2009 grade: C+
2008 grade: C
2007 grade: C-
I was having a hard time deciding whether Bill Karsten should get a B- or a C+, so I went back and read what I wrote last year, and here’s what I found: “I was wavering between a B- and C+ on this grade, but Karsten’s annoying council demeanour earns him the lower grade.”
Two issues stand out for Karsten this past year. With regard to the first---“tax reform”---Karsten gave a stellar performance: he was an early opponent, for all the right reasons, and convinced the East Harbour Community Council to make an unprecedented statement against the proposal. By all rights, Karsten’s “tax reform” stand should earn him a B or a B+.
But then council’s budget debate unfolded and Karsten, who sits on the Board of Police Commissioners, claimed that after careful examination, the police budget couldn’t be cut at all. Worse, he threatened to harm the public if council decided to cut the PD budget against the commissioners’ wishes---“we’ll have to cut park patrols,” he said. That sort of attitude is unforgivable. And, then there’s that annoying council demeanour...