Dr. StrangeJob Takes the Pledge: Part I

Raised a good Catholic boy, my initial point of reference to taking the pledge involves refraining from alcohol and going to meetings. So, imagine my confusion when I saw the invitation from Joe Citizen to take The CBRM Councillors’ Pledge. Granted, some of the gibberish spewing from local politicians is enough to drive a person to drink, but, hey, at least I am willing to attend the meetings. My full platform, 1000 More Implausible Elect-Me Promises, is forthcoming. Until then, I will discuss Joe Citizen’s list, one pledge at a time.


Photo courtesy of Joe Citizen.

1. I work for you. I will vote NO sometimes to protect our community.

YES, I mean NO. Actually, a well-placed NO has its advantages. I often vote NO when it involves a very contentious issue (port or Archibald’s Wharf) because it buys votes with the cheap-seat crowd. Voting NO on a controversial issue also guarantees free publicity. Some may call it grandstanding, but I call it re-election rhetoric.

2. I will vote YES only when prepared. If not, I will demand more time.

There is no need to demand additional decision-making time because actual decisions are made prior to any public council vote. At CBRM Council, we do not make informed decisions—we are informed of decisions.

3. I will claim travel expenses only with receipts. $140/week is unfair.

Let’s be clear: there are certain entitlements that councilors are entitled to. This is a long-standing tradition at all levels of government. CBRM cannot expect to attract highly qualified councilors without proper remuneration.

That said, I will agree—in principle—to the travel-receipt requirement with a caveat: that CBRM hire an independent consultant, preferably one with previous mayoralty experience. Perhaps Peter Kelly is looking to make a little extra cash on the side. His unbiased recommendation of a 22% raise for Charlottetown councilors shows he can produce the type of results we would be looking for. A man of his caliber would fit in nicely here at CBRM, and his fiduciary experience would certainly be port-able to other key CBRM files.

4. I will communicate respectfully. I will not use the media to attack community groups.

Please don’t quote me on this, but if you don’t have anything good to say about council, then you should just shut the f**k up.

5. I represent all of the CBRM, but I make our district my top priority.

Current council tends to follow John Kenneth Galbraith’s trickle-down theory of economics. Galbraith believed that if you fed a horse enough oats, some would pass through to the road for the sparrows. Take sustainability grants, for example: in theory, investing thousands of dollars in flower baskets should diffuse a pleasant fragrance throughout CBRM, thus making all well with the world. Unfortunately, it appears that more than oats roll downhill. I would cultivate solutions to child poverty in CBRM, not with what comes out of the horse, but with the money current council feeds it.

So ends Part I. Until next time—that’s my two cents’ worth.

Dr. StrangeJob


Dr. StrangeJob is a local satirical blogger, retired educator, social activist, and developer of the world’s first 12+1 step self-help group, Incompetents Anonymous.