CFN – It is a sad time in our history when ethical politics have become an oxymoron! Like the name of one of my favourite pubs in Ottawa, which I use to visit as a College Student, the “Honest Lawyer” serves as a great example of how society has grown to accept and view certain professions. I personally don’t believe that all lawyers are dishonest but there are some who fit the tag just like many of today’s politicians.
Passion + Drive = Unstoppable!
Growing up I had the privilege of being taught by Bernice Kilger, Bob Kilger’s Wife at the time, and was amazed although quiet about how much I idolized the Kilger family. I was 11 years old, was living in Social Housing with my parents who were struggling to make ends-meet and strived to try and reach up out the gutter that I felt like I was stuck in as a youth.
Bernice was one the nicest and most sincere women I have ever met and I cannot say enough good things about her. She had a son playing pro-hockey and her husband was a former NHL referee and local MP! The perfect family!
I can honestly say I had a distinct MANCRUSH on BOB KILGER as a young man! He had the perfect life; including the perfect family, he was well-respected, well-spoken and had a great past full of wonderful memories/stories with more still to come!
As I entered High School, I developed several of my athletic talents to the point of local fame and found myself representing Cornwall, Eastern Ontario and Canada in several sports including Track & Field, Soccer, Baseball, Football and Bowling.
In college, I suffered career ending and life altering knee injury. I began to focus more on school and realized that my drive for perfection and to be the best could help in all facets of my life including academics. I began studying more and discussing college policies, ethics and business almost obsessively; and still do to this day!
I began Managing before graduating and essentially realized my entrepreneurial spirit burned extremely bright! I purchased a local swimming pool store and began dabbling in politics as a hobby.
In 2010, I decided that it would be a good time to enter in my first political race and begin learning more about municipal politics. While running, by itself, was a huge learning curve, learning that the certain cliques existed and would do anything to protect their interests was not only disheartening but ignited a new fire because the love of my city was only topped my desire to pull Cornwall out of the gutter that I felt it was stuck in just like I was as a youth.
My noble intentions have caused me to, at times, be tested beyond reasonable expectations and I now find myself dealing with a community in dire need of STRONG LEADERSHIP! I am still fairly young and learn more about our society and politics everyday but not one day has gone by where the fire inside me never stops! The need for unity, pride and ethical practices have never been so clearly needed in my eyes until very recently!
Who is the Boss at City Hall?
So this leads me to my topic “Who is the BOSS at Cornwall City Hall or more importantly who should be?” Mr. Kilger could have taught me more than I could have ever imagined, if I was fortunate enough to be elected, but then again has his illness taken an even greater toll on him then other media outlets may have you believe? I do not know for sure but I do know that he would be more able if he were healthier!
Also, has management been forced to pick-up the slack and were they willing or even able to do so? After the latest administrative errors I would think that not only is an active Mayor needed but also an active, creative and more modern (possibly younger) council to implement change in a manner that would breath life and inspiration into an archaic and isolated City Hall.
After the latest rounds of budget talks it leads me to believe that the tax level could be dropped even further then the current 2% increase. Council must tell its division managers that tax increases will be held below inflation for several years to regain our competitive levels and emphasize the need to continue to save and replenish the reserves that are well below where they should be!
The scariest thought is “What would our tax increase have been if we DID NOT have record levels of Commercial and Residential construction?” ……and would this not be one the expected times where a community should see a tax decrease?
It would do the community and administration good if council showed more PASSION for its ethical practices. A good start would be having Paul Fitzpatrick apologize for using tax payer’s dollars for personal use. This would show humility and be a great start to moving from good leadership to great leadership as described in a previous editorial. The mayor should do this because essentially he is “The Boss!”, and if not, Council must band together to ensure that we are ethically responsible to the community at large!
Also, if council could show its DRIVE towards becoming a more unified and leading edge community by addressing key issues that affect us all such as the decrease in transportation options (train and bus), increased welfare rates and heavy taxation burden then there would be no doubt who is leading our community from the front and not from behind administration; lighting the path for UNSTOPPABLE growth and prosperity for all!