every really get a chance to know them ourselves.
PS – Did you see the 2007 Helene Larocque redux? Incumbent Linda Fox-Mellway took a beating and ended up placing forth in ward 14. Just like ward 3 in 2007, it looks like ward 14 REALLY wanted a change this time around.
Cross posted to CalgaryPolitics.com
Today Naheed Nenshi has announced he will be running for mayor. On Monday we can expect a similar announcement from Bob Hawkesworth. The big winner from these announcements? Ric McIver.
As recently as yesterday, things were not looking great for Mr. McIver’s chances of becoming Calgary’s next mayor. As each mayoral candidate announced (Joe Connelly, Jon Lord, Craig Burrows) observers could see small parts of McIver’s assumed lead chipping away. Once Kent Hehr announced, enough had been chipped away that we were looking at a very real two way fight between McIver and Hehr.
With Nenshi and Hawkesworth entering the race, it’s fair to assume Mr. Hehr is now the one experiencing the chipping away of potential voters from his target group. It’s my guess that when it all plays out, enough will have been chipped away to return Mr. McIver to a healthy leading position once again.
What are your thoughts?
Cross posted to calgarypolitics.com
One of the more fun aspects of having a blog is the number of “tips” I get sent by readers and marketers. Usually there is very little newsworthy about them, other times they might be newsworthy but the tipster provides little in the way to back up their claim. In both cases I usually ignore the tip for those reasons. However this tip is different.
This past weekend I recieved a tip from two different sources that Diane Colley-Urquart, current alderman for ward 13, has been buying advertising space for a run at the mayor seat.
It strikes me this isn’t the kind of thing an overly enthusiastic volunteer would do without the candidate’s go ahead on a campaign, so I’m inclined to believe it to be a sign she’s in.
Neither tipster could provide evidence without outing themselves as a tipster and so I have none. But I know both of these folks and trust them, so I’ve decided to report it. Take if for what it is: completely unsubstantiated or verified by yours truly.
Personally I have my fingers crossed it’s true. We need more women running for council! It will be nice to see her make a run along side fellow aldermanic mayoral wannabes Joe Connelly and Ric McIver (still no official announcement from the latter).
It’s been the City’s worst kept secret that Ald. Ric McIver will be annoucing his intentions to run for Mayor at “Ric’s Block Party” on April 21 (5pm to 8pm, get your tickets here.) But what about Ald. Joe Connelly?
Ald. Connelly has been saying for a little bit that he would make an announcement between now and May. An email sent out today has set the date for this announcement however: tomorrow. Expect him to be trying to scoop Ald. McIver by getting out of the Mayoralty gate first (even if only by a week).
Here’s the full text of the invitation. Be there or be… running for alderman (? I suppose).
Media and Guest Invitation for Announcement by
Alderman Joe Connelly, Ward Six
City of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta Alderman Joe Connelly, Ward Six, City of Calgary will be making an important announcement on Wednesday, April 14 in his Ward at the Strathcona Community Association.
Media and guests are invited to attend as follows:
Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Time: Meet and Greet 3:00 pm
Announcement 3:30 pm
Location: Strathcona Community Association
277 Strathcona Drive SW, Calgary, AB
Phone number of the Community Association: 403.249.1138
Free parking available
For further details contact:
Joe Connelly [deleted for privacy]
Corinne Wilkinson [deleted for privacy]
This post has been cross-posted to CalgaryPolitics.com.
The world has changed a LOT in the last few years. Things are speeding up so fast many of us have difficulty keeping up. Stereotypically the ones complaining about this “speeding up of life” are members of older generations. This isn’t ageist – its just that those under the age of 35 have grown up with a high level of change and haven’t been around long enough to remember any form of ”good old days” when the pace of life was different.
As my grandma once told me: each generation that has passed has experienced more change in their lifetime than the one immediately preceding them. Or you could just ask anyone who has had to ask a toddler to program their latest gadget; they’ll tell you. (My best friend’s daughter who is just two is already better than I am with Skype for example.)
While it has been my experience frame of mind, rather than age, is usually a much better indicator of willingness to work with – rather than against – the new challenges the world may give you, there is sadly no denying it can be a factor. So with that in mind, here is the list of the ages of Calgary City Council incumbents as of voting day 2010. Decide for yourself if their is an age pattern to the ones you agree with, and compare your philosophies with the ones about the same age as you.
Although, there are none under 40 so I can’t really compare myself on that basis. And I’m not sure how many of my blog readers will be able to either. (Perhaps that’s a naive assumption on my part however.) Either way, I still find it interesting to know the demographics of those who represent me and I thought you might too. So here they are:
Dave Bronconnier – 48
Dale Hodges – 69
Gord Lowe – 71
Jim Stevenson – 65
Bob Hawkesworth – 59
Ray Jones – 57
Joe Connelly – (Couldn’t find his age.)
Druh Farrell – 51
John Mar – 41
Joe Ceci – 53
Andre Chabot – 51
Brian Pincott – 49
Ric McIver – 51
Diane Colley-Urquhart – 61
Linda Fox-Mellway – (Couldn’t find her age.)
These ages are based off of numbers I pulled from the introductory articles of candidates in one of our two big newspapers during the 2007 election, so I can’t vouch that they are 100% accurate. Please forgive me if there is a mistake.
And yes, there is something to be said for having life experience too.