Vote for councillor, not party in local election

Derek Gowlett, Sea Point

I read in the latest Atlantic Sun of the large number of candidates in Ward 54 for the forthcoming municipal elections.

In municipal elections, one should not be voting for a party, but for a councillor who is in touch with the concerns and interests of local residents.

Thus a poster for a specific party is irrelevant. Even a poster with a photograph and/or name of a candidate would not get me to vote for that person.

What is needed is for each candidate to have a public meeting outlining their policy and views on a number of issues, or for this publication to offer candidates an opportunity to address voters’ questions.

For instance, I would not be in a position to know who to vote for if I did not have answers to the following questions:

* Would you support the cancellation of the prospective sale of Tafelberg School, and instead vote for low-cost housing to be built there?

* Do you support the take-over of public open space in Maidens’ Cove and Clifton for sundry mooted developments?

* Do you agree that Philippi should be left as a food basket for Cape Town, and that all non-agricultural development in that area should be opposed?

* Would you support the demolition of the stadium in order to save ratepayers a bill of at least R40 million every year?

These, and other issues, should not be party-political, but should be decided according to the views of individual councillors and their constituencies.

Our former councillor, JP Smith, went against his party in not supporting the erection of the stadium, and in so-doing reflected the views of many of Cape Town’s citizens. If only there were more principled councillors like him.