MAC'S MUSINGS: MacDonald is predicting wholsesale changes at city hall

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Claude McIntosh

Mark MacDonald says the biggest shake-up in Cornwall municipal election history is set to rattle city hall on Oct. 27 with the force of an 8.5 magnitude earthquake.

The former councillor, who took a bold step in attempting to unseat Bob Kilger in the 2010 mayoral race, is back in the race, this time his hat has been tossed into the councillor ring.

MacDonald, who at his current campaign clip could wear out two sets of running shoes before election day, is convinced this is the year of the Big Shake-up.

How big of a change around the council table?

"I see nine (new faces)," he says.

Nine!

That means only one incumbent councillor (he agrees that Kilger is a shoe-in as mayor) will be returning, which might explain why he backed off on a second shot at the title. He's a pretty good bet to make it back as a councillor.

Never in the history of modern (post WWII) municipal elections has city council seen that kind of change.

Of course, that would not mean nine of the 10 councillors would be defeated . At least one, possibly two, might decided against running. But even seven incumbents losing would be a monumental, unprecedented changing of the guard.

MacDonald feels the old guard has become stale and says he senses great unrest among the unwashed.

Perhaps. But history says a wholesale change is highly unlikely.

If Elaine MacDonald and Bernadette Clement decide to run again, and the betting is they will, the ladies will lead the field. And it is hard to foresee, at this point, any more than two of the others being put out to pasture. That could mean four new councillors which by previous elections is major facelift.

But nine new faces?

Not a chance.

TRIVIA ANSWER Lord's Discount Drug Store was over the years one of several different occupants of the former Dover's Men's Wear store on the southeast corner of Pitt and Street.

TRIVIA Cornwall's first French radio station opened in 1959 with the call letters CFML. What did the ML stand for?

REAR-VIEW MIRROR One of the old senior hockey sweats, Gary Grant, recalls delivering grocery orders for Walter Vinette meat market with a bicycle for 25 cents a day. Those were the days when there seemed to be a family-operated cornerstore, sometimes two, in every neighbourhood. Hard to find one these days. ... Some of the names were Spinella's, Jeanette's, Mado's, Stang's, Reggie's and Bell's. ... Ranger's shoe repair shop on Cumberland Street just south of Second Street which sharpened skates for 35 cents. ... When folks took their Sunday best shoes to the "shoemaker" to restore heels and/or soles. ... When a shoe store clerk fitted folks for a pair of shoes. Today, with the demise of the speciality shoe store, you are on your own in most department stores. ... The door-to-door Fuller Brush man who hawked goods he lugged around in a suitcase. ... Hand-made baskets crafted by women from St. Regis (Akwesasne).

SEEN & HEARD Did I read that right? Dalton McGuinty who quit, then fled to the Excited States of America, was given a severance package courtesy of Ontario taxpayers! He should be getting a bill for the gas plant fiasco, for starters, that has cost taxpayers millions. ... First question for the yet-to-be-crowned Liberal challenger in SD and SG: Just got my car insurance renewal. Where's the 15% decrease that Preem Kathy promised? ... Coun. Gerry Samson, who believes city councillors are adequately compensated, says if his colleagues give themselves a raise beyond the regular hike for inflation he will consider giving the increase to charity. It is refreshing to hear a politician say that he or she is satisfied with the financial compensation rather than whining about not being paid enough for what they do. These are the same folks who will spend money (on a campaign) to get a job they feel doesn't pay enough.

HERE & THERE With the new bridge up and running and long wait times a thing of the past, there seems to be more vehicles with New York State plates around town. ... Thoughts and prayers go out for former Stormont-Dundas MP Norm Warner. ... Great story on former mayor Phil Poirier by SN editor Todd Lihou. Phil's decision to attend the meeting to announce the closing of Domtar's mill here was an act of courage, a rarity in politics. He didn't deserve the verbal abuse he took from a handful of employees. What they didn't know is that Phil had worked behind-the-scenes to try and convince the company to keep the Cornwall mill running. This included a hard-to-get face-to-face meeting with the company president in Montreal.

ROUND'N'BOUT The new condo building going up at Second and Pitt streets (1 Second St. E.) raises the bar on condo prices in the city. The luxury, fourth-floor units (2,467 square feet) are listed at $846,650, by far the most expensive condo units listed in the city but still much less expensive than similiar units in larger centres. Few years back a Queen's University professor who is an authority on demographics said Brockville and Cornwall were two small communities that would benefit from a shift by big city retirees to smaller communities where amenities were easier to access and housing far less expensive.

SPORTS STUFF Dave Denman, the excellent punter for the CCVS Raiders' 1965 EOSSA senior football championship club, passed away last week in Harrisonburg, Virginia at age 66. He graduated from Lakehead University in 1971 with a B.A. in sociology and worked 25 years with Alcoa, retiring five years ago. He lived all 30 years in Harrisonburg and was active in the community. ... Former S-F photographer Doug Petepiece sends along a couple of photos he took of Wayne Gretzy playing at the Ed Lumley Arena. What, you ask? Gretzky, then 16, was with Team Canada during the 1978 world junior hockey tournament. Five games were played at the LumDome but only one involved Canada, an 8-0 win over West Germany. The other four games involved Switzerland. The Swiss were outscored 46-4 while losing 18-1 to the Soviets, 8-1 to Sweden, 11-1 to the U.S. and 9-1 to Finland. Pretty exciting stuff. ... If you like goon hockey in a bush league atmosphere, fight night at the LumDome is the place to be. Just leave the kids at home.

Organizations: Discount Drug Store, Fuller Brush, Stormont-Dundas MP Norm Warner Domtar Queen's University Lakehead University Alcoa Team Canada

Geographic location: Cornwall, Pitt, U.S. Cumberland Street Second Street Ontario New York State Montreal Brockville Harrisonburg, Virginia Harrisonburg Canada West Germany Switzerland Sweden Finland

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