I met with him Tuesday at his business on Burnside road, the delay is getting this written is all because of the dramatic changes to government ministries in the area of my work and a week of getting up to speed on it. Here in finally is notes from our meeting.
I was not sure what to expect as his website is annoying to read and I could not get much of a sense of his personality from it. Paul recognizes the short falls of the website and says he will make some changes to it.
At his office he showed me into his boardroom and we had a chance to talk for awhile. I found that he and I are very close on many issues and approaches to local governance in the City. High on his agenda are fiscal prudence and due diligence, two values that we both agree the City has not shown when it comes to the Johnson Street Bridge.
Paul believes that there needs to be more of a regional approach to many issues in this region and that the City of Victoria needs to stand up for its interests if the other municipalities are not interested in coming to the table in a cooperative manner. Policing and transportation are high on his list of issues for a regional approach and sees a way to link the two. The City of Victoria does not have any real transportation problems but is expected to come to the table in the region to solve the problems others have. If the City were to insist on cooperation on developing a regional police force in return for cooperation on transportation, maybe we might see some positive changes.
In general he is an intelligent and thoughtful man and would likely make a good person on City council, the problem is that he is very little chance of getting elected if no one knows who he is or what he brings to the table. Paul suffers from the same problem that many candidates suffer from, they hope the public will find them and then vote for them based on their good ideas. It is a naive approach and doomed to failure. To get elected Paul Brown needs to personally contact as many people as possible so they have some idea of who he is.
At last week's all candidates meeting, which I had to miss, he apparently was a strong candidate and went over well with a number of the people there. But with only about 75 people there and very limited media coverage, he is not likely to gain much from this.
I asked him why he is running in the first place. He said that he was not convinced that any of the candidates could address the issues that matter to him as well as he could. He was also concerned that two of the front runners do not live in the City of Victoria and may not seek to put the interests of the City first. For these reasons he joined the race.
He has not campaign team, no campaign manager, no plans to have signs, and is not taking any money for his campaign. He wants a low carbon footprint for his campaign, but his campaign is doomed with out having anyone know about him. His one out could be the website, but it is not a very strong and sells him very short of what and how he is.
I hope he chooses to run for council 2011 and starts his campaign early and campaigns seriously. If he does that in 2011 I will vote for him in that election. I have one vote in this election and I am not choosing to vote for him.