Posted September 2, 2014
The mayor is in trouble in her re-election bid. The Forum poll reported in the Mercury has revealed the voting trends in the October 27 election. If nothing changes, Cameron Guthrie will be the next Mayor of Guelph.
The obvious reaction to the poll by the Mayor’s supporters says: It’s just not true, its fails basic scientific polling criteria and the real poll is on Election Day. Isn’t that like whistling past the graveyard?
When the poll states that out of 891 respondents, Cam Guthrie was supported by 36 per cent or 320, and the Mayor receive positive responses of 21 per cent or just 187, that’s a margin of 133 supporting Mr. Guthrie.
The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus three per cent 19 times out of 20.
The Guthrie margin of support would be insurmountable if the poll asks the same questions a week before the election. As Forum pollster Lorne Bozinoff put it: “A poll taken two months before an election is forever in politics”.
The response of the Mayor attending the Labour Day Picnic is classic Farbridge-speak.
“I’ll be running this campaign with the same values as my last campaign and that is commitment to the community and a sense of responsibility.”
Willikers! Please articulate your values in a language we all understand. It’s worrisome when you refer to responsibility as a “sense” rather than admitting that you made a terrible mistake kicking Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. off the new city hall work site in 2008.
Your apology on “behalf of the City of Guelph for cost overruns” does not exonerate you from your responsibility as the chief magistrate of the city. The buck stops at your desk.
Then you are quoted: “It’s unfortunate that Urbacon is still before the courts so I can’t say any more about it. There’s lots I’d love to say about it but I can’t put politics ahead of the city.”
What has politics have to do with your council’s responsibility to oversee such a major capital project? That’s your job and you muffed it. The fall-out will have major impact on the city finances and ability to move forward.
Further, the judgment for this lawsuit has been completed. Guelph lost. Hiding behind that old saw of not commenting when the case is before the courts is a cop-out.
Was it desperation that drove you back to another court after Justice Donald MacKenzie delivered his judgment to stay the damages portion of the trial until after the October 27 election? You lost that motion too.
Your own lawyer agreed at the beginning of the Urbacon trial that the trial would be conducted in two parts: The liability portion and the damages portion. The trial Judge ordered that the damages trial must begin within four months of delivering his judgment. That meant that trial must begin October 14 and it has been confirmed.
Were you acting on behalf of the citizen’s of Guelph making that delaying tactic or was it just politics?
Your Labour Day picnic comment stated: “I hope to have conversations with people on the tough issues. A lot of voters don’t understand the full story and I’m proud to defend my record.”
Well, Mayor, you’ll need a lot of conversation to overcome the growing tide of citizens who just don’t believe you. This poll and others that have been conducted, reveal that the majority of people don’t approve of your leadership and the manner in which you conduct the people’s business.
This does not mean that Cam Guthrie is on a one-way ticket to the Mayor’s office at city hall. There is much work to do by the Guthrie team. GrassRoots Guelph believes that new faces on city council are needed to effect the change that is needed to bring common sense and business principles to the table.
Already there are a number of qualified candidates in the wards that deserve the support of voters. They do not all think the same but will bring experience and responsibility to the job if elected. With the nomination deadline September 12, GRG will have more to say on this.
One of the greatest challenges voters face is whether to support the incumbent Farbridge councilors who have blindly followed the Mayor’s agenda this past eight years.
Real change can only come with a purge of those who supported the Farbridge agenda. They include: Maggie Laidlaw, June Hofland, (ward three), Leanne Piper, (ward five), Todd Dennis, Karl Wettstein, (ward six) and former councilor Mike Salisbury, running again in ward four, who was on the 2008 council that dumped Urbacon. Throw in Kathy Downer, (running in ward five), the Mayor’s campaign manager in 2010. With the exception of Ms. Downer, those are the candidates who are part of the Urbacon decision and don’t deserve re-election.
This is the most important election in Guelph’s history. It is a clear choice for voters.
A vote for Mayor Farbridge and her council supporters October 27 will mean another four years of high property taxes and user fees, secrecy of conducting the public’s business, exploding debt and a civic staff that is too expensive for the citizens.
The Farbridge administration, to carry out its agenda, has created a city staff that is dysfunctional in the lower ranks. Its costs have placed tremendous pressure on taxpayers and the fall-out, even today will take years to bring under control.
These are serious issues that the Mayor must defend when she speaks of commitment to the community.
The Urbacon decision is the tip of the impenetrable glacial agenda that Mayor Karen Farbridge has foisted on the citizens of Guelph.
Perhaps that’s what the Forum poll reveals.
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.