The city’s lacklustre mayor may not be so lacklustre after all. It appears he has quite the agenda, and the nice thing about it is the members of city council have no clue about what is going on.
They simply rubber stamp whatever new scheme he brings to them and, by doing so, continue the ongoing process of removing themselves from critical city business.
Latest in a long line of aberrations is Council allowing Dilkens to set up his own economic development unit. This simply means the hapless mayor will now have full control over something he is not very good at doing.
It also means the councillors have conveniently removed themselves from one of the most important files in the City’s history.
At its March 7 meeting, the councillors, no doubt, smacked their lips at their good fortune of being removed from another task. Oddly enough, with Dilkens at the rudder, the need for a council is diminishing steadily.
It was most apparent during the so-called budget debate, which was heavily orchestrated and the document so complicated the councillors had little idea of what it contained. Most celebrated is how they completely missed the city reneging on its promise to allow downtown merchants to encroach on city sidewalks for free until 2018.
If they missed that, the question becomes, “What else did they miss?”
Now, without a whimper, these same responsibility adverse councillors are turning economic development over to a man who suffers from having no parental supervision. Dilkens generally reports to no one.
However, he is probably the worst person in the city to have anything to do with development of any kind. The fact he puts up with the leader of the regional office admitting to having no training, experience, or skills in his chosen field is a modern day civic travesty that speaks volumes.
What is known about Dilkens is he is the king of frittering. When he was appointed chairman of the city’s former standing committee on economic development he managed to fritter away an opportunity to become a true hometown hero by doing right and bringing more jobs to the community.
Instead he abdicated his responsibility by having meetings with no agenda, some that lasted a mere three minutes or less, or even that were cancelled completely. Rarely was an economic development item even on the agenda.
It was such an embarrassment to right thinking people, and they know who they are, the committee had to be dislodged from its responsibility and, basically, put out of business.
Now, the man behind that outrageous mess will run economic development out of his office. It is pernicious, mostly because he will be out of sight of the duly elected council and, if history is any guide, will ultimately produce no results.
Dilkens is a loose cannon. He has exactly the wrong kind of temperament needed for such a critical assignment.
The fate of the city rests on the development of its economy and Dilkens has shown he is not up to the job.
It should be a full task in which all councillors are knee-deeply involved. The office should report to the full executive committee of council and should not be solely the domain of Dilkens. What is also bothersome is this new office is really nothing more than an indictment and an admission the Windsor Essex Economic Development outfit is not doing its job.
Windsor needs a council willing to stand up to the mayor and his silly ideas. But, by not doing so, it just proves that Council is as useless as Dilkens.
Robert Tuomi can be heard at noon every Thursday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. It is also streamed online at CJAM.