About all that can be said, in response to Alan Halberstadt’s June Biz X magazine column, is au contraire. Halberstadt had a look at who could replace interim mayor Drew Dilkens. He found the cupboard largely empty.
Halberstadt did this in a piece he cobbled together entitled, Mayor Not ‘Mr. Popularity’ But Who Else is There? In his mind there are no “obvious contenders.”
Halberstadt touches on the main problem with Dilkens, which happens to be his unpopularity. He reminds his readers of a PostMedia poll which ranked the hapless mayor, “… second least popular among Canada’s 10 large city Mayors.”
Without question, with such a record and such dislike, it would behoove the Francis Council to make sure Dilkens hangs up his mayor’s chain of office after one term, if not before.
Dilkens, it should be understood was not put in the mayor’s office to make friends. Judging by what he hasn’t accomplished, his main role is apparently, or allegedly, little more than to continue the Francis Council glitz and glamour agenda of chasing around for a place on the world stage.
It is a rather arrogant dream.
If nothing else, all the millions spent on minor swimming and diving events have proven sports tourism just isn’t the ticket to attracting and sustaining world fame and economic stability.
But, Halberstadt is overlooking the greatness to come. So much so, it is almost comical.
He trots out the reliable let’s have Bill Marra run for the mayor’s chair. He even suggests a draft Marra for Mayor campaign. Of course it would be a rather dull waste of time.
While Halberstadt says there are no apparent candidates for the city’s top job, he is completely ignoring mayor-in-waiting Freddie Francis. The younger brother of former mayor Eddie Francis has shown himself to be a bona fide member of the Francis Council. By election time, he will be well trained in how to run a city in the Francis Way.
Whenever given a chance to vote, the Francis scion always toes the small-p Francis party line.
It is clear Halberstadt’s fretting is unwarranted. The universe will unfold precisely as it should. He might as well ditch his Marra suggestion and head to the nearest bakery to order a “Congratulations Freddie” cake to be picked up during the final hours of the 2018 election.
Francis has spent the last three years in the political wilderness as a councilor; akin to being a backbencher in Parliament. His time to shine will soon be with us. And, for sure, we optimistically dream of eating cake with him in the mayor’s chair.