GUELPH POLITICAST #108 – Gibson and MacKinnon on Being a Councillor

Not to alarm you guys, but there’s a municipal election in October. There is certainly anticipation for this event in local democracy, and there’s already a working list out there about who on the present council is running and who is still just a maybe. But let’s forget the horse race for a moment, and talk about the job itself. More than that let’s talk about what the job looks like after doing it for the last three years.

Today, we bring together Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson, and Ward 6 Councillor Mark MacKinnon for a crosstown summit on what it takes to be a city councillor. Now Gibson and MacKinnon have a lot in common: they’re both relatively younger members of council, they have young families, they represent parts of the city that are booming, they both overlap in terms of how they lean on a lot of issues, and they both joined council in 2014.

So the experiment of this episode was to take out the policy discussion (we save that for Open Sources Guelph) in order to talk about the nuts and bolts of decisions making. What does it take for people to succeed on city council? How are you affected? How do you navigate the transition from candidate to councillor without compromising your principals or backtracking on the things you ran on once you get that “insider” knowledge?

In addition to Gibson and MacKinnon’s own experiences, the hope of producing this week’s podcast was to offer some kind of insight to those running, or thinking about running, for city council this year. Also, if you’re interested in some further listening, revisit this earlier Politicast from 2014 with Ward 2 Councillor James Gordon and Ward 3 Councillor Phil Allt that was recorded before the start of the term. Together, they might give you a picture of what life on council looks like before and after.

So let’s talk about how council works on this week’s Guelph Politicast.

You can follow Dan Gibson on Twitter or at his website, and you can follow Mark MacKinnon on Twitter and at his website. The nomination period for the 2018 election opens on Tuesday May 1, and Election Day is Monday October 22.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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