WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT
I received some interesting responses to last week`s report.
Most replies were supportive; however, there were a handful of comments that were nasty, and some that just didn’t make any sense at all. One wag thought I was bullying the Deputy Mayor, and sent me a link to an online site that would help me overcome my bullying tactics.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at the interest shown. The report was posted late Wednesday, and by the weekend it had registered over a thousand hits.
Sprinkled amongst the comments on the column were a few concerns regarding Council’s decision to appoint a replacement to fill the recently vacated seat brought about by the resignation of Ron Anderson.
Again, when Council was presented with a choice of three ways to replace the vacancy, it chose to call for candidates and make a council appointment, as stated in the Municipal Act.
Both the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Bray initially moved a motion to name George Watson, the 2014 election candidate that finished sixth in that election. When that motion was defeated, they presented another motion that called for a by-election to fill the position that would cost the Wasaga Beach taxpayers approximately $95,000, and would not see the winner seated until September 2016. That too was defeated.
“ It’s the most democratic process,” said the Deputy Mayor, “Hand picking this person, when we have two and a half years left does not respect our voters.”
Well, that’s one way of looking at it. However, I look at it with a different view.
The sixth place finishing councillor from the 2014 election had served three terms as a member of Council and was shown the door by the voting public. For me to vote to return him to his previous position without knowing what other citizens were interested in serving, in my opinion, would be a blow against democracy and really be a slap in the face to the Wasaga Beach voters. So, it`s just how you choose to look at it.
When it comes to Council voting to fill the vacant position, it will be interesting to see if the two council members cast their ballots for Mr. Watson. One would think that their actions to date commits them to doing just that.
The Deputy Mayor has gone on record to say that the upcoming appointment, “is already predetermined.” It`s not unusual for the Deputy Mayor to make such outrageous comments.
As for Yours Truly, I can only tell you that other than receiving letters from the two previous council members, as did all of Council, I have not spoken to any of the candidates seeking the position, and I have no idea as to who I will support, and won’t know, until I have a chance to listen to all of their presentations to Council.
At that point I will vote for the candidate who, in my opinion, will serve the ratepayers best.
Now, getting back to last week’s column.
The most interesting thing to me about the response to that column was that it was written in a way to point out the rift between the Deputy Mayor and the majority of Council when it comes to bringing change to the municipality. Her voting pattern clearly shows her negativity to anything that smacks of moving the municipality forward.
The report finished with a challenge to her groupies to explain how her negatism does anything in helping the overall economy of the municipality and the future of the business community and the ratepayers that we serve.
No one, but NO ONE attempted to do that. They would rather continue to dump on Council in general, and the Mayor in particular, than defend Triple N.
Now, the Deputy Mayor’s actions are not new to municipal government. In fact, they are rather common throughout the industry.
Very few Mayors float through their municipal careers without having one, or more, members of their Council set themselves up as a self appointed Official Opposition. If the mayor says good, the opposition says bad, and so it goes until, eventually, an election settles the matter.
It must be remembered that municipal politicians are first, and foremost, ratepayers. Not many graduates set their life goals as municipal politicians. They are usually encouraged by friends and neighbours to run for local Council after showing leadership qualities in fighting a neighbourhood battle with Town Hall. In fact, if a poll of any municipal Council was run, with just one question, “do you consider yourself a member of the building team or the wrecking team”, I would venture to say that almost one hundred percent of the responses would be, “The building team.”
The “Wreckers” not only kid the voters but end up kidding themselves as well.