MAC'S MUSINGS: Commentary takes a shot at mayor

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Claude McIntosh

A Corus Radio reporter took a pretty good swipe at Mayor Bob Kilger in a commentary last Friday.

Nailed him, as they say.

The centre piece of the dressing down was the mayor showing up for a budget meeting 15 minutes after it started, or as the commentator railed, "The good 'ol mayor, who makes upwards of 50 grand a year of taxpayer money, strolls in 15 minutes late to Tuesday's meeting."

Wow! A whole 15 minutes late. Break out the fonts being saved for the Second Coming story.

It wasn't like the meeting was waiting for the mayor to put in an appearance, or that the mayor makes a habit of being late for meetings.

The commentary reminded the mayor that he works for the taxpayers "so get your butt to work on time." The commentator, Eric Spence, counted himself as a Cornwall taxpayer who doesn't tolerated tardiness by an elected official, apparently regardless of circumstances.

According to the author, if he, or anybody else at the radio station, showed up 15 minutes late for work the boss wouldn't be a happy camper. They must run a tight ship over at the station.

Even with a valid reason like a dental or medical appointment?

For the record, the mayor was late for the meeting (not work) because of a dental appointment and a matter that required his immediate attention when he got to his office.

The interesting thing is that Cornwall "taxpayer" Spence isn't a Cornwall taxpayer. In fact, he doesn't live in Cornwall ... anymore. The spanking of the mayor for alleged tardiness came as he was winding down his stay in Cornwall, a stay that fits the proverbial cup of coffee tenure. His last day on the job was Monday.

The hit-and-run takes a lot of the edge off the caustic commentary. .

HERE & THERE Cornwall native Royal Galipeau, Conservative MP for Ottawa-Orleans, is being treated for blood cancer but hasn't changed his plans to seek re-election in 2015. In a strange twist, just three months before being diagnosed with the disease, blood tests for a medical showed no problem. ... According to a TD Bank report, home prices in Canada are 10 per cent overvalued. Since property taxes, in most cases, are linked to the market value, does this mean we are paying too much? ... Workers over at the Alcoa East Plant (formerly Reynolds) who will lose their jobs when it closes in a couple of months will received $25,000 plus $500 for every year of service. Workers who accept a transfer to one of the company's other plants (Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Texas or Washington) will receive $15,000 cash and $500 for every year of service, plus moving expenses. The company offer has received a thumbs up from the union.

ROUND'N'BOUT Trudeau the Younger wants to step up to the plate and hit a home run for the middle class. Does he mean the middle class that has a household income of $46,000 or the middle class that has a household income of $200,000? ... Cornwall Police Service is going against the grain when it comes to increases in staffing in city departments. The force is down four positions on the sworn officer (non-civilian) side, 87 from 91. That's a saving of about $400,000. ... Insp. Bob Burnie will retire next month. Top candidates for his position are Staff Sergeants Shawna Spowart and Dan Maille. Spowart last year became the highest ranking female in the force's history.

TRIVIA ANSWER Eastcourt Mall became Cornwall's first enclosed shopping centre. It opened on Oct. 16, 1968. It was anchored by Zellers, at the time the company's largest store in Canada. The first manager was Douglas Zeller, a member of the Zeller family.

TRIVIA This Lancaster native, who once delivered bread in the village as a youngster and worked a summer in a Montreal bakery, became one of the province's most respected educators. A school bears his name.

IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR When a price increase was called just that, not an adjustment. ... When we had store clerks, not associates. ... When a gas station attendant not only pumped your gas but checked the oil and cleaned the windshield, at no extra cost. You could even ask him to check the air pressure on a tire. ... When gas stations engaged in gas wars. ... When every gas station had a free air hose and handed out road maps with a fill up. Some of the attendants wore uniforms with a cap and bow tie. ... When your arrival at the pumps was announced by a loud bleat from a bell. ... When you handed the attendant a $20 bill and said "fill 'er up.'

SEEN & HEARD Thoughts and prayers for Brian Tardiff, a class act and one of the unsung heroes on the local sports landscape. ... My wife called me from Cancun, Mexico Saturday to ask me how the weather was HERE (minus 15C), then she had to tell me how nice it was THERE (29C). ... I still think those of us who shiver through an entire winter in Canada should get a tax break. ... Bold prediction: NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald will finish second to Jim McDonell in the expected spring provincial election. ... American natives have the highest per-capita participation in the U.S. Armed Services of any ethnic group, which explains why so many Native communities in the U.S. have a Legion Post or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hall.

ROUND'N'BOUT At the height of the Cold War could anybody have imagined the U.S. flag being raised in Russia while the Star Spangled Banner was played (Olympic Games). Certainly not for those of us who grew up in the Cold War era when we learned how to get under our school desks and cover our heads if the air raid sirens sounded while we were at school. Cornwall had air raid sirens because of its close proximity to Ottawa and the St. Lawrence Seaway. ... When calculating your 2014 municipal tax increase, don't forget to include the jump in water and sewage charges. This is a tax dressed up as a "charge".

SPORTS STUFF Massena's Zach Bogosian, defenceman with Winnipeg Jets, didn't make the U.S. Olympic team but village hockey fans can look just down the road for somebody to cheer for - Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard was named to the team. He hails from Ogdensburg. ... This month started with three Ontario Hockey League teams punching their playoff-bound tickets. Sault Ste-Marie, Guelph and Erie are in the post-season dance with 18 games left in the regular season. ... For the first 16 Super Bowls, each player on the winning team received $18,000. Players with the 2014 champion Seattle Seahawks received $95,000. That is what the average Canadian Football League player makes for an entire season.

AND JUST WONDERING ... What ever became of 2010 mayoral candidate Nicole Spahich who somehow managed to collect 550 votes. She didn't exactly split the vote in the three-way race.


Organizations: Corus Radio, Zellers, TD Bank Alcoa East Plant Cornwall Police Service U.S. Armed Services Veterans of Foreign Wars Star Spangled Banner Olympic Games Winnipeg Jets Canadian Football League

Geographic location: Cornwall, Canada, Ottawa Orleans U.S. Arkansas Indiana Iowa North Carolina Texas Washington This Lancaster Montreal Cancun Mexico Russia St. Lawrence Seaway Detroit Ogdensburg Guelph

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Recent comments

  • Hugger1
    February 14, 2014 - 14:41

    Claude; you failed to mention the other parts of Eric's commentary. He has very valid points about the mayor's actions at the budget meeting. And do you think Corus would have allowed the commentary if Eric hadn't moved on? I highly doubt it would have happened.