A Fable: Not even super hero Chickenman can save the peasants from financial fiasco

By Anonymous

Posted March 3, 2016

Once upon a time, there was a personable young man who wanted to serve the people of his beloved kingdom of Sustainis Land. He was elected to the Council of Peasants and brought his skill sets to the public trough, controlled by the Queen of the Left and her supporters, thus it was being drained fast.

That’s because the wicked Queen of the Left and her court had eaten all the food in the trough and poisoned the well of public goodwill.

Our hero, decided to run for the office of Lord Mayor of the Peasants, occupied by the powerful Queen of the Left.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the election. The queen’s court had made a huge mistake in judgment by losing a lawsuit brought on by the builders of the new castle that was to house the queen’s court and courtiers. The hapless buidlers were fired before the contruction was finished.

About the only thing this castle was missing was a moat to keep the peasants out. It was the place where the queen’s court, located in the bucolic village market centre, carried on the peasant’s business in secret, far from the madding crowd.

Enter our ambitious councillor who promised to protect the poor villagers from the oppresive taxation by the Queen of the Left. He promised to reduce taxes and restore the rights of the people. When the election was held, our hero soundly defeated the Qieen of the Left. In his former role as a remittance man, our hero met many peasants who supported him because he was admired and assumed trustworthy.

But the new mayor was befuddled by what he inherited from his predeccesor. He inherited a tangled financial mess and an obstinate staff. But he made the decision to get along with his council regardless.

Our hero quickly learned that his council was still controlled by the supporters of the Queen of the Left. Being a reasonable man, he sought to work with all members of council.

Then the thunderbolt happened! On March 15, just three and one half months on the job, our hero discovered that the majority of council voted to raise the taxes on the peasant’s properties by 3.92 per cent. This made our hero unhappy because he had promised the voters who elelcted him that he would limit tax increases to match the official Peasant’s Cost Index (PCI) of just two per cent.

Quel dilemma! It got worse as events unfurled instead of solving the problems of the peasants.

Next to seeing the 2015 budget break our hero’s promise for lower taxes, came the preparation and agreement for the 2016 budget. Again, it contained a greater tax increase than was promised by our hero. In fact, totalling the two budgets approved by our hero’s first year in office, the peasant’s property taxes were increased by 6.91 per cent.

Next came the revolt of five members of the Queen of the Left to walk away from a regular meeting of council, chaired by our hero. There was no admonishment, no action taken to censure those five councillors who walked out. The peasants were mystified why it happened and still are to this day.

The peasants of the village, particularly the vast numbers who supported our hero’s election wondered what happened to their champion. They still wonder and without explanation from their hero are losing patience and confidence.

The sounds of cluck-cluck were heard throughout the village and there were even T-shirts with Chickenman printed on the front sprouting up among the populace.

The peasants were coming to the realization that their hero, elected to change and reform the city, was essentially looking after his self-serving interests and his desire to go beyond Sustainis Land to become a senior government representative.

And folks, that’s when our hero became known as Chickenman amonf the Sustainis Land peasants; who failed to respect the people who elected him but chose to use his skills to divert attention to confront those members on council and stop the bleeding of the public purse.

It is now abundantly clear, our hero will always be labelled as Chickenman because he headed for the hen house when the roosters took over his council.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Chickenman.





Filed under Between the Lines

11 responses to “A Fable: Not even super hero Chickenman can save the peasants from financial fiasco

  1. Towne Winer

    Well done – tarred & feathered…

  2. TheCitizen

    Some proof reading is required and will give the site more weight.

  3. Tony

    You have to play with the cards you are dealt. No? He doesn’t seem to have gotten much support. We don’t know what is going on behind the doors. If he fired pappert and amarossi the city would have to pay out large severance checks to both. The spin on that would be intense from those that don’t like him on council.


    Tony:Perhaps it may cost but consider the continuation of the current dire situation!In addition,would not such an act clearly identify those councillors that really don’t care nor consider the taxpayers of GUELPH of any consequence until the next municipal election(oh,for the 3-year term of councils of old)?

