Campbell River City Hall. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.

Campbell River City Hall. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.

More people should head into mayoral race

Younger voice could bring bold changes to city council

I usually get weirdly excited when an election rolls around.

It’s kind of like sports to me. I got into political journalism through Hunter S. Thompson, as I’m sure many journalists have. The way he writes about politics is kind of like how sports journalists write about football — which is actually one of the only passions Thompson shared with his arch nemesis Richard Nixon — the thing is, in this upcoming muncipal election I am pretty underwhelmed by the “teams” announced so far.

When Mayor Andy Adams announced his intention to not run in the election, he said that it was time to allow room for the “next generation guide our city’s future.”

“Council needs to reflect the community in age, gender, and ethnicity,” he said at the time. “We are a multicultural community and council should reflect that.”

RELATED: Campbell River mayor Andy Adams will not seek re-election this fall

While the slate of people running for council seem to have heard that message, the people who have put their name in for mayor as of Friday, Sept. 2, just seem to be more of the same. There still is time for people to be nominated, but as of this writing there are two officially declared candidates.

I don’t want to disparage the reputations of both people who have announced their intention to run for mayor at this point. Charlie Cornfield has been working for the good of the city for 20 of the last 25 years, first elected to council in 1996.

Larry Samson, the other mayoral candidate, is a former councillor as well, and worked for the fire department for 34 years prior to his time as an elected official. Experience is certainly valuable in a position like this, but the flip side of that coin is that experienced officials can be a bit more reluctant to try bold changes and new directions, which I think the community needs.

A couple of generations ago, Bob Dylan sang his famous verse: “Your old road is rapidly agin’/Please get out of the new one/If you can’t lend your hand/For the times they are a-changin’.”

That was penned at a time that a younger generation was about to take the world by storm, to change the conversation and usher in dramatic changes in absolutely everything.

That generation is still in charge, and Bob Dylan is 81 years old now.

For perspective, a baby boomer has been in the White House for my whole life, and I’ve seen only one Canadian Prime Minister who has not been a baby boomer in that time. I was born a year into the Clinton administration, and that generation has been running things while now three generations have come to the fore.

It’s time for at least someone from Generation X to take the reins, if not a Millennial or a Gen Z.

I would love to see some more diversity in the mayor candidate pool.

I’d love to see a younger person, a woman, an Indigenous person, a person of colour, or all of the above putting their names in. I’d love to see some new ideas, progressive solutions to our problems, consideration for everyone, no matter their status and bold vision to bring Campbell River into the future. We’re facing some pretty big problems, and I think we need some new ideas.

I’m not saying that the current slate wouldn’t bring those ideas, more that we should be helping send a new generation into the fray, and taking guidance from those who have the experience.

As Bob says, you can lend your hand, but “the times they are a-changin.’”

BC OpinionsOpinion

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