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She’s gone and Sarnia is better for it

Chris Cooke's picture
Fri, 01/04/2019 - 13:57 -- Chris Cooke

She’s gone.

And she’s gone with a lot of money. While the new Councillors remain tight lipped, sources suggest Margaret Misek–Evans walked out of Sarnia City Hall in late December with something in the order of two years’ pay.

Whether you are doing new math, old math or just plain math it amounts to something close to $370,000.00, or as my corporate lawyer noted at my divorce, “the best money ever spent”.

Margaret Misek-Evans will go down in history as Sarnia’s worst City Manager.

In her five years she jacked up debt, jacked up municipal spending and surrounded herself with like minded fools who spent money like drunken sailors.

And she lost in a game of chicken with a popular mayor spending $411,000.00 attempting to oust him on charges he harassed her by using his outside voice to describe her perceived shortcomings.

J.D. Booth who owns a mostly on line publication called the Lambton Shield and shows up as a freelancer for the Chamber of Commerce appears quite distraught by Misek-Evans sudden departure.

And rightfully so.

Misek-Evans freely spent public money supporting Booth’s fledgling publication. Unlike what Booth suggests, the demise of Misek-Evans will not be the demise of good government at City Hall.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

Remember this is the same guy who took a half page ad from Anne Marie Gillis and supported her harassment campaign against the Mayor. This is the same guy who actively supported the Chamber’s decision to give a technology award to the the City’s 11-person IT department headed by Matt Mitro’s step son in law.

J.D. Booth is and always has been on the wrong side of reality.

Yet, there he is suggesting the sky is falling now that Misek-Evans is out the door and some of her colleagues are following.

Finance director Lisa Armstrong is leaving February 22 recognizing that “this political environment is not for me”.  Her $150,000 pay cheque and her life is an open book. She declined to elaborate on her decision saying only, “progress and principles are important to me”.

City solicitor Scott McEachran is also out the door. He was paid $137,000.00 and believes he can do better in private practice. He can and will now that he is unshackled from Misek-Evans.

And then there is Alan Shaw, the Director of Community Development Services and Standards, a 10 - year City employee who is leaving February 1 bound for Toronto as the Director of Building in North York.

Does J.D. Booth really believe Shaw’s departure has anything to do with last October’s election result or the exit of Misek-Evans? The Toronto position is a major upgrade with a major pay cheque and I can pretty much assure Booth it has nothing to do with Misek-Evans.

Which brings me to this.

The sky isn’t falling and Sarnia will do just fine without Misek-Evans and her band of overly sensitive left wingers.

Here is what will happen.

The fortress known as City Hall will be cleaned out. The wall is coming down. The bars are being removed and the front entrance foyer will be rebuilt.

A real human being will answer the phone.

A new City Manager who actually speaks to the Mayor will be hired along with a Finance Director. Overly sensitive people need not apply.

Beyond that watch for a hiring freeze, attrition, rethinking of the municipal budget, good bye to Integrity Commissioner Robert Swayze and fewer ads in the Lambton Shield.

I could be wrong about all this, but I’m usually not.

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