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?
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.