Clifford Lee ready for any challengers

Mayor seeks record-setting fourth term; opponents seem scarce at this late point

Published on June 27, 2014

Clifford Lee is seeking another term as mayor of Charlottetown.

Clifford Lee’s announcement that he is seeking a fourth term as mayor of the City of Charlottetown comes as — surprise, surprise — no surprise. Mr. Lee had indicated for many months that his only interest in political office was as mayor of the P.E.I. capital. He may have been secretly flattered to hear his name mentioned as a candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of P.E.I., or as the party’s choice in the federal riding of Charlottetown.

With those distractions officially put to rest, Mr. Lee says there is work to be done to make the city a better place to work and live and that’s what he hopes to do for four more years after November’s municipal election.

He already has the record as the city’s longest-serving mayor and re-election to a fourth term this fall would solidify his place in the history books while adding to a legacy as the most successful municipal politician in the history of Charlottetown.

If other candidates were waiting for Mr. Lee to declare, they surely face an uphill battle with just four months left to mobilize a team, raise money and campaign against a candidate who has been running for re-election the past four years.

Where might opposition come from? Surely not within current council as six members were on hand for Mr. Lee’s declaration and two others would likely have shown up except for other commitments. That leaves Mitchell Tweel and Danny Redmond as councillors opposed to Mr. Lee’s re-election hopes. The mayor has left them off any committee chairmanships. The two have reciprocated by being constant critics of Mr. Lee at every opportunity.

Interestingly, both Mr. Tweel and Mr. Redmond will face a challenge in the November election. It will be a sure bet their challengers will stress an ability to work with city hall as opposed to constantly fighting with the mayor.

Former councillor Philip Brown, who ran against Mr. Lee four years ago and lost by 3,000 votes, is still weighing his options. There was speculation that former Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy would offer Mr. Lee a stiff test but that appears a remote possibility. Meanwhile Mr. Lee said he will announce his platform in the fall and will spend the summer knocking on doors and talking to people. There is no sense preparing a lengthy list of promises if acclamation appears imminent. He can save that additional firepower should he face opposition and need to re-energize his campaign.

Anyone is beatable, depending on the opposition and any number of variables from now until Nov. 3, but Las Vegas odds-makers would have to give Mr. Lee a sizable spread at this point.


A beacon for seniors


Robert Acorn is a beacon of hope for P.E.I. octogenarians — indeed for all senior citizens in this province. The 87-year-old was featured in a front-page story this week in The Guardian, spotlighting his regular tennis game at the courts in Victoria Park in Charlottetown. The resident of Brackley plays every day the weather is suitable.

The brother of P.E.I.’s famed late poet Milton Acorn is an example of what remaining physically active and fit can achieve. He stays on the court 60 to 90 minutes a day and doesn’t show any ill effects. He cycles, walks the dog, cuts his own wood, canoes and plays the sax. Many of us, many years younger, with aches, pains and arthritis creeping in, envy Mr. Acorn and his energetic daily schedule.

We should all aspire to be so mobile, alert and active at 87.