‘Oh What A Night!’

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by Peter Johnson (upper Oxford Mills)

I am the guilty party who quoted that nearly 73% of incumbents get returned on election night. That crystal ball is going in the recycling bin.

Elections are very hard to predict, at the best of times, but who out there would have stood up and publicly proclaimed…or even laid down money on these prospects:
a) every sitting member of council was unseated by a newcomer! (where’s the 73% now?)
b) a relative unknown, and new face, Jim McManaman would get nearly as many votes as the incumbent mayor plus the incumbent deputy mayor?
c) the newly-minted mayor, someone who has never been involved in local politics at all, would get more votes than Mr. Gordon plus Mr. Bertram.
d) we would be fortunate enough to double the number of ‘women folk’ on our council (please excuse the geezer slang…it is meant in jest).

I don’t think there were too many who predicted this, although the local geezer horde are claiming that they knew this would happen. That might be the senility factor at work again.

On a local talk show, a commentator (common ‘tater?) noted that most governments defeat themselves. This is likely what took place here in North Grenville. North Gremlins will only put up with so much. Being treated in an off-handed, high-handed and some felt, under-handed manner was not going to go over well.

A few random thoughts:
i) Change is good. People were obviously fed up with the manner in which council was ‘taking care of business’. It is unfortunate that Mr. Bertram got caught up in the ‘house cleaning’.
ii) Deron Johnston has worked hard for the past 5 years, making valuable contributions. He was ‘robbed’ of his rightful place on council with the departure of Mr. Sutton, after the last election. It would have been fair to see him rewarded for his efforts and to taste some retribution. Could the manner in which that whole affair was dealt with have been the beginning of the end for the cabal of conspirators.? It seemed that they had their own plan of whom they would work with, rather than respect the votes of the electorate? I think so. Would it be too ‘Trump-like’ of me to applaud myself for saying so, at the time? I think so.
iii) This new council has a huge job. They have until December 3 to get up to speed on what has been going on at the municipal level. Since most of what was done, by certain municipal reps for the past two electoral periods has been done in a less-than-public manner, it may be hard to pry any information out of these somewhat-secretive-servants of the public (alliteration alert is back!) as they do their transitional duties.
iv) Now would be a good time to cut Clerk Pominville a big cheque; take him on as a consultant and have him guide this new council until they are up and running…or at least delay his rumoured retirement.

Finally, a big thank you to all those who have served as municipal councilors and/or mayor. You weren’t going to get rich with these jobs, nor would you see your family enough. A tip of the hat to everyone who put their hat in the ring. That’s got to take a lot of guts. If successful, it must be a great feeling; if not, it has to feel terrible. So to all the winners and all the almost winners, thank you and best wishes.

To Mr. Bertram: from someone who spent too many years accompanying his wife to the Oncology ward at The Ottawa Hospital…my prayers are with you for happy endings. God bless.

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