The run up to the election of Freddie Francis as Windsor’s next mayor seems filled with puzzling dichotomies. While on one hand, with two years to go before the ballots are cast, it seems the so-called Francis Party is stepping up the publicity machine.
But, on the other hand, one of the media’s apparent chief sycophants issued a slightly contradictory message.
Although subtle, the sycophant might be suggesting the Party may not be as enamored with the Francis scion as before. Freddie is the brother of former mayor, Eddie, who has proven to be one of the most costly mayors in the city’s recent history.
These days Francis the younger enjoys about as much coverage as his brother. The junior councilor often pops up out of nowhere with little if any explanation, and is always assured the limelight. Locals wearing media badges are ready and willing to cobble their coverage to feature their man.
October 6 was no exception.
Francis was the first to try out a two ton concrete ping pong table added to Kiwanis Park. It is a park miles from his own ward.
While Councillor Sleiman was at his side, it was Francis who basked in the media spotlight with Sleiman almost invisible.
What was most curious was how the fourth estate seemed to completely miss the ability Francis has to deliver spontaneous pretence. What could be more pretence-saturated than the Windsor Star quoting him saying, “[The table was] a perfect example of exactly what council is trying to provide, more activities with our parks, provide more paths and trails, to encourage more active involvement from all our citizenry.”
On the oddity scale, such a comment would land prominently at the ludicrous mark, because it is barren of fact.
Windsor Council did not provide the table. Former residents Dianne and Jim Moore, now living in Toronto, picked up most of the cost.
The city did pour some cement for a pad which is a dichotomy in itself.
Reducing parks reduces the expense of operating them. Savings from the closures allows Council to continue financing its incredible frivolities.
In a few observer’s books, it is somewhat short of a miracle the city accepted the Moore Family’s donation at all. It is at odds, not with what Council says, but with what it does; which is shut down parks.
It was not hard for most pundits to read between the lines on the ping pong caper. But, on another issue they are stumped.
Two days later the paper’s vanity writer published a piece on interim mayor Drew Dilkens where columnist Gordon Henderson spared no praise. The most interesting part of this dichotomy is Henderson portraying Francis as, “… becoming Dilkens’ gunslinger, the guy who calls out the opposition while the mayor takes the high road.”
Is Henderson trying to pretend Dilkens is worthy of another term?
Puzzled, the pundits rationalize the recent actions of Francis, including a “suck and blow” comment during a tiff with senior councilor Bill Marra, have convinced the Party the younger Francis is just not ready.
High praise for Dilkens, which most of the commentators following the story find, well, laughable. It could, however, be the start of a desperate attempt to renew Dilkens’ standing in the community.
What happens in the next few months is bound to offer more clues into the current machinations of the Francis Party.