Dilkens Short On Substance


Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

It didn’t take long for Windsor’s flighty mayor, Drew Dilkens, to revert back to his old habits. And why wouldn’t he? The man is about as predictable as spring following winter; which hopefully will happen soon.

Back when Dilkens ran the city’s standing committee on economic development, he often had meetings with no agenda, were cancelled, or lasted less than three minutes. It was no way to run what was arguably the city’s most important committee.

Out of apparent kindness, the committee was eventually disbanded. City Hall politely proclaimed it was folded into some other committees.

Now as mayor, and as is usual, Dilkens is doing nothing on the economic development front, although the Windsor Star had to issue a comedy column on his travels to a foreign land.

On February 13, Chris Vander Doelen claimed Dilkens was roaming around in traffic jams in congested India, following behind neophyte Rakesh Naidu, the interim head of the local economic development office.

The paper tried to paint a picture of Dilkens hard at work, in boiling temperatures. It took the local public broadcaster to provide a reality check, which it did the previous day.

The CBC revealed, while Dilkens was having meetings with so-called investors, it will be six months to two years before anything develops; as if anything will. It is also too early to tell how many jobs will result, if any at all.

Why would taxpayers even pay to send Dilkens on the same type of wild goose chase that characterized the modus operandi of his predecessor? But there he was, travelling well in advance of anything happening.

Nothing happening is nothing unusual for him. It is the hallmark of his tenure as mayor; that and his reduction of city business at council meetings, which is starting to resemble what he did on economic development so many years ago.

Then, like now, he is up to cancelling meetings.

One meeting so far this year had one agenda item. The most recent, the February 16 council meeting, was abruptly cancelled. No reason was given, but with Dilkens at the helm why would there be an explanation needed? It is Dilkens, after all.

But here’s the kicker.

A note on the city’s website vaguely declares there, “… will be a special meeting of Council scheduled for Monday February 22, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to deal with any urgent Council matters. This will be immediately followed by the Executive Committee meeting that was previously scheduled, if necessary.”

Yes, it actually says, “if necessary.”

Do the city’s meeting planners really have no idea if a meeting is needed?

Here’s a tip. The city’s unemployment rate leads the nation. This dreadful recurring nightmare should be a regular, ongoing agenda item, and enough of an agenda item to fill a whole meeting.

Not that any of this matters. The Council has no real powers.

Under failed mayor Francis, its members were officially turned into political eunuchs. Bylaw 208-2008 agreeably passed some eight years ago, transferring power to the city’s administration. It now pretty well runs the city allowing Dilkens to carry on having meetings with very short agendas and no real meat.

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.

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About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi

2 Comments on "Dilkens Short On Substance"

  1. Just George | 21 February 2016 at 19:42 |

    There is a bigger picture that needs to be dealt with. Why is there not ant criticism from members of Council about the unnecessary travel expenses.
    Also the limit on the amount that administration can spend without going to council should be the aggregate amount spent on a file/project, not individual items within the file/project. Look at how money is being spent on the pool party.
    I guess Councillors will not do anything without direction by the party the had them elected.

  2. Ineffective mayor Dilkens learned from the best fast Eddie on how to travel for free on the Windsor taxpayers dime. Francis traveled all over on the taxpayers dime telling everyone that he was going after business for Windsor and always came up dry no jobs. There should be a meeting at least twice a month on how to entice companies to set-up shop in Windsor. Our elected city council should be on top of this and start making demands on our ineffective mayor Dilkens. We have had the highest unemployment in Canada for years, and yet our new city council is doing nothing about it, the time has come for city council to show us strength.

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