Ward 1 Showdown At The Council Corral
I can just imagine the theme from the movie "High Noon" playing right after the National Anthem at the start of tonight's Council meeting. It should be an interesting night at Council if you like showdowns. We are starting to see Councillors jockeying for position for the next municipal election campaign. The cracks of Council unity are becoming more apparent.
It should also be interesting to see whether the Mayor has lost control of Council or can still whip them into shape. As the former Mayor admitted, he lost control over Council in his last year and lost on every siginificant issue by a vote of 6-4 (actually, it was generally 7-3). At least there was a solid block of Councillors who allowed the City to be run. This time around, unfortunately, there is no Councillor leader and no real solid block other than the so-called "spenders."
Ironically, could anyone who knew them at the start of this Council in 2003 have imagined that Ward 2 Councillors Postma and Jones would ever speak to one another during their 3 year term. It is no understatement to say that the animosity between them was intense, probably going back to the by-election that Jones won and the Jones-Carlesimo run for re-election. Caroline had the nerve to get elected!
Not only are they speaking now together, but they seem to be the only Councillors actually working together all of the time for their constituents. They are quite a duo and a study in contrasts. Yet they seem to be an effective team.
Contrast this with my Ward 1 Councillors, Brister and Zuk, whose relationship seems to be deteriorating day after day, so much so that it was even reported by Gord Henderson. I hear it is so bad that a playground in the Ward is still waiting to be built because of their disagreement!
If you want to have some fun , watch Council tonight. I believe that this week Joyce's Motion re doctors getting space at Canderel should be heard. The idea was an interesting one but one that Gord Henderson called "misguided" in a column recently even though he said she "had the best of intentions in thinking, as she put it, outside the box ." Well if Gord does not like it, (and the Star Editorial opposed it today) can one guess how Councillor Brister will vote!
[Note I understand that Joyce's wording will be less definitive than the story suggested re free space after feedback she has received but it will be interesting to see how Dave reacts]
The other item to be dealt with has to do with amendments to the Site Plan for the new booths at the Ambassador Bridge. Councillors Brister and Gignac voted against the Bridge Co. when this was first brought forward thereby infuriating a number of their colleagues since they all had endorsed the changes by their approval of the Schwartz Report where it was supported by Sam. Especially upset were the Ward 2 Councillors who felt that they were upstaged by Brister and Gignac in a matter impacting their Ward.
Will Brister vote against the amendment? Will Zuk? If Brister votes against it and Joyce in favour, will she accuse him of being fiscally irresponsible since it could mean an OMB hearing wasting thousands in legal fees since the City would probably lose as was discussed last time around? Or will she and the Ward 2 Councillors accuse him (and Gignac) of playing to the crowd again, perhaps for other reasons. (Yes I know, Brister is NEVER running for mayor).
I also hear Brister and Zuk may get into a big battle over the calling of meetings with DRIC over Talbot Road and the road to the border. There may be blood spilled in camera over it. Perhaps they should talk to the Ward 2 Councillors about how working together on a Ward issue can be accomplished too.
Now if nothing happens, do not blame me. This BLOG is to give the Mayor a "head's up" to control his Councillors before Council collapses into complete disarray! So watch everything go on consent [sigh]