How to build a better mayor

What should we be looking for in our mayor when we go to the polls in October?

The Coast’s first issue in January is traditionally devoted to the topic of “"How to fix the city." A sort of New Year’s resolution for a better Halifax, in past editions we've identified lots of things that were broken around town---falling down buildings, highway ramps that go to nowhere, window shade-less washrooms at City Hall, that sort of thing---and suggested what to do about them. Some years we look for an assortment of problems, others we pick a single topic, like accessibility issues last year, and dig deeper into it.

This year is an election year, with city voters going to the polls October 20 to choose a mayor and---thanks to newly redrawn districts---just 16 councillors, and we realized our “fix” for the city would be straight-forward: How do you fix the city? You build a better mayor.

In the following pages, w propose how a better mayor would dress and talk. For instructive examples, we look at what the best mayors doing, what some of culture's most famous mayors have done and who's in office across Canada. We wonder if a mayor is even necessary and ask Haligonian voters what they want from their civic leaders.

We ask if a mayor is necessary, how a mayor should talk and dress. We compare potential mayors to a cross section of mayors found in pop culture; we look at good ideas produced by other cities’ mayors and how mayors of other Canadian cities are doing.We also include a sampling of reader opinions.

What this package won't do is keep you informed about any candidates who are running in October's election. For that, you'll need our VoteHRM page at There we will bring all our election coverage for the next 10 months. Already on the page you’ll find our reporting on the re-jigging of electoral districts and that's where we'd love to hear your opinions about the election.

Find all the stories here.

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