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This topic contains 11 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Chaz 8 months, 3 weeks ago.
- November 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM #739593November 14, 2017 at 12:26 PM #739596
The answer to your question is that our local elected officials operate in an environment not dissimilar to a poorly supervised school yard. Far too many of our councillors are intimidated, which is just a bigger, fancier word for bullied, by a mayor who holds the power of appointing them to committee chairs (has anyone seen the very experienced Councillor Chiarelli chairing a committee during the last three years?), “whips the vote” against discretionary spending in the wards of those who dare to question his infinite wisdom, or casually toss a councillor under the bus if they fail to deliver the support from the communities in their wards for his pet projects (hello Councillor Brockington).November 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM #739598
Then perhaps it is time for Councillor Chiarelli to start to piece together a group that is not very happy with this budget.
If anyone can do that, it’s Chiarelli.
I think residents are starting to get a feel for this budget given the front-page coverage it has received in the Citizen.
Maybe councillors will respond to that.
It’s a long-shot but it is worth a try.
kgrayNovember 14, 2017 at 11:20 PM #739630
ChazNovember 14, 2017 at 11:22 PM #739634November 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM #739648
And, if memory serves, it was Rick Chiarelli along with Diane Deans that stage-managed that defeat of O’Brien’s budget. He’s one of the few around the Council table with the understanding of the budget and of Council procedure to be able to pull it off. He’s also in the position of having nothing to lose. What’s Watson going to do to him – refuse to put a stop sign up in College Ward?
The question is whether enough of the Koolaid drinkers around the Council table can step away from Watson’s fountain long enough to support such a move. With independent thought so rare and the belief that they are dependent on Watson’s largesse to get ahead, it’s unlikely that will happen. However, as soon as they see Watson falter, look for a quick exodus from his sinking ship (with apologies to Councillor Brockington, captain of the Sinking Ship playground).November 15, 2017 at 11:52 AM #739664
You’re thinking the way I’m thinking. Councillor Rick Chiarelli is the man for this.
Surely there are enough rational councillors who realize this budget will produce a whopping operating deficit and that other sources of money will need to be raided to cover the shortfall.
Is this the kind of city government that councillors support? We want good government, not smoke and mirrors.
kgrayNovember 15, 2017 at 2:54 PM #739696
Voter, you have it wrong on the stop sign in College Ward.
A couple of years ago, there were two separate events within a few months of each other, where drivers did not bring their vehicles to a full and complete stop at a T junction in Centrepointe. Rather, both crossed 4+ lanes of asphalt, went over a 15 cm curb, across a standard width concrete sidewalk and a few metres of weeds, then through the precast concrete fence. One entered the back of a garage, but not through the door. In the second incident, the other driver mistook the kitchen for a drive through. We were advised that both drivers were residents of Centrepointe.
Within a couple of days of the second event being reported in the Citizen, a new, larger stop sign was put up, along with a black and yellow diamond warning sign against the fence – the type of sign one sees on rural intersections. When I asked Councillor Chiarelli whether he asked for the signs, he said no.
A few weeks later, during an already scheduled meeting on traffic calming issues, I raised the topic with the city’s traffic engineers. I pointed out that the city’s traffic (mis)management department had just advised us that they won’t put down a few grams of white paint without a study, but within days the two aforementioned incidents, two signs were put up. Was it just possible that those actions, taken without a supporting study, were the result of political pressure being applied? After getting a few stony stares when I asked why they thought that long time residents of Centrepointe weren’t aware of a stop sign at a 35 year old T intersection, and why they thought that these same long time residents of Centrepointe would suddenly become aware of the T intersection with the new signage. More stony stares. I suggested that perhaps a follow up story in the Citizen could focus on how quickly the city acts when someone like the mayor intercedes to demonstrate that he is a man of action. I suggested that in order to avoid this source of likely embarassment, they could remove the diamond shaped black and yellow warning sign. When asked whether the bigger stop sign should be replaced with a regular size sign, I said no. If it was a waste of money to swap it in, then it would be an even bigger waste of money to swap it out. The diamond shaped, black and yellow warning sign was gone the next morning.
As an aside, there have been no repeat incidents at this intersection. It must be because of the bigger stop sign. Just sayin.November 19, 2017 at 4:03 PM #739799
JaymeNovember 19, 2017 at 6:23 PM #739802
Ron, I was using the example of a stop sign as an example of a smaller expenditure that a councillor might ask for only to be blocked by the mayor. Watson is well-known for rewarding or penalizing councillors through their ward requests as a way of making them toe the line. I don’t think that tactic works very well with Chiarelli.November 20, 2017 at 9:53 AM #739843
Voter, my comment was a long-winded attempt at mockery. The larger stop sign and diamond shaped black and yellow warning sign were installed to demonstrate that someone was a person of action, not in response to a request from the councillor or the community, and did not address the real problem, which were respectively a DUI and a distracted driver, both of whom had to have been were travelling well in excess of Her Majesty’s “recommended” speed.
Having said that, I agree with you. Mayor Watson’s modus operandi is to intimidate (so much more polite a term than bully) other councillors and communities. Councillor Fleury made that crystal clear in the comments cited in an article in today’s (Nov 20) Citizen.November 20, 2017 at 10:32 PM #739880
Ron and the Voter,
I read “long-winded” comment as a good piece of mockery.
Gotta start using :) now and agin.
Written tongue-in-cheek is so easily misread because a reader can’t see your eyes or your body language or hear your tone of voice.
Now, councillors must tow themselves over to the toe line and step over it.