A helpful friend sent me a link to the November 6, 2010 issue of the Fort Erie Times. Interesting letters to the editor by Brigitte Bonner and Joy Russell. Bringitte talks about the "irregularities" that occurred in the voting process on election day in Fort Erie. She called for a thorough investigation into the matter. Didn't happen. In fact Mayor-by-five-votes Doug Martin even resisted a recount in the mayoral race; thought it was unnecessary. There was a recount and the mayor-by-five-votes retained the chain of office for another four years.
I was very interested in the letter by Joy Russell one of the original Yellow Shirt advocates for Douglas Memorial Hospital.
There it is as reported by Joy Russell, a well-respected local volunteer. Ironically, Bullet News Niagara just published an Op-Ed by Mrs. Russell.
"Fort Erie is a town that calls us back after moving away.
It was, and can be, with the right leadership, the hometown we were proud of and part of.
We can do it by working together to rebuild and use our natural assets and location to its full potential. Within our town boundaries there is open land for building, a gateway to the United States, an enviable waterfront, good schools, and easy access to highways leading to major cities.
We need to have strong leadership to put us back into the enviable position we once had, and we have to have a mayor who has the leadership capabilities to do it.
We need a mayor that has had the experience to bring us back to a community that will be listened to, and renew our growth and credibility and one who has the knowledge, the negotiating skills and capabilities to work with various levels of government in Canada and the United States."
My opinion: the above description of a leader does not, in any way, describe our current Quasi Mayor, Jim Thibert, who was responsible for the racetrack letter of 2010. The weak mayor-by-five-votes had to be led through the treacherous waters of change and Thibert was more than ready to use his position and that of the weak mayor to exact revenge against those who dared expect that the GM of the Economic Development and Tourism Corporation would actually have done more than oversee a taxpayer-bailed-out horse track. The new council, with its new power, wanted accountability and action from the man who has been getting millions of tax dollars to run the EDTC. Just a look at one of his expensive "brochures" is a fantasy trip, complete with developments and plans that either will never happen or years away. Meanwhile, he forgot to include the Point Abino Light House in his fancy brochure that he marketed to Toronto and Western New York. Of course, council and the press has been treated to his profane rants and characterizations. And who can forget the banner at town hall against the provincial government? Lovely way to work with other levels of government.
You see, folks. Elected officials, such as the four councillors, are working on behalf of the people and they are getting crucified by people like Jim Thibert for doing so. He is only worried about keeping his job.
Do you want an un-elected, head of an arm's length corporation who defies council and does what he damned well pleases with taxpayer money, including suing a blogger and a councillor? Yes, it appears that taxpayer money will be used in the separate conflict of interest suit against Don Lubberts.
Is this what will move Fort Erie forward?