In The City

In recent months, my wife has been getting me more and more engaged in local politics. There have been a few issues of pressing concern to us, and our city councillors have been trying pretty hard to do what’s best for the city. Even the councillors from the outlying boroughs of the Greater Hamilton area, in their own way, have been trying to do what’s best for their constituencies. I believe that. Even Terry ‘Whifflebat’ Whitehead.

All except one: Mayor Bob Bratina. Honestly, I don’t know whose side he’s actually on, but I’m pretty sure it’s Mayor Bob’s side, and screw the City of Hamilton. Every time I read the local news feeds online, Hamilton is dropping the ball on something else, be it the Pan Am Games/Ivor Wynne Stadium debacle, the Great (ongoing) CasiNO! debate, Dialogue Partners, the destruction of buildings that should be preserved for historical reasons, the destruction of old schools that would make great condos or artists studios (a Board of Education matter, to be sure, but something our council should have had the ability to prevent or at least influence, I think), and now the changing of LRT (Light Rail Transit) to RT (Rapid Transit; which we’re all taking to mean ‘More HSR Bendy Buses stuck in traffic’) in the Metrolinx portfolio.

And at the center of it all, moving invisible chess pieces, arranging back room deals with proponents, and bamboozling Council on an almost daily basis, is our mayor. I’m not sure, but I actually seem to remember voting for this guy because I thought he would shake things up. Well, he has certainly done that, but somehow, it’s still Business As Usual. Let me tell you, I won’t be repeating that mistake.

I don’t know what it is about the Mayor’s office in this city (let’s not even go into T.O.’s insane mayor), but it seems like every dude voted into that seat gets it into his head that his job is to run the whole show in spite of council and public consensus. I think his left and right hands forgot what each other looked like the day after he got into office, as he’s just been pulling feces out of his posterior every day since then. Rude words, and I apologize for that, but it really does confound logic, how often he low-balls and undermines any steps the rest of the city takes to make this place a better, safer, nicer place to live. He might have a vision for this city, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what it is. That may be literally true.

The very real problem is, there’s no way to stop him, as far as I can tell. Council rarely manages to rein him in, and he’s always grandstanding and pulling some ‘impartial’ maneuver that makes it very clear what side he ISN’T on: OURS.

His Smugness condescends towards us on such a regular basis that it’s miraculous his eyes don’t pop out of his head from all of the eye rolling exercises.

Of all the city officials I’ve seen these past few months who has disappointed me on some level, he’s truly the one who takes the cake. Mayor Bob, I just want to say, I can’t wait for 2014 to roll around, so we can send you packing. If you DO manage the minor miracle of getting re-elected, I can honestly say I may have to revise my long-term plans for living in the New Hamilton, because if we have one more term like the one we’ve had so far with you in office, I can honestly say this place will go from being the vibrant city it’s fast becoming to returning to being the crippled, pissed off laughing stock it’s been these past twenty-odd years, since the last days of old Boss Bob Morrow.

Hamilton could be truly great again, if only you’d do us the great favour of not throwing us under the bus every five minutes. I’d truly love to know who you really work for, because it clearly isn’t Hamilton.

Lee.

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.

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