Jake Smola has been in the news recently and I’m sure he’s not happy about it as he prepares to leave Regional Council to seek a seat on Kitchener City Council representing Ward 7.
Seems he’s about $35,000 in arrears on child support and was brought before court in handcuffs after missing three appearances. Here is the original article from August 21 from August 21 and here is the follow-up from August 23.
On one level, this matter is purely personal, unfortunately not uncommon and there is no direct connection upon his ability to serve on Council. Jake Smola may want to consider though whether his civic responsibilities are helping or hindering his ability to give sufficient attention to his personal life and he may want to place more of a focus on it. But only he knows the answer and that is his decision.
The timing is unfortunate because given his extensive municipal experience, Smola could be an asset around a Council table dominated by rookies. At the same time coming just before the election heats up, I believe it is legitimate for voters to consider these arrears and missed court dates in making their decision. I am not suggesting that it should cost him votes because politicians with imperfect personal lives have made great contributions in the past, but at the same time it will likely raise some concerns for voters in Ward 7 as they weigh their choices.
I am happy that they have choices. I was concerned that if Jake decided to drop out or if voters decided they didn’t want him back on city council that his challenger might find the path to election much smoother than anticipated. I now see that there is another candidate in that ward. But given the uncertainty that has arisen, I would hope that at least one other viable candidate would come forward to ensure voters in this ward have at least one other quality choice available to them.