As a self-serving argument, John Gray always announces that Oshawa’s Mayoralty is not an entry level position, knowing full well that he is head and shoulders above John Henry, Oshawa’s worst mayor I’ve seen in 40 years of watching and being involved in city politics, albeit in non-elected positions. Part of my political experience was being PM Mulroney’s Oshawa Candidate in the 1900 Federal By-e-election and the first Governing Party Candidate in the country that had to defend NAFTA and the GST among other major issues at the time.
What Gray fails to remind us is that he, like Henry, is a failed Mayor. He got badly defeated in 2010 running third in the race. He was badly defeated for a reason—poor judgement and a sense of entitlement that he could do anything with the taxpayer’s money—even buy MBA’s for his executive assistant and a councillor.
Widespread publication of this story right across the country documents the public interest in the extreme feelings of entitlement of politicians and John Gray’s City Council in particular, in using our tax monies for their own benefit rather than the benefit of the city.
As a failed Mayor, Gray also led the charge in spending $234,000 for the Cullen Gardens miniatures which lay rotting in a city warehouse until they were sold to Niagara Parks Commission for $20,000—$5,000 per year over 4 years!
And don’t forget that John Gray was the Mayor that irresponsibly and unreasonably ushered in the General Vote which included designing a impossible to understand question requiring a “NO” vote to retain ward voting that even though there was not a whimper of ratepayer dissatisfaction with ward voting. Gray even stated at Council had no responsibility to inform residents of the question prior to the vote…amazing!
But politicians don’t like ward voting because it increases their workload and responsibility in handling their ward ratepayer’s city hall issues and makes them much more vulnerable to electoral defeat. Again, Gray’s leadership put politicians interests above the interests of the city and its people.
So the Mayor position is not an entry level position only if you believe that an inbred group of stale, failed, and self serving individuals are the only ones qualified for the position. Elect Gray, and we are sure to get a mayor whose judgement and sense of entitlement will repeat the same kinds of errors that caused his defeat.
Now, as for the mayor not being an entry level position as Gray claims, I guess Calgary voters didn’t get Gray’s message. They elected the country’s acknowledged “star” Mayor, Naheed Nenshi whose only prior run at city council was a failed run at a councillor position in 2004. So in 2010, he got elected as Calgary’s Mayor without one iota of political experience at any level, and as they say, the rest is history. He is now the chief spokesman for all Canada’s Mayors and has been named the 2nd most influential politician in the country right after the Prime Minister.
Probably he’s the acknowledged best mayor in the country because he brought a fresh vision and experience to the Calgary Mayor’s job that was untained by past council experience that would have coloured his mayorship with the old, the bland, the tried, and the old way of doing things, all acquired from past council experience….and too often in Oshawa, the unsuccessful way of doing things.
We need to get on Calgary’s bandwagon and elect new blood at all levels on City Council.
A good bet—-If you’re “too familiar” with a politician’s name, maybe they’ve been there too long, and perhaps the city would be best served by replacing them with new people with fresh ideas, fresh vision, and new energy and enthusiasm to making our city great.
We need an awakened leadership to awaken the city to the dynamic place it has the potential to be…..and that won’t happen without new city hall leadership.