I’m caught between relief and concern over the announcement that all who follow local politics predicted would happen: Morgan Nagel is running for the UCP nomination in the Airdrie-Cochrane constituency.
I am relieved because, if he wins the nomination, the town will be free of a councillor, who, after a promising beginning (I supported his first council election in 2013), has become a self-contradicting caricature of a bumbling politician.
Just in the past few weeks he’s been quoted as saying in one story on the proposed bridge naming: “We just can’t deflect all the tough and important decisions to some vague engagement process.” At the same time, he’s been pushing a vague engagement process before considering public transportation. Further, announcing his UCP candidacy, he promised a “strong, bottom-up approach.”
And for meaningless gobbledy-gook, consider his statement that he’s offering his own “grassroots guarantee that the residents of this riding are ultimately going to be responsible for what I advocate for.”
Sounds like he’s been drinking too much Manning Centre juice. And, as proof of his retrograde views consider his push for lower density housing (he said he wanted more “mansions”) in already sprawling Cochrane “As soon as I found out about these density targets . . . I was immediately turned off by the idea.” Doesn’t sound much like grassroots consultation there.
My concern centres on the casual and cynical way he plans to quit a position that he publicly committed to for another more prestigious position — but only when he’s got it in the bag. And, the $50,000 cost of a Council byelection he dismisses with bombastic nonsense through his promise he will be “the voice that saves taxpayers millions and makes the private sector billions.”
How can he square that with his party’s plans to make significant cuts to transfers for municipalities, schools and health care (while seeking a 24-hour urgent care facility for Cochrane)?
If he believes he can do more for the provincial government than he can as a town councillor,(as he’s quoted as saying) then quit now and stand up for his convictions. His presence on Council is a distraction. Party politicizing rightly has no place in municipal government.