Council cohesiveness, transparency are issues in race for mayor in Region of Queens
There are 16 candidates for the seven districts in Queens
The transparency and cohesiveness of the current council are election issues in the Region of Queens Municipality.
Four people are vying for the mayor's job on Oct. 17.
The incumbent, David Dagley, is reoffering. Two current councillors, Brian Fralic and Susan MacLeod, are also running, as is former councillor Darlene Norman.
They took part in a live debate earlier this month in Liverpool.
One of the questions posed to the candidates was how they would create a stronger and more open relationship with the communities to ensure the work of council is accessible and transparent.
MacLeod, a councillor since 2000, said better communication is the key.
"Not keeping secrets," said MacLeod. "When staff know things that council does not know and all of a sudden you're hearing it on the street, that's not the way it should be."
'It's been challenging'
Brian Fralic, who is finishing his second term, was critical about the divisiveness on council and blamed the current mayor.
"It's been challenging in the last four years when it comes to making decisions when you are a divided council, and a lot of that comes back to leadership," Fralic said.
He said if he becomes mayor he would ensure new councillors get training, particularly on being part of a team.
Norman spent 16 years as a councillor, up until 2016. She said the councils she was part of had disagreements, but they did not break down into "camps."
'We simply had respect for one another," said Norman. She said it is not about individuals but the group, and "we need to learn to get along."
Dagley had a different perspective.
"We have a diverse council and we have robust discussions," he said. "We do pass many motions and put forward many initiatives. There's been a lot accomplished during the past four years."
But Daley said there could always be improvements.
There are 16 candidates for the seven districts in Queens. At least three of them will have new representatives because the incumbents are not reoffering.