Last night’s candidates Q&A, hosted by the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, is great free entertainment but it is also revealing. Everyone is on their best behaviour – including the moderator, Steve Hinder, who is enthusiastically in favour of the proposed Clock Tower development but doesn’t let his bias show and handles things well.
Given their views on the Clock Tower, Ian Johnston and Tom Pearson can be immediately discounted. They are not serious contenders.
Tracee Chambers is against. She believes the Heritage By-law should be respected. She wants a master plan for the old downtown.
Ron Eibel is against. He insists on a strict three storey height cap.
Peter Geibel is against. He wants to move Forrest’s condo from Main Street to the tennis courts. Intensification is needed but it should go where it belongs.
Ian Johnston is for. He is all over the place before concluding that Forrest’s Clock Tower is needed.
Tom Pearson is for. He says it is not going away. He says anyone who believes that is dreaming in technicolour.
Bob Kwapis is against 7 storeys but, other than that, it is open for discussion.
Darryl Wolk is against. He is very firm on the three storey limit. He says the By-law must be respected.
Apart from the two outliers, Johnston and Pearson, the former often incoherent and the latter credulous, a clear majority of the candidates reject Mayor Tony Van Bynen’s view that the Clock Tower “is a great example of the intensification we need”.