10 reasons to vote for me


I was chided today for spending too much time sharing information about my competitors in this election race and not enough time promoting myself.  First of all, in my own defence, I have maintained a personal practice of providing information about all campaigns and taking a largely collegial approach (though not exclusively), going all the way back to my first election experience in 2010.

"It's just what I do," I said to Heather as we talked about the observation that popped up on social media that I might be harming my chances by being so generous with my promotion of other candidates.

In a way, it feels incredibly awkward talking about "me" when council is more about the "we".  Mine is just one vote among 11 in total, including the Mayor's, and getting anything accomplished requires building support, understanding and consensus.

At the end of most job interviews, the final and toughest question is "Why should we hire you?"  Trying to sum up the answer to this query in a few succinct sentences is incredibly difficult.  Let me try to offer 10 points that might help answer this question in a way that might inspire you to consider selecting my name among the 6 you can choose in Ward One - Fort McMurray.

10.  I am a professional communicator and I'm not afraid to write about things that matter, even if it's not politically advantageous to do so.  Follow this blog and you'll get a steady stream of observations and information about the hottest topics of the day.  For the record, I am very careful about the municipality-related things I write about.  I never breach protocol or confidences, and I triple-check to ensure that the information I am sharing is accurate and appropriate for public consumption.

9.  I am a bridge builder and love working with people and organizations to create innovative solutions to problems.  This is the best part of the job in my view.

8.  I have a deep and profound love for Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, a love that is the fuel for everything I do as a citizen and as one of your councillors.

7.  I do the work.  Whether it is learning about issues, or doing the required reading to prepare for council meetings, or participating in multiple events every week, I am working for you with energy, enthusiasm and maximum effort.  When it all becomes too much, I grab my fishing gear and spend a few hours at the river to re-charge.

6.  I am always present and approachable.  You know where to find me and you have multiple ways of getting in touch (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Email, Phone) when you have something on your mind.

5.  I am comfortable in the discomfort of making difficult, and at times controversial, decisions. I fully embrace my responsibility to make the best decisions possible for the greater good of the region based on all available information, perspectives, opinions and options.

4.  I am a team player and respect the governance process.  I am fully aware that I am only one small part of a larger council and an even larger organization and region.  What we do is always about "us" and "you".

3.  I am a servant leader.  I enjoy helping others, sharing the successes and strengths of my colleagues and staff at the RMWB, and getting my hands dirty when effort is required.

2.  I am a devoted father and husband.  My family is my foundation, my greatest supporters, my greatest strength.  I maintain a healthy work-life balance and take a "family first" approach to life.

1.  I am a man of integrity and trust.  It seems strange to put these two concepts in this list, but at the end of the day they are the most important reasons why I hope you'll support me with your vote.  If you ask me a question, you're going to get a straight answer.  If you wonder why I voted a certain way, I'm going to tell you.  If I screw up or make a mistake, I'll own it.  Integrity is everything to me. Trust is essential.

I want to keep doing this job.  It has been an amazing journey, an education adventure unlike anything I have ever experienced.  I'm a stronger, smarter, more effective leader today than I was when I started in 2010 and I'm excited to keep learning and growing.  Please vote RUSSELL VINCENT THOMAS (that's what you'll see on the ballot) and let's keep moving forward together.

Thank you for your support.

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