October 22, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 29  

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Mayoral candidates hit campus

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

Eight candidates vying to be London's mayor descended upon the University Community Centre's CentreSpot lounge to talk to a large student audience about their platforms and plans for the city.

Ivan W. Kasurak criticized current London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco's leadership, accusing her of financial mismanagement related to the high costs of severance pay and buyouts. "We keep voting for the same politicians over and over yet we expect different results," he said.

Citing support from Canada's political and business leaders, candidate Garry Moon said his campaign was determined to replace the current council. "My campaign slogan is 'involving Londoners' and that will be my first priority," he stated.

Linden Cassina said the federal and provincial governments are forgetting the cities and weak leadership at the top of London's council is not helping matters, adding he would bring together Canada's mayors to discuss these issues.

Kenneth Venus said London has been plagued by financial downloading from other levels of government but the city should also plan 20 to 30 years ahead when budgeting. He added voters needed to be listened to and not glossed over as has been the case in the past. "Your voice deserves to be heard," Venus said. "As mayor, I will listen."

Raising the minimum wage, improving the city's bus system and free breakfasts in schools are ideas which Mesbah Eldeeb would implement if elected mayor. In doing so, Eldeeb said London's standard of living would be raised and less individuals and families would be dependent on welfare.

Current London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco said she was proud of Western's high calibre of learning and its facilities. If re-elected, DeCicco said she would fight for jobs for students and continue to nurture London as one of the fastest growing economies in Canada.

"I believe that it is time for change," said Carl Harris, adding he would restructure the city's budget and institute full disclosure of revenue and expenses. "We should have no tax increases next year."

To combat the city's financial problems, Vaughan Minor said he would hold over costs at current levels - except for essential services such as police and fire - and increase revenue through economic growth. "Don't spend more than you get," he said.

The mayoral vote will take place on Nov. 10. All of-age Western students are eligible to vote on campus in the UCC atrium by providing a piece of identification; proof of London residency is preferable.

-with files from Paolo Zinatelli




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