Despite their wards being side-by-each, the differences between councillors John Elliott and Rino Bortolin are asymmetrical. This was quite evident in the coverage the Windsor Star afforded them during the week of February 20.
The paper’s vanity columnist, Gord Henderson, praised Elliott for being a quiet man of action while Bortolin was singled out for foolish comments about the Riverfront Plaza area sticking, “… out like a sore thumb in an aerial view of the riverfront.”
David Grimaldi, of the Windsor Parade Corporation, was quoted as saying Bortolin’s, “… remarks are really out in left field.”
It should be no surprise.
Bortolin seems to spend a lot of time out in left field. Most likely, it is a good place for him to practice what he knows best; grandstanding.
Elliott on the other hand, or possibly the other side of the field, simply carries on in his unassuming way of making things happen. His accomplishments are of which Bortolin can only dream.
So far, topping Bortolin’s non-record is the inability or unwillingness to defend the closing of Ward 3’s acute care hospital. Its demise will be a hardened steel knife through his ward’s heart.
The closing could result in a major hollowing out of the downtown core but, alas, such a situation is of no public concern to Bortolin.
In contrast, Elliott is making Ward 2’s heart beat stronger and has no known plans to start dismantling the west end. In fact, he is working hard to take his community to the next level by dramatically correcting some of its irritants.
One such pest is the traffic nightmare at the confluence of University Avenue and Riverside Drive. It will become a new icon for the ward.
A roundabout will smooth traffic; a good move in itself. But, the real deal is the placing of two statues in the middle.
The almost million dollar project will feature War of 1812 principals Sir Isaac Brock and Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. It is another unique Elliott achievement.
Windsor tried to build an iconic southern entrance to the city at Provincial Road and Walker Road, but ended up with mediocrity. When another major intersection, Walker at Wyandotte Street East, needed a re-vamp, the city forfeited its chance to create something iconic and able to grandly welcome those entering the famed Walkerville district.
Windsor ended up with the usual mediocrity.
Elliott is raising the urban development bar while Bortolin parades around grandstanding. Elliott will leave quite the mark on the minds of his electors. Unaccomplished, Bortolin will be forgotten the night the ballots are counted next year.