Although pundits are having a lot more fun than they probably should with the new antics of interim mayor Drew Dilkens they are a wee bit puzzled. For almost three years Dilkens has sat, despot-like, on one of the high seats at Windsor Council. Now, all of a sudden, he is doing ward walks with the unwashed.
The two just don’t reconcile.
The reaction by taxpayers hasn’t been all that good either, if Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk’s Ward 7, is any indication. A televised CBC News report of June 21 shows less than a handful of citizens walking and telling the mayor their concerns.
This could suggest the Dilkens ploy of making nice with regular folk is little more than a scheme to build support for his rerun for the mayor’s chair in next year’s municipal election. If such is the case, it definitely is misguided and out of character with the perfectly plotting Francis Party.
Dilkens has a lot going against him. As some might remember, a recent survey of major Canadian city mayors found few in the city of Windsor approve of his performance. That albatross will certainly rule out his running again.
Besides, walking is not usually the best way to rebuild a politician’s image; it is flippant at best. That he would try it is what is confusing the pundits.
It is more likely, the reasonable ones among the group reason, that this is no walk down some streets, but one down memory lane. They argue that this is the Drew Dilkens Farewell Tour, where he trots among his electors knowing full well his chances of re-election are next to zero.
Putting his name on the ballot next year would be a disaster for the Francis Party. Dilkens won election with a very small turnout and seems to have been able to shrink that small base.
With his ability to disrespect Catholics, a very large voting block, there is no question he has to go.
This is pretty much verified by the next shoe that has dropped.
Out of the blue, Dilkens finds himself as chair of the library board as it busies itself building a Halifax-like new central library which will cost tens of millions. This causes the pundits to wonder about the degree of coincidence in this turn of events.
In the end, they conclude, the library post is simply the Francis Party’s reward to Dilkens for keeping the mayor’s chair warm for mayor-in-waiting Freddie Francis. Shortly, most likely, Dilkens will tender his resignation and, at a secret meeting, Windsor Council will anoint Francis as his successor.
The logic is brilliant.
This will give the Francis scion about a year to ingratiate himself with the public and score a big win in the 2018 mayoral election.