Evan Spencer has done the work to gain extensive knowledge and tangible grassroots experience as a community advocate and City Council staffer, in the Ward 12 constituency office for Shane Keating. This opportunity to learn the ins and outs of municipal governance has been eye opening for Spencer, showing him the good, bad, and ugly of politics. And, it got him hooked on the idea of how he can further influence thriving neighbourhoods for Ward 12 himself.
Ethics Commissioner Vets Spencer’s Run for Municipal Politics
When Spencer first considered running in Ward 12, Councillor Keating solicited the opinion of the City of Calgary’s ethics commissioner to see if, and how, Spencer could remain working in Keating’s office while running as a candidate.
When the commissioner’s approval and instructions were received, Spencer and Keating adjusted the role.
From Councillor Keating:
“Evan mentioned to me early in the new year that he might be interested in running for Council and I sat down with him to talk through the implications, as I had done before with other candidate hopefuls. He mentioned that he would want to keep his job but wasn’t sure if that was possible. I called the Ethics Advisor and was informed that it was allowed provided we followed the same rules for incumbents and City employees, he couldn’t use any City resources on the campaign while also making sure to keep the two worlds separate.
I also let Evan know that he would have to take a leave of absence before Nomination Day as is required in 22(1) of the Local Authorities Election Act.
When Evan decided to run I immediately shuffled the office to make sure that he was in the background and relieved of his front facing duties with the Community Associations. We also agreed that we would prioritize transparent and ethical decision making and Evan assured me that he would submit to what was best for the office.”
Further, Spencer committed to work hours focused on the business of helping residents and businesses of Ward 12. And he committed to campaign hours outside of, and separate from, work hours and work activities, as approved by the ethics commissioner.
Experience Gained Transcends to Being Best Councillor Candidate
Confident after gaining excellent hands-on experience in the Ward 12 office and armed with a proven passion for community, Evan threw his hat in the ring to run to be your next councillor on April 8, 2021.
With a proven policy nerd persona, a desire to constantly gain knowledge, and keen research skills, Spencer has a real commitment to be a non-partisan, transparent, and ethical candidate,
Campaign Race Heats Up, Spencer Steps Back from City Staffer Job
Today, on June 29, as the Ward 12 campaign race heats up early, Councillor Keating and Spencer have chosen to make a few statements:
“Evan has conducted himself admirably and with the high standards that we talked about on that day [committing to ethics standards]. I have watched him work hard for the constituents of Ward 12 and know he would have continued to do so.
Evan was given notice, without cause, and released from his Ward 12 office duties. I have recently been mulling over concerns surrounding the optics of him working in the office while also running for City Council. The thought of those optics adversely impacting both the perception of the Ward 12 Office and also Evan’s campaign ultimately moved me to this difficult decision. Evan is a great servant of our City, a strong candidate, and I wish him the best in all his future endeavours.”
“When Councillor Keating and I initially talked about the possibility of my candidacy for Ward 12 he was supportive and we immediately adjusted my role to ensure integrity was preserved.
I was prepared for the Councillor’s decision to “give me notice, without cause” at the time he felt most appropriate for my campaign period. To ensure there is comfort for Ward 12 constituents, in guaranteeing both Councillor Keating’s office and my activities are ethical for any who may continue to wonder if there was a conflict on optics alone, I have left the Ward 12 office effective today.
I am grateful to Shane for his mentorship. I look forward to now putting all of my focus into the campaign and earning constituents’ votes to become councillor myself for Ward 12 this Fall. I look forward to continuing to hold the same high standard of ethics, transparency, and responsibility that I held as a staff member of the Ward 12 office and that were modeled by Shane in this decision.”
Any members of the Ward 12 community or media who have questions regarding Evan Spencer’s work with City Hall, the constituencies of Ward 12, the engagement of the ethics commissioner, and the decision to step away from his work for the candidacy can contact the campaign team at [email protected].