All-Candidates “Speed Campaigning” event

On October 10 the Northumberland Central Chamber of Commerce held their All-Candidates meeting using their “Speed Campaigning” format which had proved successful in 2014. The idea was that citizens would be seated at 16 tables and one at a time the Candidates would join them for 6 minutes to answer questions. Nine candidates for Council, the two candidates for Deputy Mayor and three of the Candidates for English Public School trustee participated.  There were 16 tables and each table could accommodate 8 so capacity was 128.  All participants had to pre-register but in the end, there were 12 no-shows so many tables had only 7 voters.  Room rental at the Best Western was donated by the Cobourg Taxpayers Association when their planned event was cancelled (see link below) but the Chamber organized it.

All-Candidates - Speed Campaigning
All-Candidates – Speed Campaigning

This meeting was the only one generally available that does not focus on a specific issue.  An earlier one on 27 September was about affordable housing and one tomorrow (Friday Oct 12) will be about sustainability.  As well as campaigning door-to-door, many Candidates are holding smaller meetings in homes or restaurants but only three meetings have been advertised as available to everyone.

All candidates for Council and English Public School trustee were invited – all attended except for candidate for School Trustee Gord Gilchrist who couldn’t make it.

The meeting started with each Candidate, in random sequence, speaking for 2 minutes. Although this report does not attempt to summarize each Candidate’s campaign, below is a short overview of their 2 minute presentations.

Candidate Role What they said
Adam Bureau Councillor What needs to be done
Travis Hoover Councillor About his talents and experience
Suzanne Séguin Deputy Mayor About policies, experience and need for gender balance
Emily Chorley Councillor About her business and political knowledge and policies
Aaron Burchat Councillor About his personal history
Brian Darling Councillor About his personal history, council achievements and his policies generally
Randy Curtis Deputy Mayor He loves Cobourg and has leadership skills
Nicole Beatty Councillor Has a vision
Miriam Mutton Councillor About her personal history and her policies
Anthony Caruso Trustee About his personal background, education is important & about his policies
Johnny Percolides Councillor Wants to improve our quality of life, council process and interaction with council
Jaine Klassen Jeninga Trustee Her achievements on the School board and her priorities
Karl vom Dorff Councillor About his personal history and unique perspective
Terry Brown Trustee His background.

You can find out more about them personally and about what they are saying in their campaign from the links below.

Note: I will not be reporting on the Friday meeting since I will be at the Vintage Film Festival all weekend.


Online Sources of Information on Candidates

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Deborah OConnor
12 October 2018 5:32 pm

Congrats to John Draper for this coverage, it must have been a scramble to get details with this format.

The single thing that caught my attention was that of all the candidates, Adam Bureau appeared to be the only one who talked about his plans for Cobourg’s future. In contrast, I counted eight candidates who focused on their personal histories instead. All well and good, but it’s a long stretch from that to guessing what their priorities would be as Town Councillors. Not helpful for this voter.

N.B. for all candidates: Voters don’t care what you did on your summer vacation, we care about what you will do for Cobourg in your roles as Councillors. Be specific, this no time for platitudes or self aggrandizement.

12 October 2018 2:58 pm

Similar experience to Dragonfly. Won’t spend time speaking to the good, bad and ugly. We had more good than anything else. Will suggest a potential improvement: That is, the attendees list should be vetted in some way (unsure how) to better assure that the questioner-participants actually ask questions. My example is that our table had a couple of folks representing the development community. All well and good but they consumed valuable minutes making pitches to many of the candidates and when they did ask a question it was of a type that would have taken a panel and lots of detail to enable a response. Other than this glitch I enjoyed the overall experience; thanks to the Chamber and the CTA.

12 October 2018 9:44 am

The format was interesting and at our table could have made for great reality TV. Pointed questions. Animated rebuttals. Tension. Intrigue. Shocking honesty. Anger. It provided an intimate opportunity to get a real read on each candidate. Best answer of the night in response to “What is the most NB role of a Councillor?” Emily Chorey. ” To know the right questions to ask.” Worst answer of the evening in response to “What volunteer activities have you been involved in throughout your life in Cobourg?” Randy Curtis “President of Dalewood Golf Club for years.” That said, I do respect ALL candidates for stepping into the ring and thank all those who organized this event.Perhaps next election it CAN be televised!

Old Sailor
Reply to  dragonfly
12 October 2018 12:00 pm

I have been Chair of many not for profit organizations in the sports and other areas such as Chair of a Church Board of Directors. They were all equally challenging positions and demanding of one’s free time. In the case of Deputy Mayor candidates I would prefer candidates with a lot of business acumen. Being a volunteer president of a golf club is a plus in my books.

Reply to  dragonfly
12 October 2018 2:18 pm

Wasn’t the Golf club on the verge of financial disaster a few yrs ago
and needed to be bailed out if I recall

Reply to  perplexed
12 October 2018 2:36 pm

And it was under the leadership of Mr. Curtis that the board blew a fortune on new bunkers and severely weakened the finances of the club. I think he was voted off the board at the next agm.

Reply to  cornbread
13 October 2018 9:00 am

It seems Mr. Curtis does indeed have “business acumen” – that of mismanaging other people’s money!

manfred s
Reply to  Pdr
13 October 2018 12:39 pm

so which is it…”acumen” or “mismanagement”?

Reply to  Pdr
13 October 2018 3:39 pm

Why do you say this – do you know him? or are you repeating a smear.

Old Sailor
Reply to  ben
13 October 2018 6:05 pm

Ben, I will go out on a limb and suggest that certain unnamed individuals are smearing Mr. Curtis as he may not be the kind of candidate that they can control if he is elected. When you Chair a not for profit for say 1 to 10 years – like a golf club – there are a ton of challenges that the Chair faces. Not all outcomes are popular.

Reply to  Old Sailor
14 October 2018 7:17 am

Well it’s not the first smear I have heard about Mr Curtis, some of them not to be repeated and very personal. That’s the joy of being from a high profile Cobourg family – lot’s of enemies/supporters and some baggage too. But still a very good candidate with tons of financial experience with a Blue Chip multinational.

manfred s
Reply to  ben
13 October 2018 6:57 pm

I agree wholeheartedly, Ben, and blogs are such an easy way to get away with such dispicable behaviour. Victims know that all too well.