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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Letter: Goettler’s approach preferred to mayor’s combative style
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

The burst of anger from Lord Mayor Betty Disero was telling and was by far the most dramatic performance at the Royal George Theatre during last week’s Chamber of Commerce election debate.

It came humorously close to qualifying for an Academy Award.

Disero literally growled back at opponent Vaughn Goettler who was promoting the idea of governance that would be more collaborative and less combative.

She howled about how the town was forced to litigate to protect the citizens. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The combination of an amenable and business-like approach to dealing with top priority issues affecting NOTL, including development, the new official plan (which has not been approved by the region under Disero’s watch), the Glendale secondary plan, and the St. Davids roundabout, was clearly not the mayor’s style of governance.

Similar to dropping the ball in the pickleball fiasco and her husband’s embarrassing next-door neighbour dispute, Disero wants to go bare-knuckle fighting with unfairly labelled bad guys like Rainer Hummel and Benny Marotta.

Instead, Goettler simply wants peace with the understanding that we all need to work together for the long-term benefit of NOTL.

He also was critical of the associated costs of what has now become a case of chronic litigation.

From my personal experience in the sometimes highly contentious world of government authority disputes, Goettler’s approach would by far be the most effective philosophy for good governance and transparency for NOTL going forward.

Disero seems to have dragged her past Toronto bully tactics into the boardroom of a classy little town.

The problem with this sort of blind passion leadership is twofold. Firstly, it takes the issues to an in-camera setting, depriving the citizens of full transparency. This is not good for democracy and can lead to great expense.

Secondly, it puts the people like Hummel and Marotta, who are really not bad guys, into a bad mood. That is not fair to them nor is it fair to the business affairs of the town.

Goettler on the other hand would have a better opportunity to establish a good foundation for a more constructive and positive environment for the future evolution of NOTL.

I have no association with Goettler or his campaign, but he has my vote because we need to work together and with his approach, NOTL will have a better chance to get things done in an open, transparent, accountable and respectful manner.

You will see how the bad guys will turn into good guys again without all the growling and uncontrolled, adverse effects caused by the chronic litigation as promoted by Disero.

Now is the time to get rid of the old school anger-fuelled style of leadership.

Peter Rusin
St. Davids