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January 31, 2013


This is a story? This isn't high school. So what if he runs for mayor. Anyone can. He'd do an amazing job if he did. He'd get my support.

I second that Mario. I'll throw in my support.


And cue the sharpening of the knives. I can see this getting bloody even before anyone's nomination papers are filed.

Go Cam go..and say no more.

Almost anyone is better then what we have
We just need 8 more people to run for council
I'm in Cam,let me know if and when you need help with your CAMpaign

Cam would get all our family's votes. C'mon Cam, go for it and get rid of the nonsense we have in there now.

There's a chance that Karen won't even run again, it's got to be disheartening that events outside of her control have conspired to get her criticised by just about every faction in town. Certainly whoever wins next time will have it a lot easier, most of the grunt work will have been done and they can blame anything bad on the previous regime.

I wouldn't be surprised if 3 or 4 current councillors make a run for Mayor next election, especially if Karen doesn't run again. Which 3 or 4 will determine how interesting the race will be.

Ray, I agree that the next mayor may "have it a lot easier" to the extent they will at least initially have more confidence of the people, but you can't run a city on hubris for two terms without creating some big issues for the next one to sit in that chair. So, perhaps any leeway one may have with the public may be quickly cancelled out when it comes to facing some big issues. A likely case of Cam being vilified for cleaning up the mess. So politically, Ray, you may have what it will be for the next mayor... approximately backwards.

All of us, Karen included, are being steam-rollered by unprecedented change and growth. But the current administration seems woefully unable to control and shape how those changes will occur. And they will have spent a quarter of a billion, if you include a new library, on new projects, not one of which we needed. Our borrowing being maxed out will be their lasting legacy.

There is definitely a disconnect of sorts in maxing out money that is not actually yours, to be repaid by someone else in money and diminished financial manoeuvrability long after the new whatever has long lost its shine. But as for the change around us, there is never an inevitability in the choices we make with our money -- the success stories prove that.

I would not vote for Guthrie if he ran for mayor. I don't trust the guy ... not sure how anyone could given his track record of deception and lies.

Well, faint hope for an articulate and respectful campaign just flew out the window. Must be easy to take cheap shots from the (anonymous) sidelines.

Cam Guthrie is the most honest straight forward person we have on council.
I sometimes think it holds him back.

Give your head a vigorous shake DC.

Well there you have two diametrically opposed opinions on the same man. That pretty much defines politics, doesn't it?
I've met Cam a few times and he's really somewhere in between.

I guess, that tells me, I should meet Cam to see where in between he stands. He would be improvement nonetheless.

'Value for money' transcends *all* political stripes. I've spoken with Cam a few times, and we don't claim the same stance, and yet we agree on so much.

I'd rather a solid figure that's real and slightly imperfect than a perfect illusion.

Guelph Council have done themselves no favours by contradicting themselves at most every turn.

It's time for some honesty, even if it has a few imperfections.

Unlike our previous 3 Mayors, Cam couldn't be deceitful if he tried, it's just not in his spirit or psyche. His misadventures with more than one online personna were more the missteps of a tech nubie than an attempt to deceive. The Mayor's campaign manager, on the other hand, deliberately and amateurishly used multiple identies to slag me and others, and the Mayor forgave her when she should have canned her ass. In the last municipal election the left used a multiple of dirty tricks in a campaign they were doomed to win anyways. It was all really rather puzzling and unnecessary.

If Cam's smart he'll hold off on his declaration of candidacy until others have thrown their hats in to the ring. Guelph is a left-leaning city (this blog notwithstanding) and won't elect a staunch conservative in a one-on-one race against a more progressive opponent. His only chance is if he's the only Con in a larger field of candidates and can benefit from vote-splitting.
I say this because he's a good councillor and I'd hate to see him give that up for an unsuccessful run for mayor. Even though we're opposites politically, I appreciate that he's working hard to keep people accountable and keep the spending from getting out of control, which I have to admit my fellow leftists are prone to do sometimes.
And if he wins, I can only hope he'll have outgrown his admiration of Rob Ford by then.

