All those years of reporting and blogging about local issues and the business of City Hall apparently gave former Guelph Mercury journalist Scott Tracey a kind of Stockholm syndrome. Or maybe he's just now of the opinion that if he can't beat them, join them. Or, the more likely, he's being driven by a sense of civic pride and commitment. Regardless of the reason why, Tracey is throwing his hat into the ring for this fall's municipal election running in the very busy Ward 4 race.
Here's Tracey's announcement via his Guelph Today blog:
GUELPH – Scott Tracey, a long-time City Hall reporter, is looking to switch sides.
Tracey filed his nomination papers today for the upcoming municipal election, seeking to represent Guelph’s Ward 4.
“I have always been interested in municipal politics and seeking a council seat is something I have wanted to do for several years,” Tracey said, “but while I was on staff at the Guelph Mercury it would not have been appropriate to do so.”
Tracey left the newspaper in September, 2013, after more than 22 years. For more than a decade before his departure he covered City Hall as a reporter and author of Jury of One, his popular weekly column which he has continued to write on a freelance basis.
“For more than 10 years I have been attending council and committee meetings, reading the staff reports, understanding the issues and getting to know the people behind the scenes,” he said. “I feel this experience has positioned me very well to step into the role of councillor and hit the ground running.”
Tracey said his decision to seek a council seat was strengthened as he worked for much of this year on the floor in local manufacturing businesses.
“That was an eye-opener for me,” he said. “I’ve always known Guelph was filled with hard-working people, but spending eight to 12 hours per day working on factory floors has reinforced just how hard people in this city work for their money, and why city councillors need to treat every dollar with respect.”
If elected, Tracey will push for a more cost-effective municipal government through service reviews and seeking increased partnerships for capital projects to lessen the financial impact on taxpayers. He will also work to make council business more transparent and accountable, and will seek to better market the city to industrial and commercial development.
“For too long Guelph has had a negative reputation because of the amount of red tape which gets in the way of development and blocks new jobs,” he said. “I want to replace the red tape with a red carpet.
“On Oct. 27, I am asking the residents of Ward 4 to join me in continuing to build a city in which we can all afford to live, work, play and raise our families.”
The last day for nominations to be filed is this Friday September 12 at 2 pm. Tracey will be running against Mark Briestensky. Linda Busuttil, Rob Dunn-Dufault, Laurie Garbutt, Greg Roffey, Mike Salisbury and Gary Walton. Neither of the current incumbents are running with Cam Guthrie aiming to succeed Karen Farbridge as Mayor and Gloria Kovach stepping down at the end of the term.