By Robert Tuomi
Judging by the comments on an internet petition seeking the end of the mayoral career of Drew Dilkens, the city seems overly disappointed with his performance. Is this really surprising?
Dilkens is gaining quite a reputation for doing little, beyond spending taxpayer money travelling to places like Qatar to hob nob with despotic sheiks. But this is only one irritant from a man who is famous for letting people know what irritates him; like devout Catholics, Quonset huts, LED signs, and urban chickens.
Those who want to take a detailed look at the comments can find them here.
Once there, visitors can read why many in the city agree, as one petition signer pointed out, Dilkens has failed, “… to fulfil the duties of office to fairly represent the citizens of Windsor.”
In his defence, there are ten councillors who should be keeping him in line, however they are equal failures and are doing nothing if not fanning the anger apparently building in the once rosy city.
One petitioner makes it clear words such as arrogant, along with, “… juvenile and immature are not words I want associated with our leadership. Dilkens is all three and then some. Add the lack of transparency and political games being played to the mix and it’s hard not to be angry.”
The reference might well be to how Dilkens moves things onto the council’s agenda and the way he manages the meetings. Who can forget how he limited the annual budget discussion to a few hours with councillors side-tracked on mega hospital funding, which seemed to dominate most of the meeting.
In most communities, budgets take weeks of work to produce and reflect a collegial effort. In Windsor, councillors were left out of the loop.
They didn’t even notice administration had rescinded an agreement to allow downtown restaurateurs free street access to set-up popular summer patios.
Another petition signatory claimed enough is enough, writing it is time, “… the people of Windsor realize that the Mayor and most council members are NOT looking out for the best interest of the tax payers.”
Could this be a dig at Dilkens and Council for spending $21 million of taxpayer money to be the sugar daddy for FINA’s flash-in-the-pan short swimming event?
It is all part of the Council’s dabbling in occasional sports tourism rather than concentrating on sustainable economic development. A few infusions of money into the city, much of it recycled from taxpayers, is nothing if not short-sighted.
Two commentators brought up the city’s dirty little secret. One admitted to not believing Dilkens, “… was really elected to begin with.”
This obviously refers to the ongoing court proceedings dealing with the last election. This caused another protestor to talk about the questions being raised and concluding, “Dilkens doesn’t have a legitimate claim to the office until those questions have been answered.”
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.