Could the Flying Monkeys Be Very Far Behind?
A News Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted March 21st, 2018 on Niagara At Large
First, let me start by giving you some good news.
Spring is finally here and here’s the most important thing. There are only 213 days left until this coming October’s municipal elections.
Yes, I know, at least some of you are probably saying that another 213 days is like a century with the kind of characters we have on Niagara’s regional council, not to mention on more than a few of our local councils in this region.
My response to that is go out and enjoy the spring and summer, and by all means get informed and engaged in what is going on in municipal politics in this region. And lo and behold,, that glorious date of October 21st, when we can go to the polls and show all those characters (less the good ones on our councils, because there are some good ones) who the real boss is will come soon enough.
In the meantime, here’s the bad news.
Niagara’s regional council, under the chairmanship of Al Caslin (the first one that’s got to go), is meeting again this Thursday, March 22nd evening and, as if we haven’t already witnessed enough hours of time at the regional government level over the past 12 months focused on the Town of Pelham, that local municipality’s finances are back on the regional council agenda.
So here we go again, or the second month in a row when, just this February, the usual suspects on the regional council spent another couple of hours verbally slapping around Pelham while a whole bunch of other issues our regional government should be addressing are left waiting on the table.
This time around, are we going to once again be treated to the Caslin cabal’s version of a journey into the haunted forest where the flying monkey’s swoop down on Dave Augustyn, the Town of Pelham’s mayor, while the same bunch of grumpy old men and raging grannies look on?
Excuse my interrupting your Pelham-fest, Mr. Chair, but my daughter and many of her 20-something peers are looking forward to a better public transit system and are struggling to find some stable, decent-paying jobs in this region while you and your political pals are spending meeting after meeting after meeting prying into the business of a local municipality. It goes on and on even after a number of local councils across Niagara, including those for Port Colborne, Welland, St. Catharines, Grimsby, Welland and Thorold, have recently passed motions telling you and your cabal, in so many words, to stop playing big brother and butt out!
Aside from that seniors group from Pelham that appears to like watching their mayor be poked at like a piñata at regional council meetings, this fixation with Pelham seems to be angering a good number of tax paying citizens across Niagara too, including one citizens who couldn’t sum the whole nonsense up any better than he did in the following tweet –
Yet here we have the Town of Pelham’s finances back on the regional council agenda again for this March 22nd.
And look – right down here below this line – the flying monkeys are already on their way!
Oh no, now look!
Is that the Mayor of Pelham they’ve got down on the ground? Looks like they’re tearing him apart. Isn’t anyone going to call this out of order? No cheers from the gallery, please.
That’s the bad news, but let me end where I began. The good news is that there are only 213 days left until we, the people, get our chance to vote for a Better Niagara for our future and for the future of our communities.
Just another reminder though, that we do have some good people – even if they are outnumbered two to one – serving on Niagara’s regional council now. They are people that this reporter would recommend voting for this coming October 21st, should they choose to run again.
In the weeks and months ahead, Niagara At Large is going to continue posting their names for your serious consideration, just as we are now.
Here they are – Councillors Brian Heit, Kelly Edgar , Debbie MacGregor and Tim Rigby from St. Catharines; Bill Hodgson from Lincoln; Grimsby Mayor Bob Bentley; Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn; Niagara-on-the-Lake regional councillor Gary Burroughs; Welland regional councillor George Marshall; Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop; and Thorold Mayor Ted Luciani and a regional councillor from Thorold, Henry D’Angela.
To read a related commentary from Niagara At Large on the flying monkeys, grumpy old men and way too much regional government time prying into the finances of Pelham, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2018/02/10/the-flying-monkeys-were-back-this-february-8th-at-niagaras-regional-council/ .
Read another related story posted this March 20th by The St. Catharines Standard – https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/8340823-pelham-at-top-of-region-s-agenda-again/ .
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