No doubt, members of the Francis Party, which doesn’t officially exist but has had the run the city since 2003, are in the doldrums. The Party’s interim mayor, Drew Dilkens, was found considerably lacking in a national popularity test of mayors running the ten largest cities in the nation.
Mainstreet Research did the poll for Postmedia, owner of the Windsor Star. The paper, on January 16, reported 14% are unsure of Dilkens. It added another, “… 35 per cent said they disapprove of him – the third highest disapproval rating among the mayors in the survey.”
It is rather odd to see Windsor among the top ten cities. Wikipedia places it at sixteenth in a list based on population.
Nonetheless being on the list could see the intrepid Dilkens take credit for the bump up.
Without question, Dilkens’ national recognition for poor performance is probably discouraging for the Francis Party. This is negative publicity the city can ill-afford and could cause the Party to drop Dilkens before he becomes a greater political liability.
Arguably, until now, things have been fairly smooth for the Party as it prepares to coronate Freddie Francis as the city’s next mayor. Francis is entitled to the position with Dilkens simply keeping the mayor’s seat warm until stepping aside before the next election.
However, his low approval might scuttle the plan.
By failing at endearing himself to the city, reversing his situation is probably out of the question. He is not winning any new friends with his bad attitude and his plan to end the Eddie Francis myth of holding the line on taxes.
A commentator on the paper’s story, Norm Taylor, opined, “… too much importance was put on a ‘zero tax increase’ during the last election (which we should all know does not really exist).”
Taylor speculates people were voting for, “… Dilkens based on that part of his platform alone, ignoring the fact he had been Eddie’s right hand man.”
If the Francis Party is to salvage the 2018 election it has to move quickly. Dilkens must step down to give Francis time to become a voter darling.
If voters are upset now, a continuation of its irritating actions will have them looking to drain the swamp and seek a council and mayor dedicated to working to improve the city. Such a council is long overdue.