And it’s Begun – My thoughts on our new Mayor and Council in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – DEC 1, 2014

And it’s Begun – My thoughts on our new Mayor and Council in Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – DEC 1, 2014

jg2CORNWALL Ontario – Politicians have a funny trait of saying one thing and doing another.  Many in Ontario for example were shocked and bewildered when former Premier Mike Harris actually kept some of his campaign promises.

New Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy took the chain of command tonight.  There’s a lot of interesting catch phrases and buzz words being bandied about.

It was a sad and sombre occasion at the Civic Complex.   The event wasn’t really advertised.  The room had a hollow feel to it with mostly families and hanger ons attending.

MP Lauzon took a pass as did Grand Chief Mike Mitchell.  Mostly what was missing were most of those that ran for office.  There was no Glen Grant, no Bob Kilger, Syd Gardiner, Denis Carr, Denis Thibault.   There was no sense of a community  coming together.

For a community that seemed to want change it felt like a hollow victory and the buzz is that many feel that not much will change.   Watching how some of the councilors worked the room certainly didn’t feel like much had changed.

Many key community leaders passed on this event.  Many in the community are still stunned that such change occurred.

Mayor O’Shaughnessy was quoted as saying;

I repeatedly heard (during my campaign) the City of Cornwall was really operated by the old boys’ club.

Let me I assure you, if an old boys’ club existed yesterday, it is gone as of today.

The trick isn’t to replace one group of old boys(and girls)  with another.    Will Council and Cornwall under Leslie really treat everyone fairly?   Will it truly be more open?   We’ll know real soon.  There are some historical injustices that this council will be faced with.   There are promises that were made by many elected during the election such as rescinding salary raises and towing the line on taxes.  Will Brock Frost really donate all of his council salary for all of this term to charity?

There already seem to be some lines drawing and while there is no clear block supporting our new mayor such as Bob Kilger had, it should be interesting to see how this new council navigates some very very choppy waters especially once the pull and press of interested parties gets into high gear.

The proof will be in the actions of our elected officials.   Tonight was a time for snappy phrases and sugar coated idealism.   Tuesday it’s showtime and the real action begins.

One sign will be to see who is on the Lay committee and ultimately who is appointed to which committees.  Will we see new faces?   Will old corrupt bullies like Glen Grant be allowed to be on a City of Cornwall committee after what happened at the WFC?

One could be jaded.   This writer prefers the glass to be half full.   Of course the other half is loaded in the squirt gun and ready for use 🙂

What do you think Cornwall?  Will things be different this term or just another facet of the same mayhem?  You can post your comments below.

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