Did Councillor Marra Just Announce He Is Running For Mayor
- “had a "long-standing family commitment" and didn't attend the event.”
Don’t you find it interesting that we have not heard so far what the Mayor’s perspective is on what the Premier said. The Eminence Greasie must be away.
This could be Marra’s turning point. It is about time too.
Bill obviously had a strategy about what he wanted to do before he officially announced that he wants to be our new mayor. That announcement clearly will not come for many more months. After all, why take shots from the Star for two years before the next election.
My belief, and I had heard this from a number of people in the City including some of Bill’s friends, was that he was becoming virtually invisible. He was disappointing people who felt that he should be taking a bigger leadership role in the City given his background and given his desire to run for mayor. It was almost to the point that many were doubting that Bill had the ability to run a City like Windsor.
I am sure that Bill decided early on, and smartly as well, to be low key and to work with his colleagues quietly so that he would not be viewed as a show boater who is just putting in time since he believed that he was the heir apparent. He had to gain their trust. From what I am hearing from my inside moles, he has been able to achieve that with a number of the Councillors but obviously not all of them.
The Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget has not yet realized that he has risen to the level made famous by the words of Dr. Laurence J. Peter as was made clear in this Henderson column:
- “But anyone who thinks this means the 2010 coronation of Ward 4 Coun. Bill Marra is back on schedule should give that a second thought. There will be no free ride. There will be a war, a vicious, take-no-prisoners struggle and I'm placing early money that it will be between Marra and Ward 1 Coun. Dave Brister.
Brister told me in his rookie term that he had no interest in the top job. And he's still circumspect about his intentions. But what I'm hearing, from people close to him, is that if Francis does pack it in to go make some serious money, Brister will not stand idly by and let Marra claim this (dubious) prize without a fight.”
Bill I am sure understands that Eddie may well run for a third term because where else can he go and make the kind of money that he is making as Mayor. Moreover, if he decides to leave, then Dave Cooke is around. He has to know, no matter what, the Star will not support him.
The issue for Bill really has to be when does he start making it obvious that he is not merely a “team player” no matter what. He does not want to offend and yet on the other hand he does need to create a distinct identity that people can rally around. Some of his biggest supporters, so the rumblings went, were thinking that Bill was waiting too long.
In my opinion, they were right. If Bill remains as quiet as he has been to date especially on City positions that are causing tremendous damage to this Community, then his support will disappear no matter what he does or says down the road. It will be too late. People will have started to look elsewhere for a new champion.
I think Bill understands this and has decided that he is now going to show what he is made of and why he ought to be our next mayor. He knows he needs to earn it by gaining the respect of Windsorites.
That does NOT mean that he is going to be obnoxious about it.
Ironically, one of Bill’s biggest weaknesses is his biggest strength. He is a consensus builder. He does not want anyone going away angry from an issue no matter what the result. His preference has always been to have people try and work out their differences rather than to have a decision imposed upon them.
This can make him look weak although he is not. One only needs to look at what he has been able to accomplish at New Beginnings. One needs only to compare his style with that of certain others who like to impose his/her point of view while pretending not to do so.
If you read the transcript of what Bill said on TV interviews at the end of the week, my view is that Bill has just made it clear that he is separating himself from our Mayor. Yet, he still wants to arrive at a compromise between the City and the Senior Levels to avoid unpleasantness and to avoid any further animosity so that Councillor Valentinis no longer have to ask why no one listens to Windsor.
Here is what I mean. Here is part of the CBC interview after the Premier said it was time to “move ahead” with the DRIC Road:
- “Reporter: Councillor Bill Marra was the only City representative at the lunch and he wasn't opposed to what the Premier said. In fact he agrees that the current Parkway plans have changed a lot from the beginning.
Marra: We have made vast improvements. We are protecting the communities. We've got a lot of green space buffering. We are connecting Windsor and LaSalle. So we have come a very, very long way. I believe that the final result will be compatible with everybody's needs."
Do you see what I mean? He has separated himself from the Mayor no matter how anyone wishes to put it otherwise.
However, Bill goes on to say as the consensus builder that he is:
- “Reporter: Now Councillor Marra says that he is going to reserve his judgement on the Parkway until he sees the final application but he believes that we are still going to see some more changes in the Windsor-Essex Parkway especially after the feedback from the open houses.”
This is a whole different tone from that of the Mayor who might have said something but with an undertone of litigation if he did not get what he wanted based on his previous threats.
The other interesting matter was the jail situation where Councillor Marrar was the one who discussed it and not the Mayor. In fact, the Councillor told us that HE was successful in getting the Province to agree on the process with respect to the placement of the jail at the location picked by the Province but that the Province was not going to Brighton Beach, the Mayor’s preferred location for whatever reason.
Another Marra victory and an Eddie Francis defeat.
Ah politics. We shall see if Councillor Marra’s remarks at the Premier’s lunch is the turning point in Eddie’s mayoral career in the same way that the Council Meeting in March, 2003 was for ex-Mayor Hurst.
If you see attacks on the Councillor in the Star soon, then you will know that I am correct.