Sunday, June 29, 2008


Dear Bloggists,

Thank you for making the "Running for Council" survey the best yet.

In total there were 88 responses and "you should run" in some form or another was heavily favored - 52/88.

But I will not run. This term or any other.

I put the survey on the site because I have been tossing this idea about for last two terms. Now, having giving it way too much thought and taking up friend and colleague's time with their advice, I have concluded that running for office and sitting in office is simply not for me.

Especially at this time.

I am 65, and although I am blessed still with terrific energy, I have have the blast I had even five years ago.

I have always been entirely selfish and self-centered, but now I am even more so. I want to do only what I want to do and I resent mightily having to do anything I don't like - waiting in line at the bank, driving Cambie Street, listening to boring people talk.

In the evening, after a day of work and a bit of exercise, I simply LOVE to come home to my beautiful hide-away and eat and read and make popcorn and watch TV.

The running for office would be fun. I could make speeches and perform and carry on in public and have a ball being a general nuisance.

But what about actually being elected?

The idea of people phoning me at 9:30 at night to complain that their garbage wasn't picked up fills me with the willies. I would certainly tell the third caller to practice an ancient form of self-satisfaction.

The idea of sitting through council meetings until 2 am is simply unthinkable. I would get up and leave at 9:45, because that would still give me time to get home, make the popcorn, get into my sweats and turn on "Law and Order."

There were only two reasons for my considering this folly in the first place.

The first is sheer vanity. One can't help being tickled by the image of a sign carved on an oak door at City Hall that reads, "Councillor David Berner."

But vanity is rarely a good reason to do anything. Even performing - acting, singing - requires that the vanity is massaged by knowledge and ideas and preparation and care for the audience.

The second is that a few good men have encouraged me to run. One former councillor, who was a first-rate councillor - Jonathan Baker - has said repeatedly that we need good people in office and at this moment we have few.

He is right. I have written often about how dreadful and shallow the pool is at the moment.

Michael Geller is running and he will make a terrific contribution.

Better him than me.

Finally, I cherish my role as a satirist, critic, kvetcher, complainer and general annoyance.

Can I abandon all the fun of that for a few chicken gosht dinners?

These days, Life is being particularly kind to me.

I have wonderful work, excellent health, a kind and loving sweetheart, friends, family and hearth.

I mutter quietly my gratitude every day.

May we have a much better city council than we've had. You know who is gone, so that's already guaranteed. May some common sense and verve and wit be heard occasionally from the New Gang. May they fire half the staff, plant more flowers, have fewer planning meetings and cut taxes.

Amen, Brothers and Sisters.