The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men
The Nelson Star publishes Justin Pelant's candidacy announcement for City Councillor. Background information there has it he is President of the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce (NDCC), Board member of the Nelson & Area Economic Development Partnership - and he runs a local business. All this while raising a family.
So I wonder - as do others: clearly very busy already, how can he possibly have enough time, energy and focus for the substantial work-load of a conscientious Councillor? Even just preparing for becoming one!
I message Will Johnson, reporter of this announcement, expressing my concern with the possibility that Pelant's top-level NDCC/Economic Partnership involvement could lead to conflicts of interest - making public clarification necessary.
Revisiting issues in this Council's unimpressive past - I also raise that of Pelant's candidacy to the Committee Of The Whole (COW) at City Hall. Councillor/Chair Macdonald - who loves attention guaranteed with the position of Chair: here from the present Fire Department and Library yet - won't touch any of it. Still - those in the "audience" hear my concerns: they usually are more my target than the habitually unresponsive Council - safely on the fence.
I raise the Pelant-issue again in post
City Hall - The Next Generation!
Tom Thomson, NDCC, sends me an unsolicited clarification stating Justin Pelant is taking (not has taken as of) a leave of absence from the Chamber Board during the election campaign. When (not: If) he is elected on Nov. 15, he will formally step down from the Board and his CHAMBER APPOINTMENT (my capitals) as a member of the Nelson and Area Economic Partnership coordinating committee.
Sooo - Pelant is not-or-what taking leave of absence from the Economic Partnership. Why not-or-what becomes clearer 2 days later!
Anyway - here Thomson does not address why this info to me is not in the candidacy announcement - thus creating the appearance of a conflict of interest. With this explanation seemingly prompted only by my COW presentation and/or blog-post - I must wonder at its timing, intention, even accuracy, breadth of dissemination and let him know - in the same response asking why he (his handler?) and not Pelant contacts me.
Simply - Pelant personally should have - officially and publicly - distanced himself from all involvement with these 2 groups from Day 1 and for the duration of his campaign - instead of this involvement itself (not so) slickly having been turned into the campaign!
The clincher: What with both groups already very comfy at City Hall, and at least the NDCC financially well-supported by it - meaning the taxpayer!
I message Councillors Kozak/Kiss with my concerns, because both are City Hall's umbilical cord to the Economic Partnership. I expect a soonish response, but understandably - while inexcusably: nothing! After all - Kozak is running for mayor, and Kiss is just about outa here. Bigger fish to fry!
And wouldn't you know it: here comes the big one! The NDCC/Economic Partnership partnership is running a 4-page self-contained spread in the Star about its totally wonderful, life-giving doings for everybody and everything - featuring a large for-public-consumption photo of Justin Pelant as its poster-boy, holding a wrapped present - gosh-darn, just for me? - in the very center of its front-page and Pelant-this and Pelant-that all over everything. Nelson's savior!
Paid (for) by whom? The NDCC Pelant supposedly took leave of absence from (with the public left uninformed!)? The same NDCC having appointed him to his position with the Economic Partnership - from which he did NOT-OR-WHAT take leave of absence?
Whatever - as per his candidacy announcement - to the general public he is the/a top-level official with the NDCC/Economic Partnership. And seeing that these groups ran and paid for the surely very expensive spread in the Star - from which he was not removed: he must have signed-off on all of it. Taking me back to: Paid (for) by whom?
His candidacy announcement is this spread in a nutshell - and the spread is the candidacy announcement in expansive detail. Clearly it all has been of long preparation by a group of people; so Pelant here getting ever so timely star-billing for it - while politically advantageous - is disingenuous at best.
Plainly - their election-construct for/of/with him is anchored in wanting to broaden the business sector's profit-margin - via City Hall.
Seemingly - Pelant's re-invention as City Councillor is indirectly and in part financed by taxpayers - including the other candidates!
The NDCC/Economic Partnership ultimately is about funneling the general public's money into its! members' pockets. That's business! And in a marvelous twist - the presumed-gullible spending public is expected to legitimize more of this by voting for it! Or him!
Big-city politics in Smallishtown! Councillor what? In the COW I mention my concern about the possibility that this election may turn into
City Hall - The Reality Show!
Only a few days later - we're well on our way!
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