Will pending CAO debate trigger a flip-flop frenzy?


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Mark Dec. 13 on the calendar, because it should trigger the process that will witness the return of a CAO to city hall.

The position has been vacant since 2004, when council determined Roy Main just didn’t fit into the city’s plans.

City clerk Wendell Graves would sure fit the bill now, however.

In a chat this week with Times-Journal reporter Kyle Rea, incoming mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman said she fully expected a notice of motion would come forward on that date to initiate debate on a CAO.



“We need to deal with this immediately, let’s get this decided,” she asserted.

“I think the will is there — it certainly was there during the campaign — the majority of the members who are now on council took that position before. That will certainly be a top priority.”

Based on the campaign literature of those who will comprise the new council, the vote on this one shouldn’t even be close.

But, we’ve all experienced the fine art of the political flip-flop.

ATTENTION TO DETAILS

As a follow-up to last week’s accounting of the City Scope accessibility challenge, participant Linda Stevenson has warm praise for advocate Ed McLachlan.

“Thanks to Ed McLachlan for his time and commitment to ensuring we all understand what happens when you have a different ability to see, hear, walk, and get around St. Thomas,” she writes.

“The afternoon I spent with him was a great eye-opener to understand what still needs to be done. As our population continues to age at a very fast rate, it will be very clear we may not be able to keep up with work to be done to make this community fully accessible.

“When the city wastes money on buildings like the Timken Centre by not getting it right the first time and going back time and time again to repair work that should have made the building accessible the first time around, we can only hope the new council will pay closer attention to the details.

“The folks who can’t access this building in its current state deserve better. Other buildings, parks and roadways need a plan that addresses all the things with every rebuild, renovation and new build this city undertakes in the future.

“Pay close attention new council members . . . there must be wise investments with the few dollars you have to spend.”

Timely advice heading into Monday’s inauguration.

Full details of the accessibility challenge can be found
here

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Is the Sutherland Press building still considered a valuable heritage asset?

And, what happened to the vocal supporters now the municipal election is in the history books?

BREAKING BREAD

Don’t mean to rush Jackson-Chapman as she settles into her new digs, but love the idea spawned by the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.

On Feb. 23, 2011, the chamber will host a mayoral luncheon at St. Anne’s Centre to mark the first 100 days in office for our new municipal councils. Jackson-Chapman, Southwold Mayor Jim McIntyre and Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters will each address the gathering for about 10 minutes, followed by a Q & A session.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling the chamber office at 519-631-1981 or by emailing mike@stthomaschamber.on.ca.

LETTER BE

My, Bill Aarts knows how to craft a letter that will bulge the mail bag at this end.

In his war of words with Tom Marks, Aarts notes “Being a sore loser in a lost vote does not help move an item forward. How many times must one rehash decisions that have been made because someone does not agree with them?”

It’s been some time Bill, but surely you remember rehashing decisions sure seemed to work for those who kept pushing for a downtown location for the Timken Centre.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Most mayors get a chain of office when they’re sworn in. Mine is a noose.”

Central Elgin mayor-elect Bill Walters overheard at Friday’s announcement for next summer’s Great Lakes International Air Show.

George Cuff


“Meaningful leadership by council does not simply happen. It takes considerable thought and absolute commitment to focus on the perceived significant matters that will affect the long-term well-being of the community.”

Municipal consultant and author George Cuffon the leadership role expected of local elected officials, as quoted exactly four years ago in City Scope.

City Scope appears every Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be e-mailed to: mccallum@stthomastimesjournal.com.

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