J.D. booth runs the Lambton Shield, an online mostly good news community newspaper.
He wants some dialogue, as he puts it to “fix” Sarnia.
Well, here’s some.
To begin with he blames the Mayor for most of what he describes as a ‘fractured relationship that appears to be part of the political landscape”. He also blames the Mayor for what he describes as an “awkward impasse of sorts”.
By “fix” Booth picks on a single issue.
That issue being the Mayor’s desire to have a debt free City while the infrastructure crumbles and deteriorates.
On that Mr. Booth and Mr. Cooke agree.
The City needs to up its debt to fix roads, sewers, water lines and a variety of hardware that is in various stages of disrepair. It is cheaper to maintain than to fix.
And then there is the little matter of the $5.3 million to tear down Sarnia General Hospital. Borrowed money?
A debt free Sarnia appears to be an impossibility in the foreseeable future.
But that is where Mr. Booth and Mr. Cooke part ways.
The publisher of the Lambton Shield needs to get his head screwed on right. If he is truly interested in “fixing” Sarnia he needs to reassess blame and share it with the cast of characters that made some of the idiotic decisions that cost taxpayers millions of dollars over the past four years.
How about an out of control administration that jacked up the City budget by $20 million, hired every loser that showed up at the front door, blew through $12.8 million at Centennial Park including another $250,000 last month, over dredged Sarnia Harbour to the point where the sub-contractors are suing everybody.
I could go on to mention the uninstalled boat ramps, The Suncor Agora without a roof, without seats and a waterfront without access to water.
Mr. Booth failed to mention the procedural bylaw that makes City Clerk Dianne Gould-Brown in charge of just about everything including who speaks to Council, if, when, where, how and why. Her good friend Cindy Scholten-Holt and the other four, Bev MacDougall, Matt Mitro, Anne Marie Gillis and Brain White were instrumental in approving such a Draconian document.
At this point Mr. Booth, since we are having a civil discussion let’s discuss paper ballots that Sarnians never had an opportunity to discuss. After some 200-people had their computers hacked last month while dialing in to municipal services and public libraries the City of Guelph spent five and a half hours listening to voters who don’t want electronic voting.
Council there went against the wishes of its Clerk and sided with the people who vote. As one Councillor noted “it is easy to forget who you work for until a room full of them is standing before you”.
So, Mr. Booth if you want to “fix” Sarnia please understand that the Mayor is but a small part of the problem. City Hall administration spent $411,000.00 on an Integrity Commissioner and a harassment lawyer trying to oust the Mayor.
What the Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk discovered was that in this # Me Too society harassment cuts both way.
So, here is a prediction for you.
The Mayor will be re-elected by a landslide this fall. Cindy Scholten-Holt, Bev MacDougall, Matt Mitro, Anne Marie Gillis and Brian White are toast.
After the Centennial Park audit is requested by our re-elected Mayor the jobs of the Margaret Misek-Evans and Dianne Gould-Brown will be on the line.
Mr. Booth then and only then will the “fix” you so desire begin.