Thursday, 3 February 2011

Mayor Jimmy and Mayor Larry: So Similar, Yet Different

Mayor Jimmy came into office an a platform of accepting Mayor Larry's position on the two big issues of the day Lansdowne Park and Light Rail, as well as having the Mayor's Office draw up the draft budget. Only his style was apparently different.

Ironically, neither one of them understands what leadership is. Mayor Larry seemed to think it was bossership, acting as a CEO and giving orders. Mayor Jimmy seems to think it is avoiding confrontation and issues - that running the city is about good administration, not politics, although, ironically, it was Mayor Larry who ran on the "vote for me because I'm not a politician" platform in his first campaign.

Mayor Larry was a big idea man, he wanted to turn the City into a Corporation, something Mayor Jimmy has done a better job of with behind the scenes executive decision making only rubber stamped in public with none of the annoying public debate and confrontation that democracy entails.

One thing, however, that no one could accuse Mayor Larry of was cowardice. The man had guts. He tried to break the OC Transpo workers union - a stupid but gutsy thing to do.

Mayor Jimmy, on the other hand, likes to run away from controversial issues and the public that elected him. When it comes to the battle to protect the South March Highlands he wants to pretend it doesn't exist claiming the previous Council dealt with the issue, when the last thing the previous Council did was defer a motion forward to the new Council.

Mayor Jimmy refuses to meet with the proponents of saving the forest ecosystem, even when they are right at his doorstep (on several occasions), does not answer emails and reportedly diverts emails to SPAM without even having anyone read them. We can only surmise that he does not want to know what the public thinks. But of course he knows very well what the public thinks.

He simply wants to pretend there is nothing he can do so that he can avoid having to choose between the public that votes for him and the developers who fund his election campaigns.

It is time for Mayor Jimmy to show some leadership and try to find a solution for the people of Ottawa rather than running away from the public and the issue.

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