The Tay Valley, Meet the Candidates event last week at Glen Tay Public School could have provided some fireworks given the controversy surrounding Councilor Judy Farrell being sanctioned for what Council decided was inappropriate harassment of staff members (which resulted in a formal harassment complaint). As well, incumbent Dep. Reeve Brian Campbell is running for Reeve against incumbent Keith Kerr and former Dep. Reeve Susan Freeman.
And it would appear there is significant public interest in this election as the gym at Glen Tay Public School was standing room only that spilled into the hallways as about 400 turned up to hear what the candidates had to say.
But those expecting fireworks had to be disappointed as the candidates barely acknowledged the controversies with pleas for unity or outright ignoring them.
The meeting was hosted by the Canadian Federation of University Women and the format didn’t really lend itself to raucous debate. Granted with three candidates for Reeve, two for Deputy Reeve and 10 for councilor, the stage was pretty full.
There were no questions allowed from the floor and anyone wishing to submit a question had to write it down at the door. Two questions were chosen at random for the Reeve candidates and two for the Deputy Reeve candidates. There were three pre-circulated questions for each of the Reeve and Deputy Reeve candidates as well.
Candidates for councilor were each given two minutes to speak and answered no questions.
Farrell did suggest that all meetings be recorded.
“We need more transparency and less secrets,” she said.
Campbell came closest to stirring something up when he said: “Keith (Kerr) and Susan (Freeman) led our community for the better part of a decade.
“The status quo is not on a good path.”