Dilkens Has No Business
By Robert Tuomi,
(WINDSOR, ON) – Given what’s happening these day, Windsor city council should send out daily notices, possibly hourly updates, on who is taking on the enforcer role at city hall. Without question, city hall watchers need to know because the person in the role seems to quickly get hung out to dry and someone new keeps turning up.
The newest enforcer, and who knows how long he will have the job, seems to be councillor Drew Dilkens. He was seen on televised newscasts November 18, 2011 wandering around the Senator David Croll park in downtown Windsor where the Occupy Windsor occupiers are located expressing his opinion that, to paraphrase, “hey, hey, ho, ho, the occupiers have got to go.”
Of course, this is not a ward that Dilkens represents so he really had no business being there, at least no official business, unless, of course, he is the new enforcer. For a while it seemed that failed mayoral candidate Al Maghnieh had a lock on the job and was scooting all over the community doing nefarious deeds dirt cheap until suddenly Chris Vander Doelen and Anne Jarvis at the Windsor Star where doing the job but, apparently, they quickly fell out of favour, quicker than it would take Vander – as the headline writers at the Star call him – to change his own car brakes and which, most likely, caused him to write a column November 17, 2011 in which he called the mayor a bully. Odd that that would happen because, well, isn’t bully part of the job description of an enforcer so was Vander not a kettle calling a pot black?
Possibly the whole column was simply a handing off of the baton to the mayor who, as Vander wrote, had taken to tearing strips off of the President of the University of Windsor. The mayor had claimed that this President, a Dr. Alan Wildeman, is the real reason the downtown is not revitalized and that many of the stores in the core have closed because there are no rich university students to patronize them.
Most who saw this strip tearing on televised reports were quite impressed with the mayor’s performance. While he did show that he is, by airing dirty laundry in public, not a well-polished diplomat, he certainly seems to be a good actor so much so he caused some innocent city hall watchers to almost spill the Nabob coffee they were sipping and to honestly think they had somehow tuned into a repeat of the 1976 movie Network with famed actor Peter Finch, playing the role of Howard Beale, shouting that he was “mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore.”
Sadly, this might be the last time the mayor will play enforcer if it is true that Dilkens now has the job. Dilkens certainly seems to be taking it seriously.
He showed up at the park in high style, suit and tie no less, surrounded by people who looked like they were wearing camping clothes. Of course he wasn’t there to make a fashion statement. He knew his job was to be the crow bar that pries the occupiers loose.
While city hall watchers may say they are just waiting for Dilkens’ next enforcer task, in reality they are really hoping that the mayor will take the enforcer job back and this will cause him to imitate other famous movie situations. Some have their fingers crossed that it will be the lines delivered by character Travis Bickle in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, in which actor Robert DeNiro mumbled the immortal line “You talkin’ to me?”
Possibly, if the mayor gets really good at this he could re-enact famous movie court scenes during council’s once a month meetings which, because they are so short – which councillor Halberstadt calls a democratic deficit – could benefit from these acting vinettes, just a bit. Why not, not much gets done in the open at city hall anymore so the meetings might as well have some entertainment value.
For more of the Rest of the News listen to CJAM 99.1 Monday evenings at 8:30.