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Sugar and spite and names that aren't nice...

Web posted on April 03, 2002

Well, in respect to the cold snowy spring-like weather yesterday, I decided to spend an evening watching my favorite non-contact sport: the latest Guelph City Council meeting. And what a grand meeting it was!

For starters, the meeting was on Tuesday, not Monday evening. I guess they didn't want to risk making decisions on April Fool's Day? Yeah, I know it was their Easter sunday/monday/holiday. Personally, I think that they needed an extra day to be able to fit into their fancy suits after the holiday feast. Well, that's what my buddies and I experienced.

Then, the broadcast started at 9:00 p.m. instead of being live as usual. I wondered if it was delayed because the content was not deemed suitable for children, or because they planned on having lots of little secret meetings during the public meeting, and didn't want to broadcast a blank screen during the various breaks. Rumour has it that the press corps started playing Pictionary with the rest of the gallery, and were quite unimpressed that they couldn't finish the game after the politicians sat down again. After all, they ended up with only one "in camera" session.

I'm not going into details about what was discussed, just how it was handled. There's a proper journalistic-like report of the meeting elsewhere on this site.

This particular meeting was a little nasty. There were underhanded comments, attacks on character and motivation and competency - and that was just among the elected representatives of our fine city. I won't get into what they said about outside groups, interested parties, and their own staff. Councillor Wettstein actually admitted to being embarassed about the personal attacks flying across the horseshoe. I agree wholeheartedly, but unfortunately his comment didn't dissuade them from continuing as they were.

Ward 1 councillor Rocco Furfaro seemed to have only one thing on his mind this evening: "saving the taxpayers money". Every single person who said anything either for or against the proposed 8-week delay was asked "how will this save our taxpayers money?" Is he running in an election that nobody else knows about, or did he just get last month's bills in the mail?

It appeared that ward 3 councillor Maggie Laidlaw had too many easter creme eggs on her weekend off. I mean she said maybe four sentences, referring to the OMB 8-week delay proposal as an "end run around democracy", and that was it. Oh, sorry, she also voted during the recorded votes. Much quieter than usual... and she usually throws some punches, or at least sarcastic comments. She had to be coming down from a serious sugar kick. Or perhaps she was trying to distance herself from anything to do with the city of Guelph's little battles while preparing her own ascent to a higher power? Well, whatever the reason, you didn't do much to inspire belief in your ability to represent your constituents - of which I am one, kiddo.

Just to stop bashing the politicians for a minute, I'd like to point out something to Rogers, the fine people who bring the excitement to my home every other week. The viewer at home never gets to hear the recorded votes. I realize that it could be a bit of a problem technically, but really, people! It's nice to know what one's representatives say about important things that affect us. Couldn't we just get all the individual microphones switched on during the vote? Or how about one ceiling-mounted mic that would record everything said in such situations?

The next show is on Monday April 12 at 7:00pm. I can't wait!