(WINDSOR, ON) – Finally someone has come to the rescue of the docile members of Windsor City Council, who are being verbally brow beaten by ineffective councillor, and now interim mayor, Drew Dilkens. Citizen Tim Stewart, writing in the Windsor Square on November 24, accurately described Dilkens as, “… proving to be a crass, agenda-driven bully.”
Obviously Stewart is being polite, and is kind enough not to go on describing Dilkens as what he really is; a despot.
The way Dilkens acts should really be no surprise. Not only is he a loose cannon, he also promised in the municipal election to carry on the work of his predecessor, who nicely removed democracy from the city.
With that deed done, Dilkens is pretty much free to say whatever he likes and, at some point, taxpayers will just have to accept that. It comes with the territory.
In fact, Dilkens seems quite proud to showcase his ultimate authority. He has done this by ridiculously parading around with one of the most visible symbols of how democracy has been plied from the once rosy city.
He hangs out with a person dressed as, you will laugh, a fish.
What is most irritating is the costume cost some $6,000, was made afar, and was not approved by council. It symbolizes his waste of $21 million to host a second tier event, for international swimming outfit FINA.
Under the so-called Declaration of Abdication, the previous Council, apparently asleep at the switch, let themselves be relieved of much of their oversight of the costly administrators who run the city. By-law 208-2008 gave the bean counters the authority to spend as they please, without Council approval.
It seems that a side benefit of this is allowing Dilkens to do as he pleases, and that should not please anyone.
Stewart, rightly so, has called him onto the carpet because of his derision of those councillors who questioned his exorbitant FINA spending.
Their crime was to have the temerity to suggest a need for a detailed examination of the money now being lavished on FINA, in a way equal to the despotic autocracies who also lavish money on the swimming organization. Stewart is quite frank in saying that, “… councillors should wait until after the swimming events happen, before requesting an audit is either disingenuous or ignorant.”
Dilkens, as has been reported, scolded the councillors for even suggesting a review is in order, telling them infamously to, “… get on the train, stop whining.”
Such an outlandish, immature outburst is correctly seen by Stewart as insulting, not only to the councillors but the people they represent. Unfortunately, Stewart take the next step and bring in the charge of insubordination.
Windsor suffers from an ill-conceived downtown pool that is costing taxpayers considerable operational losses. Although it was Dilkens who supervised the building of the mess, it was his predecessor and the majority of the Francis Council, at the time, who took it upon themselves to ignore some forty delegations who practically begged them to slow down and do the pool right.
Going against that many taxpayers is nothing, if not a grand act of insubordination. When taxpayers take time out from their lives to plead, they should not be ignored. If the Francis Council did the right thing and slowed down, the city might not be stuck with an $80 million waste of money, too small for international events.
That some members of the new council are pushing back suggests a dollop of reality might have entered their windowless chamber. As Stewart so aptly says, they are not, “… boarding the ‘train’ because they see the inevitable wreck about to happen.”
Dilkens is no train conductor, but seems to have the characteristics of an out of control Casey Jones looking for love in all the wrong places, and using the power of his office to spend like there’s no tomorrow.
Unfortunately, there is a tomorrow and taxpayers will have to pick up the pieces of his largesse. It will not be pleasant.
Robert Tuomi can be heard at 8:30 pm every Monday evening and noon every Wednesday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor is broadcast every Monday and Wednesday to the Windsor and Detroit listening area and streamed online at CJAM.