It was good to see Hamilton Spectator Editor Paul Berton tackle the silly uproar over Columnist Scott Radley’s recent article on Councillor Terry Whitehead. Apparently the perpetually outraged in our community think that any publicity is good publicity. Why otherwise would they object to an article that discussed in detail Whitehead’s censure by the integrity commissioner for bullying staff, his combative style at meetings–and even went to his critics on council for quotes?
We don’t see the outrage when the Spectator gives Margaret Shkimba dozens of opportunities to write anti-incumbent, anti development, anti Ford, anti-area rating, anti police columns. Surely those 30-odd articles in the past year alone are enough to offset one little article about a controversial councillor who, whatever his faults, has handily won re-election four times.
Maybe the real outrage is over Whitehead’s comments identifying the busy campaign underway for the Morally and Intellectually Superior (MAIS™) to take over council. Everybody knows about it but Whitehead was the first councillor to acknowledge it.
I Elect has been busy for months posting on social media that its time to throw the bums out, which is their absolute right. My only objection is that when they frequently voice their indignation about Sewergate their math is a little screwy and suddenly Hamilton Council shrinks to 13 members instead of 16, but that’s a quibble. With or without I Elect, there are going to be the most changes in this council in memory, with the announced retirement, thus far of four councillors, and depending on the Provincial results in June, maybe another. One can only guess whether I Elect scared any of the departing councillors away–certainly not Partridge, Collins, Merulla and Johnson. If Farr does not end up at Queen’s Park he will still be the man to beat in Ward Two if he decides to contest it. Note to Farr critics–nobody cares where he lives, nor should they.
There is a potentially false assumption afoot that when an incumbent councillor leaves office, they are automatically going to be replaced by a Morally and Intellectually Superior (MAIS™) candidate. We’ll see. There are many on the opposite side of the political spectrum who also see these vacancies, and some incumbent seats for that matter, as opportunities for some new blood, and they are also getting busy.