Graffiti Question From Cathedral Mayoral Forum

The Cathedral Area Community Association hosted a mayoral forum last Thursday that was extremely well attended. And the association decided that they’d get to ask the first several questions of the night which I appreciated because sometimes questions from the floor can be more lecture than question and then the questions themselves can be pretty batshit insane.

Not to be outdone, the CACA asked their own crazy question: As graffiti is a problem in Regina, if elected, would you support a ban on the sale of spray paint to minors.

Okay, maybe it isn’t “crazy.” But it really came out of nowhere. This is an election issue? The laughter from the crowd indicates I wasn’t alone in thinking this.

Thing is, though, the candidates rose to the challenge and gave really sane, thoughtful answers, most of which were along the lines of, “No but… address the root cause,” or “No but… graffiti artists are creative people who need more outlets for their work” or “No but… how about more skate parks?”

So maybe it wasn’t such a ridiculous question after all. It revealed some interesting stuff about the people who want to be mayor.

Anyway, here is the complete audio of that exchange.

Download candidates’ responses to a question about a ban on sale of spray paint to minors. (6.3MB mp3)

Should mention, that I’m actually on the board of the CACA but have recused myself from all participation in putting on their candidate forums. Didn’t see the organizing emails. And I even begged off putting chairs away. Which I suppose makes me kind of a shitheel.

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5’10” tall and he was born in a place. He’s not there now. He’s sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It’s “Girl From Ipanema”, thanks for asking.

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

4 thoughts on “Graffiti Question From Cathedral Mayoral Forum”

  1. That was much better and clearer; thank you.

    Unsolicited/offensive graffiti is a problem for property owners, who are responsible for its removal within a prescribed time (especially if it’s gang-related or particularly offensive). There is, I think, some assistance available to help defray the costs of cleanup, but when the same properties get tagged again and again, I can understand why folks would get frustrated and subscribe to such ill-thought-out suggestions as a ban on selling spray paint to minors. In their frustration, they forget that minors aren’t the only ones tagging; that spray paint isn’t the only tagging tool (marker pens are very big); and that merchants have better things to do with their time than to act as auxiliary bylaw officers. The candidates have all recognized these points, as well as root causes of the behaviour, and their responses to what might be thought a crazy question actually moved the discussion onto a higher plane.

    In re: your recusal, you aren’t a shitheel; you’re behaving ethically and professionally. The forum was well attended, you said; so why didn’t everybody just jump to and put the darned chairs away themselves?! :-)

  2. I said I was a shitheel because I didn’t even put my own chair away. Dashed out to try and interview people. Did throw out my coffee cup and napkin though.

    Fortunately, there were tons of people from the audience who spontaneously volunteered to help with clean up that I doubt my absence was really noticed.

    So, ‘natch, I have to blab about it on the internet.

  3. Oh, and FYI, I’m trying out “shitheel” as my new “douchebag” substitute. What do you think?

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