Super Hyper Qualified or Super Geniuses Need Not Apply?

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500 Donald Street East - Thunder Bay City Hall
500 Donald Street East - Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – POLITICAL Opinion – The process for candidates to file their paperwork in the 2022 Civic Election has been changed. There is an extra month in the timeline for candidates to file their papers with the returning office.

The number of candidates has been lower than 500 Donald Street East has expected at this point in the process. So far two candidates have filed seeking the Mayor’s seat. Three have filed running at-Large, three are seeking the Northwood Ward seat, and two have filed in McKellar.

Of all the incumbents, so far only McKellar Ward Councillor Brian Hamilton has filed nomination papers. Mayor Bill Mauro has stated he plans to seek re-election but has not filed his paperwork yet.

The McKellar Ward Councillor brought up the issue of few candidates filing their paperwork or stepping up to run as a candidate in October’s election at his town hall meeting on June 22nd.

In seeking to encourage people to put their names forward, McKellar Ward Councillor Brian Hamilton explained that, “You don’t need to be super hyper qualified or a super genius to run for Council“.

Hamilton then explained that a thick skin is needed as well.

No argument on a thick skin.

However, with all respect due to Councillor Hamilton, who is certainly passionate about our city, Thunder Bay as a community needs some of our best and brightest to step up to offer the best leadership possible to our city.

The statements by some wags in Thunder Bay, “Welcome to Thunder Bay set your clocks back 30 years” is perhaps evidence enough that we need to embrace more change than ever before.

The City of Thunder Bay is a massive operation with an operating budget of $307 million. Thunder Bay will face serious challenges as Councillor Hamilton pointed out last night. Inflation is going to take a big bite out of all of the city’s projects because everything will cost more.

Heading into the future – post pandemic – it is going to take far more than just a passion for the city, it is going to take some really smart people to help navigate our community into the future.

We are facing what will be limited opportunities for federal and provincial funding for many of the city’s wants, as senior levels of government start paying down debt. We will face growing competition for funding from other communities.

We already saw North Bay receive $28 million in funding for a sports dome and sports complex while our application was turned down.

Making sure our city’s administration is firing on all cylinders, can you say that in an era where growing green house gases need to be controlled? I digress. But making sure that administration is held to account is going to be vital for our city’s future success.

Let us all hope that we start to see as the Election 2022 timeline unfolds that there are some of our hyper-qualified and super geniuses  put their name forward as candidates.

Visit www.tbayvotes.ca for information on running for office.

James Murray