It was a particularly effervescent Joe Preston who took to the podium this past Wednesday for the area mayor’s luncheon at St. Anne’s Centre.
Sharing the spotlight with Southwold Mayor Grant Jones and Central Elgin Mayor Sally Martyn, Preston was not only bubbling over with enthusiasm, but he also came in three minutes under the allotted 10-minute time slot.
And, made a promise of better city transit by the end of this year, guaranteed.
Preston opened with, “St. Thomas, what a great place to be the mayor.”
He continued, “I have been mayor for little over a year and it’s been an extra-special time.”
After thanking the city councillors, he observed, “Boy, do we employ some pretty good people . . . I’m here to tell you’re in pretty good shape.
“We’re in good shape at being able to run this community in an efficient way with smart people doing it.”
The final numbers have been submitted and it’s a bitter lesson for mayoral candidate Mark Cosens, who found you can’t spend your way to the top.
March 27 was the deadline for candidates to file campaign expenses for the 2014 municipal vote and all 22 individuals met that target.
Cosens claimed $15,244.94 in expenses, which was well beyond double the amount logged by Mayor Heather Jackson at $5,883.59.
Cliff Barwick, who filed months ago, spent just over $4,000. Continue reading
I’ve always maintained the success of City Scope is due to the loyalty of faithful readers who take time out of their busy schedules each week to digest the column, and their willingness to freely pass along comments and criticism.
Here are just two examples from this week’s mailbag.
Joe Caverly of St. Thomas attended Thursday’s transit open house at city hall and wanted to share his observations.
“I got a positive feeling after talking with the representative about my issues, and the direction in which St. Thomas Transit is going,” Joe offered.
“While I do not agree with the change to one-hour schedules for some of the routes, I was told that this was just the consultant’s recommendation and that public feedback may override these changes.
We’ve badgered the administration at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital for some time now, so it’s interesting to note CEO Paul Collins will make a guest appearance Monday at city council with a presentation on redefining the hospital’s future.
In summary, the vision encompasses new adult mental health programs, a new emergency department that is double the size of the existing area, new surgical suites and centralized ambulatory care housed in Complex Continuing Care.
The redevelopment represents a $106 million investment in St. Thomas and Elgin.
It’s a business case that was presented to the ministry of health in July, 2009, where it has languished ever since. However, it is a project the hospital has advocated for many years and should there be a change in government come October, it could add a whole new dimension to wait times.
Use of public transit in St. Thomas is on the upswing, although we have yet to see evening and Sunday service which you would expect in a progressive municipality. The history of transporting the public around the city is a colourful story dating back to 1879 and an interesting synopsis is posted here