Bob Kilger hopes to make it a threepeat and become a piece of local history in October when Cornwall voters go back to the polls, but win or lose it will be his final mayoral campaign.
"This will be it (final mayoral campaign)," said the mayor.
The 69-year-old Kilger has held the office since 2006 when he won a landslide victory with 49.4% of the vote in a five-person race that saw him upset incumbent Phil Poirier. He was re-elected in 2010 when he grabbed 56.65% of the vote in a less congested three-person race.
A third term would make him the first Cornwall mayor to serve 12 consecutive years. It would also make him one of the longest serving politicians in the city's history. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as Liberal member of Parliament from 1988 to 2004, when he lost to Conservative Guy Lauzon. He was deputy Speaker of the House and made an unsuccessful bid to become Speaker. Prior to becoming deputy speaker he was the chief government whip. If he returns for a four-year mayoral term, he will be on target for 28 years in elected office.
Aaron Horovitz logged 18 years as mayor, all of it before annexation expanded the city from one-square mile to 32-square miles, but he did it over a 26-year span. Lionel Chevrier served as our MP for 22 consecutive years before stepping down to become the first president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. Years later he returned to the House of Commons as a member for a Montreal riding.
Kilger is expected to file his nomination papers in May but for the last year he has told anybody who wanted to know that he would seek a third term. The filing of his nomination papers will be a mere formality.
Earlier in this term he had a health scare but he has been given a clean bill of health by his doctor and he feels great.
So far, only one no-chance-in-hades challenger has stepped up to the plate while former councillor Mark MacDonald, who lost to Kilger by 2,303 votes in 2010, played a cat-and-mouse game since last fall. This week, however, MacDonald placed his cards on the table: He will be putting his name on the October ballot but it won't be for mayor. He will be a councillor candidate. Good move on his part. His chances of returning as a councillor are much better than taking a second run in the mayoral sweepstakes.
Of the current members of council none has expressed any interest in challenging Kilger, but David Murphy is a potential candidate in 2018 if he runs a successful re-election campaign in October.
Hard to see a candidate with any chance of giving Kilger a run for his money emerging between now and September, so it could be a smooth ride to a third consecutive term for the incumbent.
TRIVIA In a game at the Water Street Arena, this National Hockey League Hall of Famer scored his first goal in the only NHL team uniform he would wear.
TRIVIA ANSWER Smith Transport was on Second Street West (north side) just east of Westmoreland Avenue.
SPORTS STUFF One of the problems for the financially challenged River Kings is that for the vast majority of Cornwall hockey fans Le Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey is a faint blip on the hockey radar screen. ... When their best player, John Tavares, suffered a season-ending injury at the Sochi Olympics the Islanders howled that this was a good reason for the NHL to stop sending its best players to the Olympics. GM Garth Snow complained that Islanders' season ticket holders were being cheated. But is it any worse than when non-contenders shed top talent in March for lesser talent and draft picks? ... Here's true sportsmanship: In a CMHA novice championship game Sunday, a player dropped his stick and a player on the other team picked it up and handed it to him while the play continued.
REAR-VIEW MIRROR Jack Roy (NAV Centre) remembers buying his first bicycle - a Regent model - at Woodhouse Furniture on Pitt Street as a 15-year-old. He got a part-time job at R.C. Lemire Paints on Montreal Road and needed a bicycle to make deliveries. The bicycle came with a large wire basket. Each Saturday he would show up at Woodhouse and make a 50 cent payment on the bike which cost him $10. ... A. J. Charlebois Wholesalers (tobacco-confectionery), Vernon Lemoyre, manager, 25 Pitt St. ... Jarvis & Shaver General Merchants, Aultsville. ... Elco Electric, 17 Second St. E. ... D.A. McPherson, optomestrist and optician, 13 SecondST. W. ... The Green Valley Pavilion dance hall once described as the "most beautiful dance hall in Eastern Ontario." And the Bonnie Glen on Highway 43. ... Ed Warner Chrysler-Plymouth-Fargo Truck dealership, 32 Second St. W.
HERE & THERE The mildly hyped demonstration against Prime Minister Stephen Harper drew a dozen or half dozen (depending on who was in charge of the head count) folks Saturday morning at Water Street and Brookdale Avenue. Meanwhile, that many people were waiting for the light to turn green at Second and Pitt streets. ... Vince Hawkes, who will take over as Ontario Provincial Police commissioner from Chris Lewis on March 29 is familiar with Eastern Ontario. He once worked was an indentification officer in the old District 11, which included SD and G. He was the first OPP member to be certified as a bloodstain pattern analyst. ... Thoughts and prayers for Cornwall Sports Hall of Famer Lutt Bergeron Jr. who is battling some health problems.
THIS & THAT Studies have shown that in a long list of candidates those with last names starting with A to C have a better chance of winning than those stuck in the middle of the pack. Coun. Denis Thibault will tell you that being last on the ballot doesn't hurt either. He finished third in 2010 in a field of 21 candidates. Of course, name recognition is a much bigger factor. ... Why no calls for the Rainbow Flag to be re-hoisted to protest Uganda declaring war on the gay community in that African country. Persons convicted of having same-sex relations in that country now face life in prison. Before the Anti-Homosexual Act 2014 was amended, the maximum sentence was death. The silence from Coun. Elaine MacDonald and the local gay/lesbian community is deafening. Russia's law banning the speading of "gay propaganda" among minors that prompted communities across the country, Cornwall included, to replace the Canadian flag with the Rainbow Flag during the Olympics in protest palls by comparison.