‘Let’s jealously protect the jobs we already have. Let’s jealously protect the industries and enterprises that are already part of St. Thomas.’ – Mayor Joe Preston


city-hall.jpgMayor Joe Preston and the incoming councillors were sworn in during a ceremony at city hall Monday (Dec. 3). Prior to Preston’s inaugural speech,  Pastor Steven McCready from Faith Church, in his charge to council, noted: “This city has changed immensely in the three years I’ve been here.”
However, McCready pointed out, “Mayor, there is still lots to do. Let’s work together and make St. Thomas proud. When the city prospers, the people prosper. And when the people prosper, they find peace. The thing all people are searching for.”
And McCready reminded all in attendance, “Prosperity is not the same as wealth. It means to flourish and be successful.”

The following is the full transcript of Mayor Joe Preston’s inaugural address.

“This is the beginning of something new and the word propel is exactly what we’re looking to do. I’d like to give my thanks to the past council and Mayor (Heather) Jackson for moving this city into a place we can be exceptionally proud of. The group of you who were here and the new people who are here, we are happy to take the torch.
“Thank you to city management and city staff for doing the same thing. St. Thomas is a place we can be proud of because we have great people who think the same way. Thank you to the voters of St. Thomas for electing this team.
“I want to talk a little bit about smart growth. St. Thomas is growing at a very rapid pace and we need to be smart about what we do and how we do that. We want to make sure we end up with not just growth but end up with a place all of the citizens of St. Thomas would truly want this to be.

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‘We must all be guided by the standards of excellence,’ out-going St. Thomas mayor Heather Jackson in her farewell remarks


city_scope_logo-cmykMonday’s meeting (Nov. 19) marked the end of term for council and with it the departure from the chamber of Mayor Heather Jackson and councillors Steve Wookey and Mark Burgess.
While the latter two chose to forego any closing words, Jackson took the opportunity to deliver an emotional farewell after 15 years on council, the last eight as mayor.
Calling it a great honour and opportunity to serve as mayor, Jackson opened her remarks by thanking “all of you who have allowed me this opportunity to serve you and I wish to thank you for your exemplary citizenship that has allowed this city to become a higher, more just and beautiful and liveable city.”
Jackson noted the job of mayor “is very fulfilling in that the responsibilities are not abstract or theoretical, but rather direct, specific and intimate.
“The responsibility for you and your children’s safety at home and at work, on the streets, for your neighbourhood parks to be safe, beautiful and active for you and your children’s play.
“Your garbage and recycling need to be collected, your neighbourhood peaceful and tidy.
“An economy bustling benefits your livelihood. A city growing in fiscal strength and fairness. The inspiration of art is accessible to all. Lovely and positive civic spaces.
“Your reason for optimism for the future. And to serve you in time of crisis and so much more.” Continue reading

Guest columnist Bob McCaig: Tough decisions – who will govern St. Thomas for the next four years?


We plan to open up space in this corner on occasion to allow a guest columnist to present their point of view on issues impacting St. Thomas and Elgin. Are you so passionate about some element of community life that you are compelled to organize your thoughts to share with others? It could be the upcoming municipal election, the proposed development on the Alma College site, the city’s infrastructure, the provision of municipal services . . . well, you get the idea. Submit your editorial to us for consideration and, who knows, we just may give you the podium. Our contact info is on this page.

poll cover pageKicking off this feature is an individual who is no stranger to politics at any level. Bob McCaig is not shy on opinion and the city developer was riled up enough during the municipal vote four years ago he commissioned Oraclepoll Research to produce a St. Thomas Municipal Election Report, based on the responses of 400 individuals. You can read that report here. The following is McCaig’s take on this month’s mayoral race. 

Let’s start with the mayor’s office. Heather Jackson has held the job for the past two terms.
Current councillor Steve Wookey, a popular secondary school teacher, wants to be mayor. He has a pile of signs on lawns, an obvious sign of considerable support.
Joe Preston, who served two terms as Member of Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London, enjoys public service and can’t wait to get back on the job. He figures sitting as mayor of St. Thomas, he will be the right individual to serve constituents while getting home for supper each night. That’s a task truly difficult for MP’s and MPP’s alike.
The fourth candidate is a newcomer to the city – an entertaining rapper/entrepreneur named Malichi Male – who makes friends easily but, being so new to the city, he is likely to garner but a few votes this time out. Continue reading

D.J. to take second run at Daytona 500


D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas is taking a second run at the Great American Race.
A year after qualifying for the 2017 Daytona 500, Gaunt Brother Racing and Kennington are returning for the 60th edition of the Daytona 500. The two-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion was the first Canadian to compete in the Daytona 500 in 29 years.
Running in the Daytona 500 has been a dream of the St. Thomas racer since he was five years old.
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In total, he has made 62 career starts in NASCAR’s three national divisions.
Last year’s Daytona qualification came less than three months after another dream came to fruition on the oval at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona – his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.
He’s raced at Daytona previously in the Infinity Series and has a vivid recollection.
kenningtonfrontjpg“It’s a huge track, but when you’re out there it doesn’t seem so huge. When you’re running three wide at 190 miles an hour, things happen in a hurry. You run flat-footed all the time, all the way around. You never come off the gas.”
He will attempt to qualify for the Feb. 18th race in the No. 96 Toyota Camry.
British Columbia-based Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol (Wakefield Canada), a longtime Kennington partner, will co-sponsor the Daytona effort.
Prior to qualifying last year Kennington enthused, “Daytona is the grand-daddy, it’s the biggest stock car race in the world, I guess. And to have an opportunity at it is absolutely huge for me and my family. My dad has worked so hard with all my races and trying to make things happen for me. For this to come together is really, really cool.”
No doubt he will be just anxious to see the difference a year can make.

Related post:

First Phoenix and now the grand-daddy of them all

 

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Why would the owner of a supportive living facility choose to adopt an alias?


city_scope_logo-cmykVishal Chityal, owner of Walnut Manor in St. Thomas, was the subject of discussion in the Ontario Legislature on May 18, 2017. We have focused on the supportive living facility the past couple of weeks and again four years ago when the kitchen was shut down by Elgin St. Thomas Public Health.
Here are excerpts from the Hansard transcript from that day featuring an impassioned presentation from Welland MPP Cindy Forster, author of private member’s Bill 135, an act to establish a framework for the licensing of supportive living accommodation.
More details on Bill 135 in a moment, but first here is MPP Forster’s back story on Chityal. Continue reading

Shedden’s Lorne Spicer has more than delivered


Parkwood Veterans Memoirsjpg“You might call it bragging, but I got the job done and it wasn’t easy.”
Long-time Shedden resident Lorne Spicer might have been recounting his work with minor hockey, the community’s Rosy Rhubarb Festival or his tireless efforts with the St. Thomas Field Naturalists and the Southwold War Memorial Committee.
Spicer certainly went above and beyond the call of duty with all of those undertakings.
And those achievements would be in keeping with his favourite piece of advice.
“When you make up your mind to do something, just do it.”
And three days before becoming an officer in the RCAF, he wrote in his log book he wanted to become an above average navigator.
His assessment after the fact?
“I delivered.” Continue reading