Cam Guthrie will thump anyone running against him who is even remotely linked to Her Royal Highness and Court.

Steve writes:
[Guelph is a left-leaning city (this blog notwithstanding) and won't elect a staunch conservative in a one-on-one race against a more progressive opponent.]

I question that from the many folks I've discussed politics with in this town (it's a city, but you know what I mean). From a number of comments CG has made, he's not dyed in the wool right wing. The key word is an overwhelming desire for "accountability". On some items, I find myself to the right of him, and I'm an avowed Radical Centrist.

[his admiration of Rob Ford] Now THAT worries me. Perhaps someone could get him on record disavowing that. There's some right wingers who garner great respect. Ford certainly isn't one of them.

I don't think Mr Guthrie would dare mention "Subways" in Guelph unless he meant the sandwich shop....

There are some truly well written and thoughtful posts. I think this one following is a cue to how sentiment can hinge:

Geo writes:
[Cam Guthrie will thump anyone running against him who is even remotely linked to Her Royal Highness and Court.]

There is certainly a growing sentiment to buttress that (and I'm a newcomer in Guelph, but can sense the growing cynicism) but it won't be easy.

But events are working against the incumbent. Note the court battle the Mercury and other journals are reporting on, as it appears on today's Mercury:
[Urbacon ‘couldn’t have done any more’ on city hall build, court hears]
Without commenting on the details of the case, or even the likelihood of winning or losing the case, the fact is that Guelph's 'business ethics' are being dragged through the mud. It matters not as to who signed various contracts, it's the *incumbent* who carries the can. And Guelph's lot is sinking fast on a number of matters.

The 'illusion' is starting to crumble.

As an outsider sampling this town for the last three years, I'd have to say there's a longing for *pragmatism* in place of the puffed-up (and false!) ego-centric 'we're so much better than anyone else' attitude. It's gotten Guelph into a lot of fiscal trouble.

I think whoever the next mayor is, selling 'pragmatism' is going to get them there.

I did not know that Cam admired Ford. One can admire certain aspects of Ford and learn from his mistakes, how not run a city.

Go Cam go!! You have my support!

"I'd rather a solid figure that's real and slightly imperfect than a perfect illusion."- Well put Stephen Sains.
As someone who has know Cam since childhood, I can assure you he's not perfect but he is honest and compassionate. He's a genuine guy with good people around him to hold him accountable. I believe he would make a fantastic mayor, but he needs a council to back him. So who's up for running with him?

Interesting comments... I find it most interesting that so many are keen to declare CG plans to run when he hasn't decided himself yet what's best for him, his family, or the city. I know... I publicly declare I'm related to his wife (just in case anyone tries to declare me a made-up persona!). I'm not a voter in Guelph, so my opinion of him is not relevant. My suggestion is simply to quit trying to browbeat him into a decision and let him do his job as councillor until the time for declaring candidacy is upon your city.

Good one Sarah. You've added a whole new dimension to the situation. A delightfully ironic one. No more browbeating, folks.

If Cam Guthrie decides to run for Mayor in the next election I believe a lot of people who don't normally pay attention to civic politics will come out and support him.

Meanwhile there is still lots of time for Farbridge and friends to get us even deeper in the hole, so by the time the next election rolls around the "Ikea Monkey" could send her Royal Highness packing.

Suresh Naik writes:
[I did not know that Cam admired Ford. One can admire certain aspects of Ford and learn from his mistakes, how not run a city.]

Since I was party to promulgating that (I didn't initiate it) I feel a responsibility to setting the record straight.

I've come into correspondence to correct that.

In a nutshell, it's not true, albeit aspects of Ford's performance do ring true to fiscal conservatives. His "antics", however, do not and will never appeal to Cam Guthrie so I am told.

Must leave it at that.
Thank you Kristen for compliment. I hope my words were original. It came a bit too easy when I was typing it, but it really does ring true.

I can't wait to see what Cam decides is best for the city!

I think Cam would make a great Mayor. I sure hope he runs. If he does he has my total support, and I'll be happy to help get him elected. Guelph needs a centrist with fiscal sanity, Cam would do well in this role!

