Monday, January 25, 2010
To run or not to run
Should I run or shouldn't I?
Ever since Fin Donnelly won a federal byelection and, thus, vacated a seat on Coquitlam Council, I have been actively contemplating running in the byelection that must be held to fill the vacancy.
At present, Coquitlam council is looking for ways to avoid holding the byelection (which is predicted to cost as much as $250,000), but it appears a decision will be made in mid-February to hold a byelection on April 24. So, my final decision to throw my hat into the ring will be made after the Feb. 15 council meeting.
I'm definitely leaning towards running. If I decide in the affirmative, my candidacy will be a natural extension of my growing involvement in the community I love so much.
A founding member and past president of The Eagle Ridge Residents Association (indeed, I recall that I even suggested its very name so that it would have a memorable acronym, TERRA), I now serve on the board of directors of the Coquitlam Foundation , and chair the finance committee of St. Joseph's Parish in Port Moody.
In the past, I coached T-Ball in the community (Go Cardinals Go!), gave expert presentations at Centennial Seconday School's "Life After Centennial" Career Week, acted as Narrator for the Tri-Cities Choral Project's "Bethlehem Star" production, sat on the Education Committee (and served a term as vice-chair) of Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School, and acted as Master of Ceremonies for the Crossroads Hospice Society's Treasures of Christmas gala.
This year, I am MC for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.'s WALK FOR MEMORIES event in the Tri-Cities, Burnaby, New Westminster and Ridge Meadows. As well, I will once again be the lead organizer for an Easter Flower Distribution at Eagle Ridge Manor; the annual event, which I initiated, has been running for a decade and a half now.
My professional career has been varied and accomplished, and has covered both print and television. Some highlights are: Legislative Correspondent for the Canadian Press; Editor-in-Chief of The Richmond Review; Senior Assignment Editor, CKVU-13 TV; Editor-in-Chief of B.C. Report; Senior Writer of The Western Standard; Host and Producer of X-Change on NOW-TV.10.
Currently, I'm in my fifth year of writing one half of the popular Face to Face debate in the Tri-City News, and am a frequent contributor to The National Post, The Report Magazine of Edmonton, and Catholic Insight of Toronto. As well, I co-host a weekly Internet webcast called RoadkillRadio.
The Canadian Institute of Mining has twice awarded me First Prize for Best News Story of the year, and I was the first winner of the Christian Coalition of B.C.'s Annual Award for Journalistic Integrity.
Back to the philanthropy and charity front, I serve on the board of an Abbotsford-based human-rights educational society, and I've been a volunteer canvasser for several groups (Cancer and Diabetes societies especially) over the years, but have been most attached to, first, the Canadian Red Cross and, more recently, Canada Blood Services, both of which have honoured me for distinguished citizenship because of my dedication to their goals.
To my mind, the civic issues that are most in need of attention are: 1. Transportation (making sure the Evergreen Line is built sooner rather than later and improving bus service); 2. Crime (keeping a close watch on the RCMP, working on ways to protect private property from B&E's, helping support police efforts to crack down on grow-ops and the criminal drug trade), and 3. Government Spending (is Coquitlam getting the best bang for its buck?).
I'm all for a balanced approach to the environment; I support business and development; I believe in the value of sports and recreation; and I fully support the special needs of our senior citizens. If elected, I would dedicate myself to serving the people of Coquitlam.
Check back in mid-February for my announcement!
Posted by Terry O'Neill at 1:33 PM