City Hall Jan. 27-31, 2014

Jan. 27, 4:00 pm. Investment and Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – To mark the retirement of the Western Ontario Gunner Officers Association, they want to donate a WW1 wooden gun wheel to the city
#3 – Music Industry Task Force Proposed
#5 – Delegation of the Chair of the Downtown Performing Arts & Entertainment Task Force

Jan. 28, 4:00 pm. Council Meeting. Full agenda:
5th Report of Corporate Services:
#5 – Motion to use the solicitors office when Councillor’s are hiring lawyers re: Indemnification. (Ombudsman investigation)
#8 – First time – Fanshawe College and Western University students appt. to Advisory Cte.’s
3rd Report of Civic Works Cte:
#7 – Concern regarding rail cars and recent disasters ie.Lac Megantic
2nd Report of Planning & Environment Cte:
#9 – 193 Clarke Rd. infill project will generate discussion
#10 – 122 Wortley Rd. infill project may raise comments

Jan. 30, and 31st (if required) 9:00 am. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Operating Budget deliberations. Full agenda:
Public viewing gallery is on the 3rd floor

City Hall Jan. 20-24, 2014

Jan. 20, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda:
#5 – Closing of Colborne St. at Huron. Interesting, not controversial

Jan. 20, 7:00 pm Community & Protective Services. Full agenda:
#3 – Controversy between the Fed’s & Province over the Labour Market Agreement & the Canada Job Grant
#4 – Start of an initiative to electronically coordinate housing services for a number of municipalities

Jan. 21, 1:00 pm. Corporate Services Cte. Full agenda:
#5 – Cost of lawyer hired by councillors who met at Billy T’s “Closed meeting”
#6 – Fall election and options regarding voting

Jan. 21, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
#9 – Infill proposal at 192 Clarke Rd.
#10 – 122 Wortley Road infill project
#14 – A request by Cncllr. Brown for staff to investigate a tree cutting by-law on private property


City Hall Jan.13-17, 2014

Jan. 13, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Budget – public participation meeting.

Jan. 14, 4:00 pm. Council. Full agenda:
Nothing controversial on the agenda.
Recommendations of the Community and Protective Services Cte.
#7 – Awarding of London CAReS contract
Recommendations of Civic Works Cte.
#3 – Approval of wooden noise wall for Veterans Memorial Parkway

City Hall Jan. 6-10, 2014

Jan. 6, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda:
#3 – Veterans Memorial Parkway update on noise wall
#5 – Environmental Assessment for Western Road/Wharncliffe Road widening anticipated in 2017

Jan. 6, 7:00 pm. Community & Protective Services. Full agenda:
#6 – Review of the Adult Day Program at Dearness

Jan. 7, 1:00 pm. Corporate Services Cte. Full agenda:
#5 – 1:15 pm. Public meeting re: Introduction of electronic bingo in London
#6 – State of the Infrastructure Report

Jan. 8, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – General overview of the budget

Why I Am Leaving Politics

One of my favourite bands is the Eagles. When the group broke up in 1980, Don Henley famously described it as a “horrible relief”. These words came to me time and again as I contemplated my decision to not seek municipal re-election in 2014.

Many of you have personally encouraged me to run for Mayor or councillor, whether directly, or through the petition. I am grateful for your support and appreciate your kind comments.  Saying thank you doesn’t adequately convey the extent of my appreciation. Your support has sustained me for some time.

This has not been an easy decision. There is no single compelling reason for leaving, but rather a collective that leads to an inevitable conclusion.

When I ran in 2010 I indicated it would likely be my last election as I don’t support the notion of municipal career politicians. When municipal politicians view their work as employment, the focus becomes self-serving rather than civic service. Of course there are many successful long-term politicians who have done great work with civic service top of mind. They are usually the minority. Unseating an incumbent is an enormous challenge.  Municipal term limits allow for a changing dynamic on council with new ideas and new opportunities. I have had my turn and it is time for someone else.

The 8-7 teeter-totter of council decision making this past term has strained relationships and made working together challenging. With a council as divisive as ours, and if incumbency carries the power it does, it will take a unique set of skills and a gifted individual to move the majority in a unified direction. That person is not me. Given my level of frustration with some of my colleagues, diplomacy is not my strong suit.

I am tired and worn down. Politics is not enjoyable anymore, not that enjoyable aptly describes the political environment. In the past, it seemed easy to disagree with a colleague and still respect their right to a divergent opinion and work together. Times have changed.  

I have many interests and for years my personal life has often taken a back seat to civic life. I was ok with this; it was part of the job. That’s not the case anymore and I long for a sense of normalcy. In short, I want my life back.

As the new year unfolds, I will continue to do what I can to work with my colleagues in the long-term interest of the community.  There is ample work to be done and I am committed to fulfilling my obligation to the citizens of Ward 5 and the broader London community.

In closing, I hope 2014 will shine brightly on London.