In the past week, I have been answering e-mails and phone messages from people who want to know where the COPE Park Board Candidates stand on various issues, and my fellow candidate Loretta Woodcock has been answering queries as well. I have had questions about dog-off-leash parks in Mt Pleasant, off-leash venues for service dogs, the hollow tree in Stanley Park, the Aquarium, and community gardens. When I was a parks commissioner from 2002 to 2005, I received many, many e-mails and phone calls about a wide variety of issues. I tried then, as I try now, to consider the point of view of the person asking the question, to do additional research if necessary, and to answer honestly and thoughtfully.
As an elected official, a Parks Commissioner is accountable to the public – everyone, regardless of whether they share their political views or not. Responding to their concerns is important. And sometimes, a parks commissioner (or even a park board candidate!) learns something in the process!