By GWYDION MORRIS
Sept. 22, 2014
Anyone serving as Charlottetown’s mayor should be limited to two consecutive terms, says one of the two men running for the job.
A candidate would be able to return to the race for a third-term after sitting one out, says Philip Brown.
“This way, we can bring in new blood and new energy.”
After his defeat in the mayoral election in 2010, Brown is taking another shot at ending Clifford Lee’s three-term stint as mayor.
He is running an election of ideas, not of discrediting people, Brown said.
His focus, if elected, would be on cleaning up pollution and pesticides, reducing property taxes and making city hall business more transparent to the public.
Brown said the sunshine law he would enact would mean fewer closed-door meetings. The public would be given more notice through social media on upcoming discussions.
“We shouldn’t be hearing about it in the newspaper the next day.”
On the environment, the sewage lagoons around Charlottetown are at over-capacity. The lagoon in Stratford is designed for 1,500 residents, but 8,000 rely on it and it’s stinking up the town, Brown said.
“You can smell it when you’re halfway over the bridge.”
Instead, any over-capacity sewage lagoons should be decommissioned and centralized into a bigger system.
All cosmetic pesticides should be banned and replaced by organic options. Stratford and Cornwall should be brought in on the issue to make the greater Charlottetown area pesticide free, Brown said
Residential and commercial property taxes would be reduced by five per cent to ease the financial burden on homeowners, he said.
Peter McKenna, a professor of political studies at UPEI, says Brown faces a tough fight against Lee.
In 2010, Brown lost the election to Lee by more than 3,000 votes and the results will be the same this year, McKenna said.
“Brown’s chances are between slim and none, and slim just left town.”
There are no burning issues or scandals at city hall at the moment, so Charlottetown residents won’t see a need to disturb the status quo that has been Lee’s time in office for the past 11 years, said McKenna.
“I think voter turnout will be pretty low.”
Brown also revealed his campaign plans much too soon, McKenna said.
This gave Lee the chance to copy Brown’s stance on banning pesticides and reducing pollution, persuading those who may care about the environment to keep him in office, McKenna said.
“Lee scooped up his ideas early on.”