It's not even like Cam is the great right hope, it's just that for 3 elections in a row we have had a choice between tweedle- dumb and tweedle-dumber, and in fact last time it was even worse than that. We had the incumbent, an ancient perpetual loser, a grizzly, and a plebe. Anyone with a real job that they liked, like Gloria Kovach, couldn't run for fear of winning. I don't think that Cam has that problem.

Gloria can't be too tied to her job, since she ran as the federal Tory candidate a few years ago...which I'm pretty sure is a full-time gig.

Karl: Centrist? The Liberal party in Canada is Center-Right at best. Do you consider Cam (and yourself) left of the Liberals?

Hi Steve, You may be right about the Liberal Party of Canada, I would argue that the Ontario Liberals have been left of center. (tax/spend/big government/economic government meddling, etc).

Cam had told me once that what attracts him to municipal politics is that you are not bound by labels and dogma like, left, right, conservative or liberal, but rather you can pick and choose your own policies and ideas based on your own view points and the needs of the community.

Everything I know about Cam suggests a person with fiscal restraint and policy ideas from the center, along with a great capacity to listen and respect all peoples viewpoints with compassion and understanding.

@Ray - so are you the "incumbent, an ancient perpetual loser, a grizzly, or a plebe"? ;-)

I was actually 3 of the 4.

Karl, I agree about Cam. He's a very honest and reasonable guy and has the best of intentions, but he's described himself as a right-wing politically, and has firmly aligned himself with the Conservative party at every level, and as far as I know hasn't disavowed himself of any of their policies or actions.

As for the Ontario Libs, they've spent like drunken sailors but they've also cut business & corporate tax rates and have eroded labour rights, so I wouldn't call them left wing, just free-spending conservatives...kind of like Mulroney was.

It will be nice to have someone with a sense of fiscal responsibility in the Mayor's office for a change. Go Cam!

Unfortunately, given the pattern of voting in Guelph, this race will be all but decided strategically as soon as nominations close.

I'm hoping that the fiscal responsibility set will all support Cam as the candidate with the best shot.

While I think Cam would have a good chance in a one-on-one against Karen, (plus the usual set of inconsequential cranks, of course), I'm certainly not above hoping that the left's usual disarray, so obvious during the occupy and idle-no-more movements, holds so that the left will run every decent candidate.

Then, assuming Cam runs and wins, there's the problem of council. The Mayor certainly doesn't govern in a vacuum. Cam will need more than a few fiscally responsible councillors to back him up.

At a minimum, can we please give googleicious Maggie Laidlaw the sack? She's embarrassing. It's like being represented by a leftist, tax-and-spend, less-well-spoken Rob Ford. At least Ford provides some value by coaching football.

And, counter intuitive as it seems, I'd like to see two centre-right candidates this time in my own ward. Last time, we had only one reasonable candidate against two tree-hugging, free-spending lefties. The problem is that people will vote either for the reasonable one and the least-offensive leftist, or the two lefties. That leaves the lefties with a bunch of free votes. This time I'd like to see a couple of good solid candidates, even if one simply acts as a spoiler.

Grumpy writes:
[And, counter intuitive as it seems, I'd like to see two centre-right candidates this time in my own ward. Last time, we had only one reasonable candidate against two tree-hugging, free-spending lefties.]
I had trouble following your logic there. You want to split the vote on the 'right' to balance the split on the 'left'? Is that right?

Why? I'm all for fairness in essence, but if you wish to see someone win a race, why gamble by splitting the votes in the very way you describe?

Btw: It's an opinion, but I think it's defeatist to talk in generalized terms such as 'left' and 'right' when labelling politicians, esp civic ones.

I think we have an excellent bar to hold all to: "Accountability".

On that issue alone, there's a lot for Guelph Council to answer for.

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Joanne Shuttleworth is the newsroom lead in municipal affairs coverage for the Guelph Mercury. She is a former Guelph YWCA Woman of Distinction honouree and a past winner of an Ontario Newspapers Award for her work as an editor. You can reach her at jshuttleworth@guelphmercury.com

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