"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Opening salvo in Maillardville

Here is my opening address to the Maillardville all-candidates meeting last night:

Thank-you. I’m Terry O’Neill, and I'm seeking re-election to City Council.

The view from my spot. (Photo by Terry O'Neill)
You know, my background in journalism and community volunteering taught me the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and for working hard to help others.

And that's why I'm proud of the role I played in slowing down tax increases during my time in office. When I was first elected, those increases had averaged more than 5% annually over the previous three years.

But in the three years SINCE I was elected, they have been HALF that. And I certainly intend to continue working to lower the rate EVEN MORE if re-elected.

I also hope you give me the chance to build on the many successes I helped initiate or supported in the area of democratic reform to make city hall for accessible. THE E-TOWN-HALL-MEETING is a real step forward, as is the interactive BUDGET consultation process.

In addition, council supported my call for reform of Metro Vancouver’s unwieldy structure. And when the Province asked for input into campaign-finance reform, I submitted a major brief.

You’ve told me that Maillardville’s safety is a real concern, too. That’s a big reason I led an initiative to ask Ottawa to toughen the penalties against chronic, repeat offenders. Revolving-door-justice will NOT solve our problems.

And I’ve been a strong advocate for a measured and taxpayer-friendly approach to any new affordable-housing policy, not pie-in-the-sky promises. Coquitlam’s hardworking property-taxpayers should NOT be expected to shoulder the burden of subsidizing housing.

And one final point: As an independent candidate, I am not beholden to any slate, team or party. Instead, my priority is you, the taxpayer, the voter, the citizen. THAT'S MY PROMISE, AND YOU CAN COUNT ON IT!

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