So is this how it all ends?
Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum writes an op-ed in the Citizen saying council has been shut out of light-rail information and the notoriously thin-skinned Mayor Jim Watson throws a fit?
What! Criticism! Who does Mr. Tobi think he is? The Bulldog? Serge! Serge! Can we blacklist The Nussbaum?
But back to the real mayor. “I know councillor Nussbaum has never asked to meet me or my office on this issue. I’ve confirmed with (city manager Steve Kanellakos) he has never asked for a briefing.”
“Every member of council has every right to ask for more information and it’s really up to them to go and pick up the phone and call me or call the city manager. I’m not sure an op-ed actually is the right approach.”
What Watson forgets to say is that councillors can ask the mayor for information but His Worship “has every right” not to tell them. Witness the Christmas Miracle of an amazing $10 million extra or the fact that LRT was to be monstrously late but that was withheld from the budget deliberations.
It’s incredible how high the mayor can pile it.
But His Worship is getting sloppy. Very sloppy.
This is not new. It shows in his astounding lack of administration skills which have cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
But he gets away with it because he is Good Ole Uncle Jim. Mister Dull, Mister Boring, Mister I-Have-To-Bring-A-Pizza-To-A-Party-For-People-To-Let-Me-In.
Except all the secrecy and sleight-of-hand is beginning to be noticed beyond the usual Ottawa City Hall chattering classes by the apathetic unwashed masses who vote.
That’s because the sly budget machinations, the late LRT, the fact that Watson and council didn’t know that the $1-million late fee didn’t apply, the fact that Watson has ordered monthly reports on LRT when it was obvious no one was watching save the occasional sinkhole (“on-time and on-budget”) and that, finally, it is becoming transparent to the public that Watson either can’t handle the job or can’t be bothered to handle the job.
But sloppy. Very sloppy. Watson got caught in another lie when his usual fact-less verbal freelancing took him to a place he should never have gone. Why Nussbaum can come in to talk to myself or Kanellakos anytime he wants, the mayor says.
Just one problem, Your Worship. Nussbaum did send a written series of questions to Kanellakos and received written answers. Oops. And Nussbaum has a witness … Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper. Double oops.
Nussbaum had done the very thing that Watson had suggested and His Worship had not consulted with Kanellakos when he said he did.
Two lies and a sloppy. Finally the public is getting a handle on this. Watson is a paper tiger.
But we’ve seen this movie before when Watson left early from his previous mayoral post and when he left the provincial cabinet.
That voice you hear off in the distance is the fat lady singing. Time to go, Your Worship.
Mayor Jim Watson doing the public-relations thing.
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