  5. geo

    The make up of Guelph’s current Council means Cam is always going to be out voted 7 to 6. What concerns me is that most of Guelph’s taxpayers do not realize this and consider Cam a do nothing Mayor, quite content with the status quo. If municipal politics comes up in conversation I always try to make this situation clear and I believe Cam and his team should be doing the same.

  6. If the Mayor is not happy with the outcome of the 7 to 6 vote time after time , then he should have done something when 5 of these councilors walked out on him and the other 5 when they were outvoted.To let this go unaddressed is wrong. The people should know what is happening behind and in front of those doors. The way Guelph is run now is disgusting and very unjust.

  7. Glen N. Tolhurst

    Gerry – you lowered your standards & credibility with the chickenman reference. In support of firing Pappert & Amarossi, any cost should be viewed as an investment in good government. BTW – isn’t Pappert’s contract up this August? To bring the actions of the bloc of 7 to the public view, Cam should hold a few town hall meetings and expose the obstructionist & reckless spending tactics of the 7 rump Farbridge supporters on council. He should also remind the 7 of his commanding defeat of Farbridge on election day. Time for Cam to take off the nice guy white gloves and do some bare knuckle brawling with the bloc of 7. He should publicly call them out on their actions. At the same time Wettstein, Hofland, & Piper, who are all past their “best B4 date”, should resign and let some open minded cost conscious citizens replace them as their contribution to good government.

    • Glen N. Tolhurst: I’m confused by your comment. It isn’t my creditability that was questioned in the “fable,” it was the super hero, Chickenman. Those who identify Chickenman with the present mayor of Guelph are mixing fiction with fact. Regardless, the mayor made promises to reform the city administration and has failed to do so. His action as mayor is currently a continuation of the policies of the former administration.

      He wasn’t in office two months when he attacked me personally by emailing an unknown number of people to ignore me because I was an unreliable source of news and commentary. His email diatribe was over a reference in guelphspeaks that council was reviewing CAO Ann Pappert’s contract. He added fuel to the fire by stating that Ms. Pappert was unable to defend herself. Really? Why did the rookie mayor go to such great lengths to discredit me?

      Here’s a hint. Three weeks before the election, Candidate Guthrie called me and screamed into the telephone that I had caused his defeat and that I made his wife and children cry. Why you may ask? Because I was quoted in the Tribune that GrassRoots Guelph was supporting his candidacy and we were exchanging Intel. In fact, the GRG steering committee voted 17 to 2 to support Guthrie and my wife and I voted for him.

      Ms. Pappert is still the Chief Administrative Officer. I have been told her contract expires in August. My prediction is her contract will be renewed with the bloc of seven supporting the renewal. Guthrie will say because he only has one vote, that absolves him of responsibility. That’s his story for the past 15 months.

      For more than a year I have written that Guthrie should hold town meetings to inform the citizens of the obstructionist tactics of the bloc of seven. In addition, the Mayor should conduct monthly media briefings to present his opinions and necessary steps to reform the administration. It’s a tried and true strategy to get the people on your side. He had their support in 2014 and has squandered his opportunity to be a change agent.

      Not one of those bloc of seven councillors will resign because there is no pressure to do so. That’s because the Mayor, the only member of council who was elected by voters across the entire city, fails to use his authority, mandate and determination to fulfill the wishes of the people.

      This city has been turned into a ship of fools.

  8. Brent

    Cam Guthrie missed a golden opportunity to express his frustration with the outrageous walkout event …but not even a peep of indignation was heard. You can bet that if this was Toronto Mayor John Tory would have led a public discussion of the unacceptable behaviour and its motivations ,thereby giving the voters something to work with in the next election. If Mayor Guthrie doesn’t, change his communication MO sooner than later with regard to this type of conduct, now that we are now well into the second year of the mandate, he may well be paving the way for the return …God help us, of Ms Farbridge. Cam Guthrie might also have learned something from Mayor Tory in the recent negotiations with Union Locals …time will tell.

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