No Rose but, Worth Keeping



I met John Campbell a few years ago after he had retired from the Canadian Armed Services. He was one of the few people to stand up a “Town Hall Meeting” during the Ivan Court regime. My first impression was that he had the courage to speak out when he believed we were headed down the wrong path. It’s too bad a few more folks wouldn’t do the same. Campbell eventual found himself on the Transit Commission where based on his experience on logistics he felt he could make a worthwhile contribution.

I understand when it came to combining Transit and Parking Commissions there was 6 votes for and 1 vote against. Campbell was for combining the two.  March 2014 it appeared Transit was accumulating a budget deficit (approx $50000), not good news,  Transit Board members  John Campbell and Andrew Valeri advocated steps be taken immediately to minimize the accumulating deficit.  Campbell suggested that Mayor and Council should be advised so there would be no big surprises for their budget debates.  Mayor and Council were not informed until November,  the deficit had ballooned to approximately $400,000.00….OUCH! 

January and February 2015 Campbell advocated hedging fuel.  March brought a Hedging company to Saint John to explain to the commission exactly what “fuel hedging” meant, the decision was made to hedge 60% of the Transit Commission’s fuel.  The deficit went from $400,000.00 for 2014 down to approximately $57,000.00 as reported by the auditors.  Campbell ask the independent auditors what decision the commission made that dramatically  lower the deficit, the reply: fuel hedging….was the response.

Campbell has advocated using the smaller 24 pax buses used by and recommended by Calgary Transit, apparently we’re still rolling that one around in our transit heads.  

The Commission in 2015 advocated removing free bus passes for the Visual Impaired,   Campbell recognized this to be an opportunity to persuade the Commission and City to improve accessibility by introducing an AVA system (Automated Voice Announcement System) for visual impaired, with LED Signage for hearing impaired, by working with representatives of CNIB and members of the visually impaired community Campbell and an other Commissioner Andrew Vareli design a new first of it’s kind bus stop sign to help the visually impaired identify bus stops.

This Campbell guy seems like he would be someone that you would like to keep around?

Well it would seem that he has not been offered a second term on the Commission. Why?

I know John and admittedly he can be a little prickly and can rub some folks the wrong way but he DOES get the job done. After all even a rose has a few thrones. I am by no stretch of the imagination suggesting that Campbell is a rose however I believe he has been an asset to the Transit and Parking Commission and deserves a second term.

If you agree with me give him your vote in the May 9th Saint John municipal election, he is running as a councilor at large.