Dick Carpani for Mayor
Questions and Answerers
Q: Aren’t you too old
A: I am fit and healthy. I retired ten years ago, but have always kept busy with volunteer work in Kiwanis, on the Lambton Seniors Association Board, on the Ontario Taekwondo Association board, keeping fit at the YMCA, keeping fit by both working out at Taekwondo and refereeing the sport. Look at the “best mayor in Ontario” Hazel McCallion of Mississauga: she is a lot older than me and is still going strong. Age is just a number; I am more fit and active than many people younger than I am.
Q: Do you have enough experience?
A: I have served four and a half years on Sarnia City Council. I have served twelve years on the Lambton County Board of Education. I have been the chair of the Sarnia and Lambton Housing authority. While Housing chair I was the Southwestern representative on the Provincial Housing Advisory Committee, to advise the Ontario Housing Corporation. I have been on the Provincial Sport governing body, The Ontario Taekwondo Association, since 1982 – the longest serving member of that board. I was its treasurer for eight of those years.
Q: Why did you register for the election so early?
A: Several reasons. You need to be registered to do any sort of campaigning. You need to be registered to set up an election bank account and to accept donations. I wanted it known early that I am serious about running and a serious candidate. I need to get known to more people.
Q: Do you have any “Skeletons in the Closet”?
A: I do not think so! I have not even had a speeding ticket in over 25 years. I’m still married to Donna, my wife for 46 years. My daughter once said to me “Dad, you are too honest to be a politician”.
Q: You are known to be a Conservative – will that hinder you?
A: I have worked for both the PC Party of Ontario and the Conservative Party of Canada. I think that this shows my interest in helping better my fellow citizens. Party politics do not play a part of Civic affairs, so the fact that I have been active is plus in getting elected.
Q: Don’t you think that the incumbent mayor is so strong that you have little chance of unseating him?
A: He has been there for a long time all right! I think it is time for a change. One gets stale in the same job. He has had a long history of squabbling with every council he has been part of. The public is getting tired of his way of doing things; I will be a welcome change.
Q: Do you have the time and commitment?
A: Of course I do. My wife supports me in seeking the mayor position. My children are on their own. The volunteer jobs I do can be filled by other volunteers.
Q: Why don’t you just run for council again?
A: I have done that job and, while it is a good way to serve the citizens of Sarnia, I think I can do more for them as our Mayor. The current council, as were the two I served on, does not always work as a team. The council is fractious both with each other and between councillors and the current mayor. My skill and experience in leading and in being part of properly running teams will bring order to the council and its process.
Q: Do you have any strong backers or interests that you will cater to as Mayor?
A: No, not at all. I will be the Mayor for all the people of Sarnia. I will listen to the views of everyone – never turning away anyone who wants to talk to the Mayor or to the Council. I very much believe that the mayor is one of the councillors and does not stand above the rest of council. I will be working hard for Sarnia’s interests.
Q: Why do you think you can do a better job than the incumbent?
A: Where do I start? I understand business because I have worked for years for profit making ventures. I have worked bingos as a Kiwanian, so when questions about bingos and charities – I have been there. I have owned a house and paid taxes for forty-six years, so I know the feeling of us who pay them. I have raised a family, so I know about parents’ and grandparents’ thoughts. I have worked with groups at work, at sports, at charities, and on other boards – I know how to work with a team and be part of a team.
Q: Can you work with anyone who may be elected to council?
A: Yes. Over the years I have worked with probably several hundred different people. Some were hard to get along with, others great to work with. No matter who, my way is to look to solving problems and making decisions, not on each other’s personalities.
Q: In the 2003 election you and several of your colleagues on council lost their seats. What makes you think anything has changed?
A: Near the very end of the 2003 campaign council approved a settlement to the Separate School / Consortium land problem. There was much coverage in the press, including letters to the editor, critical of this decision. The mayor was censured over this issue for his release of in-camera information. The contention was over the fact that five acres of the land (at the City’s choice) was to be kept by the Consortium. A condition was that the consortium had to keep their taxes paid up – a condition that everyone on council, including the Mayor, knew they would not keep. The five acres became an issue, although it was just a face-saving, no cost to the city item to get the final agreement. The Consortium has, in fact, not paid their taxes and the land has reverted to the City. The council of the day should have been recognized for finally solving this long-standing problem, but in fact the councillors who understood the situation, were defeated.
|Date This Page Was Last Up-Dated: October 22, 2006|