Absent among most of our current elected officials are the following traits: strong leadership, decision-making, achievers and problem-solving.
From my viewpoint and my engineering and business experience, I view them as disjointed, lacking in teamwork, rowing in different directions and exhibiting way too much political posturing.
As a consequence, decisions made tend to be “kicked down the road.”
For example, there is general agreement that parking in Old Town is worsening every year. Back in 1976 it was first highlighted by John Drope, founder of the Pillar and Post.
Today our lord mayor and councillor cannot agree on a consensus solution to this decades-old problem. Some councillors are absolutely frustrated with the lack of action.
More residential parking meters is not the solution. The old high school, with a shuttle via the East and West Line with a drop-off near the old hospital was an obvious choice and we blew it.
Are we heading in the same direction with redevelopment of the hospital site? Numerous proposals were solicited and presented to the town but all were rejected.
It reminds me of the consummate critics, who, when challenged, never have optional solutions or ideas of their own.
Our council is a politically opportunistic reactive group responding to low-hanging fruit issues, proposed by self-interested lobby groups – primarily all things tourism. There is too much infighting and politicking at our town hall.
Sadly our town and officials fail to capitalize on the enormous sources of the interdisciplinary, critical-thinking talents and professional skills of residents of our community. Their counsel, when presented, is often dismissed or falls on deaf ears.
Over the last four years, I would grade council’s performance a failure.
Nothing has been added to improve the image of our town or the quality of life for the taxpayer. Not the extra ice cream shops, the multiple bicycle rental shops and the resultant weekend “Tour de France ” on our roads and residential streets.
Not the new Dairy Queen or continuing hollowing out of our neighbourhoods. The former culture of the Old Town and heritage district is on a slippery slope toward becoming the Clifton Hill of NOTL.
Without a paradigm shift in direction, I fear for what’s ahead in the next four years. Voters, please vet your next elected officials carefully.
And to the newcomers whom some biased locals label “The Toronto crowd who are ruining our town,” I say, welcome all. You are the future of our community.
Get out and vote. You can have a major impact this time around. Get involved and advocate strongly for a ward system. The community is crying out for equal representation.
NOTL should be more than just a tourism trap. This intoxication ignores the community’s aspirations as a whole. We have been let down. Pray for a change going forward.