Wednesday, January 07, 2009

St. John's municipal dancehall

Breaking news: there will be a municipal election this year and all seats on St. John's City Council are up for grabs. How do I know? Simple - the silly season has set in at the bunker on Gower.

First, Councilor Keith Coombs has been on the media whining about his incompetence failure to move his fellow councillors on the issue of a scrap yard impound lot in his ward. After two previous rejections, the application was sufficiently tweaked to win the approval of all the members of City Council on a third go-around.

That is, all the members of council who showed up to the meeting that night. Turns out Mr. Combs was nowhere to be found in the chambers the night the matter came up for discussion.

Did he call down to Council and ask for the matter to be delayed until he could be there in person to address the issue?

Apparently not.

Then, with the galleries full of people from his ward concerned about the matter, when Mr. Coombs finally got around to gathering his wits sufficiently together to make a motion asking council to rescind that previous motion of approval, not a single member was willing to second his motion.

Did he take the time and effort to contact fellow councilors in advance to find out if any of them would take on the non-commitment to second the motion to allow the matter to come up for debate?

Again, apparently not.

So he hits the media complaining about the lack of democracy at city hall in refusing to debate a motion that was doomed to failure in the first place. As a distraction, he tosses out as much blame to as many people as he possibly can to cover his tracks.

It was all wholly avoidable if he had just taken the simple steps to do his job, and make a few calls, in the first place. Now he's left exposed to the people of his ward as the councilor who couldn't shoot straight.

"I think what was carried out before was a travesty as well, and I think it is a shameful exhibition by councilors," Coombs said. The true shame is that the good people of that ward are represented by a negligent and hypocritical councilor.

Second, Mayor Doc (Guiding A Great City Around In Circles) O'Keefe has taken charge of the movement to pillory Tim Horton's for their effect of drive-thrus on traffic trumpeting the city council-ordered a moratorium on new drive-thru applications.

Mind you there are no applications in the pipeline now. And no matter that this moratorium has absolutely no impact on the pre-existing drive-thrus which are causing all the problems.

And never mind that his move makes the city a difficult pill to swallow for businesses looking to come here.

Most importantly, never mind that fact that each and every one of those dastardly Tim Horton drive-thrus were designed and built with the approval of the very same city council of which Mayor O'Keefe is a member. It's not like those Tim's suddenly popped up overnight without permission; they were erected with the blessing of the St. John's City Council.

Nice job, Mr. Mayor and Mr. Coombs. Seeking re-election, are we?

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