Dear Mr. Kelly,
My name is Kevin Forbes. I am a resident of Halifax, living in the downtown area. I’ve cc’ed Dawn Sloane, my municipal councillor, because I believe she should be aware of the concerns of one of her constituents as well.
Mr. Kelly, my concerns are based on these recent talk about finances and the concerts on the Commons that has played out over the past week. I’m sure that this isn’t the only message you’re receiving about these issues and I hope you do take the time to at least read my message and hopefully take the time to reply.
Let me be clear, when it comes to who was responsible, how much was known and the entire question of whether proper policy and procedure was followed, I will keep an open mind and hope that the investigation by the Auditor-General will bring forth clarity and resolution for you and your staff. I am more than happy to wait until the Auditor-General finishes his investigation.
My concerns are more with how these issues are being dealt with presently. Mr. Kelly, I’ve watched you on television, listened to you on the radio, read about you in the newspapers and online. This has no doubt been a busy week for you. It’s currently quite late on Friday night and I hope you’re getting some rest.
With that said, you continually talk about leadership. How the buck stops with you, as Mayor. How this issue is yours to own, to wear, because you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your staff, in your role as Mayor. These are the qualities of the person I want to represent me in the Mayor’s office.
But then, Mr. Kelly, I listen to your voice in a media scrum (as posted on thecoast.ca) and how you stick to your talking points with very precise responses. I hesitate to call them answers because they don’t seem to match the questions, and while I’m hardly an audio expert, the recording doesn’t sound manipulated or otherwise censored. Furthermore, I read your official Facebook page and I see critical or concerned posts by citizens like myself appear and disappear, with other people commenting that some messages are being deleted.
You talk about leadership, Mr. Kelly. You talk about responsibility. But your actions don’t match those words, which is why I am concerned. I can understand and respect the fact that you may be wary of the media, because they haven’t made things easy for you this week, but when looking at Facebook, those are voters, those are the people that you claim you are responsible to and instead of listening to their issues, their concerns are being erased, deleted and muted.
It’s quite possible that perhaps this message will be treated the same way. Perhaps you, or your staff, haven’t even made it this far in my email. Maybe your cursor is presently heading towards the ‘Delete’ button even as these words appear on your screen. But I don’t feel that is right and that is why I am concerned.
Those are not the actions of the kind of mayor I want representing me. I want the the kind of mayor that you speak of.The one who is responsible, the captain of the ship, even when the weather turns foul. Mr. Kelly, despite the criticism from all fronts, this could and should be your finest hour. This should be an opportunity for you to step up and be the leader in the face of whatever more is headed your way, as opposed to shrinking behind deleted messages from the voting public and ducking media questions.
I expect better, Mr. Kelly. As a voter in Halifax, I demand better. Maybe I’m asking too much, maybe I’m idealistic. But I’m disappointed and my only hope is that before this situation continues to get worse, YOU can at least be better.
Thank you for your time,