Huge advance voting is not good news for the Farbridge-led forces

Posted October 21, 2014

By Monday there had been some 9,600 votes cast either using the Internet or the advance poll. Observers say the advance poll numbers, not including the Internet, are among the highest in recent memory.

GrassRoots Guelph is proud that we have contributed toward igniting the citizen’s interest in the October 27 civic election. It has been accomplished despite a barrage of Farbridge supporters, selling their point of view in print, the Internet, TV and radio. Their message is spread through the Guelph Politico Blog, We are Guelph blog, Guelph Citizen blog, The Guelph Mercury, the Guelph Bugle blog, The Gang of Four on CFRU university radio, Beyond the ballot box, CFRU, and Rogers community television.

Whew! GRG doesn’t know whether to be flattered or be sent to the showers. Never have so many offered so little to the citizens

It illustrates how ineffective the Farbridge campaign has been up to last Thursday when the mayor’s brain trust placed an unattributed ad in the Guelph Tribune. It cast rival mayoralty candidate Cam Guthrie as being associated with the convicted Robocall participant Michael Sona.

It was classic character assassination of Mr. Guthrie who has had no link with Mr. Sona. A Mercury photographer made the photo in 2011. The paper promptly declared the photo was used without its permission.

Within 24 hours the public outcry forced the mayor to admit her campaign team placed it. Did she apologize? No. Did she take responsibility? No. Instead she bitterly complained about the “ugly and divisive nature of the current campaign.”

Her rant in the Mercury went to use words like bullying, toxic, nasty and bitter.

“I have never seen some (sic) of the hateful messages and displays … I couldn’t stand by any longer and let that go,” she added.

Nice try Madame Mayor. Poor me, nobody likes me any more. Why are they so angry? Sometimes self-pity works but it sure didn’t work for Richard Nixon who was a master of crocodile tears.

Is the mayor pointing the finger at GRG, the non-partisan citizen’s activist group who her stable of communicators keep describing the group as right wing Tories and not to be trusted?

Hummm. Is that not calling the kettle black? How many council candidates has the mayor’s party fielded? How many are card carrying members of either labour organizations or the New Democratic Party? Last count there are 20 running for 13 seats

Madame Mayor, what has occurred despite the mega sized propaganda effort you and your supporters have mounted is that people see through it. They finally see what you have done to Guelph through eight years of ego-driven, self-serving monument building that has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars.

That your administration thinks using coloured paint to warn pedestrians of broken sidewalks sums up your disdain for the basics of your job.

After eight years in office, in tight control of city operations, the chickens have come home to roost.

Your explanation of losing $6.35 million in a settlement with new city hall contractor Urbacon for wrongfully dismissing the builder is pure lying by omission.

You say the settlement won’t affect property taxes. First there is another $2.3 million in legal costs. Then there are further settlements that you have not announced including claims by the lien/bond holders. You have never revealed the costs to the city of the two construction companies you brought in to complete the Urbacon work.

You do not point out that the city’s countersuit of $5 million was thrown out of court.

Nor have you told the citizens the legal costs of that separate action your administration initiated to delay the damages portion of the Urbacon trial until after the civic election. That judge denied the application.

Your utter disdain for the public trust has become blatantly transparent. The people have a clearer picture of your operations that are conducted in secret with tightly controlled communications. Your administration only tells the citizen what they want them to believe, not what the citizens want to know.

Sorry Madame Mayor, but you can’t shake it, you are stuck with a lousy record. Your mini-army of sycophants don’t want to lose their place at your table.

This election is about your administration’s record, Ma’am! Not your display of feigned outrage and outpouring of baseless excuses. This is crisis management, Karen Farbridge style.

Guelph will answer next Monday, quite possibly, looking at the numbers, the process of elimination has already begun.

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