Accustomed as we are at the BR to not getting our votes across the finish line, it is no surprise that the Council we elected is not the one that we chose.
So lets look at the one we did get last night:
- An unelected Mayor.
- A Deputy Mayor that has worked hard at being all things to all people and is still a mystery in the long run, as her history on this Council, less than two years of it, has shown her to be a follower of public opinion, and perhaps beholden to the CTA.
- Three new Councillors and two with only one and a half terms between them.
- A Council that is proudly proclaimed by some as more gender balanced.
- A Council that faces few controversies and recognises a few problems.
- And finally a Council with only three Pensioners, the average age of Council has dropped twenty years!
So what can we expect from this bunch of relative novices?
Firstly a showdown with Staff, but the public will not hear about that type of dirty laundry but as neophytes, guided by a Mayor with a propensity to “jaw-jaw” issues to death and a Deputy Mayor, who on the campaign trail has muttered misgivings about certain members of the Town Staff expect Staff to realise that some of them may be in the sights of some Councillors, institutional gridlock may be a problem.
Secondly just how much progress can we expect from a Council that, throughout the campaign, acknowledged that ‘affordable housing’ is a problem but produced very few original ideas about how to lessen the problem, during that campaign. For example the leading vote-getter – Nicole Beattie ran on a promise to establish a Social Planning Council to coordinate the problems of Society. We surely hope that she investigates the history and failures of the last one that disappeared not so long ago. Other members have mused that the County should be the place to work on the housing problem – expect this issue to be tougher than just talking platitudes during the campaign.
Thirdly, will Councillor Chorley be in the pockets of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association, those gadfly fiscally conservative pennypinchers who have plenty of suggestions that would keep their tax money in their pockets. It is interesting to note that Ms Chorley’s nomination papers included the names of all of the prominent executive members of the CTA. Only one other had a couple of the same names.
Fourthly, just who will the be picked by the ‘striking committee’ to be the Council rep on the Cobourg Police Services Board and just how long will that person take to be ‘housetrained’ by that Board, and the Chief of Police. When so many questions need to be raised about the operational problems of that Service.
Fifthly, with not one word uttered by the candidates about the annual one million dollar deficit at the Cobourg Community Centre, just how are they going to deal with it? Expect much butting of heads between the DM and Director Hustwick, of course the public will not see it but may hear whispers of “how I conquered that guy, and showed him!”
Sixthly, how about an investigation into the lower voter turnout and really dig down and try to find out if the cause was the online voting. We realise that this may be be a discussion between the ‘Luddites’ (who still want paper ballots) and the Millennials who have complete faith in technology, but it has to be done.
Anyway just our two cents worth!