Of buzzers, boycotts, barbs and boarders

The buzzer has sounded, the counter is closed and the nomination deadline has come and gone for the 2014 municipal vote.
By choosing to withdraw his aldermanic papers and instead seek to become the head of council, Mark Cosens makes it a three-way race with Cliff Barwick and Heather Jackson.
In the aldermanic race, a total of 19 are in the running thanks to a final week blitz.
Voters have the opportunity to elect seven from the following candidates: John Allen, Brett Bear, Ken Boe, Mark Burgess, Gary Clarke, Jaqueline DeLeebeeck, Rose Gibson, Walter H. Green, Tom Johnston, Jeff Kohler, Frank Lattanzio, Mike Manary, Todd Rowley, Joan Rymal, Beverly Splane, Linda Stevenson, Mark Tinlin, Phil Thomson and Steve Wookey.

Late last month, Times-Journal reporter Ben Forrest wrote a factual account of an interview he recorded with Cosens announcing his intention to seek re-election.
While several of Cosens’ comments could be considered inflammatory in nature, there was no attempt by the alderman to question the presentation of the story or the accuracy of the quotes contained within the article.

This past week, when Cosens withdrew his aldermanic papers to join the mayoral race, he declined an interview request by the same T-J reporter on the grounds he was not pleased with the Aug. 26 headline, St. Thomas Ald. Mark Cosens says city has no vision.
A headline taken directly from his quote, “There is no vision in the City of St. Thomas, nor has there ever been a common vision in the City of St. Thomas.”
A rather sweeping generalization by Cosens that would include recent councils headed by Cliff Barwick, Jeff Kohler, Peter Ostojic, Joanne Brooks, Steve Peters and Janet Golding.
Painting these mayors with the same brush surely would generate controversy and, no doubt, some of these individuals are likely to challenge Cosens on this assertion.
In the same interview, Cosens made pointed allegations about corruption at city hall.
These accusations reference a discussion about IT services in which he believes Mayor Jackson should have declared a conflict of interest.
He also pointed to a 4-3 vote that returned Barwick to council after former alderman Sam Yusuf stepped down last year.
“I believe these are actions of corrupt people,” Cosens stressed. “And I don’t think the public gets it.”
Devious, underhanded or malicious, perhaps. But certainly not corrupt.
Especially when appointing Barwick to fill the vacancy is clearly presented as one of three options available to council under the Ontario Municipal Act.
This week, Cosens spoke of the power of words.
Totally agree, Mark, and that would include corrupt and lack of vision.
Careful how you use them.


The city’s new skateboard park and the committee formed to come up with a location and game plan.
The committee was to be comprised of Aldermen Johnston, Baldwin-Sands, Cosens, parks and recreation director Ross Tucker, chairman Joe Gordon and members of the skateboard community.
A location was agreed upon adjacent to the Timken Centre and the trail ends there.
We understand the committee chairman has stepped down, no replacement has been appointed and apparently the committee hasn’t met in ages.
How did this get off track and is there a will to proceed further?


Candidates in the 2014 St. Thomas municipal election are encouraged to promote their upcoming campaign activities and events here in City Scope.
It’s totally non-partisan and it’s an opportunity for candidates to reach and inform the electorate.
Send along your info to the email address below.
Aldermanic candidate Joan Rymal has sent in the following invitation.
rymal joan
“Please join me at Elgin County Railway Museum, Saturday September 20 from 7 – 10p.m. for the MCRR Locomotive Shops 100th Anniversary Evening & Silent Auction. Tickets are $15 each or 2/$25 and are available at the Museum or at Ansell’s.
“The Museum is working to enhance their railway heritage to increase tourism which will directly benefit the economy in St. Thomas.”
And Mayor Jackson reminds:
“Please join me on Saturday, September 13th from 7 – 9 p.m. at the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre as I launch my campaign platform! Feel free to share this invitation with any of your friends or neighbours who would be interested in attending.”


In last week’s column, reader Dale Cummings requested an answer to the following question:
“What is the story behind the 40k ($40,000) some people have tied Ald. Cosens to in recent days? Is this an issue that taxpayers should be made aware of?
Since Cosens has indicated he will not speak to the Times-Journal during this campaign, here is a link to a transcript of the 2010 interview with Dan Reith on Politically Speaking where he was questioned about the $40,000 Community Improvement Program loan.
The full transcript is here, here.

“Words are powerful things, and you know that as well as I do, and it’s all how it reads.”
Ald. Mark Cosens in announcing he would enter the mayoral race for the Oct. 27 municipal election, but will not speak to the Times-Journal during the campaign due to the wording of the headline initially announcing he was seeking re-election.
City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to ian.mccallum@sunmedia.ca.

One thought on “Of buzzers, boycotts, barbs and boarders

    On the shenanigans of the Barwick toadies and Jackson, you suggest that they’re perhaps “underhanded” but “certainly not corrupt”. Cosens says corrupt. Underhanded and corrupt are synonyms.
    The attempt to apply (wordsmith) lipstick on the pig doesn’t alter the fact it’s a pig.

    The results will be close (for runner-up) but even without you as President of his Fan Club, I still see a landslide victory for St. Thomas’ next Mayor, Mark Cosens.
    My prediction on the vote count is;
    Mark Cosens 5,810 Heather Jackson 2,945 Clifford Barwick 2,705


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