I suppose you expect I am disappointed that not a single one of The Block had the spine, the moral compass, the ethical guts to resign after killing the hospital redevelopment. After all, I called on them all – plus the interim CAO – to resign immediately. Not doing so, I said, would prove everything I ever said about them. They didn’t budge.
Well, my compensation is that I get to say “I told you so.” Again. I suspect I will repeat those words several more times this term.
People only disappoint you when they don’t live up to your expectations. My expectations for this group are low. Abysmal, really, based on the reality of their performance to date. They constantly strive to reach mediocrity, but consistently fail to achieve it. If you expected from them secrecy, conniving, backroom deals, conflict of interest, inflexible ideology and rigid self-interest, then I suppose your expectations have been met.
I didn’t really expect any of them to actually resign. To resign would take courage, commitment and a deeply held caring for the community. Attributes that are most notable in their absence among this group. They would have to take responsibility for their own acts instead of blaming others. I hardly expected them to start doing something so antithetical to their natures now. Hyenas can’t change their spots, can they?
It’s not as if they and they alone killed my faith in humanity. After all, they are not the first politicians to be unethical, and more concerned about feathering their own nests than about the community. Nor will they be the last. There have been other politicians before them who lied to their constituents, who put personal agendas over the greater good, who used their office to conduct vendettas and who handed out sole-source government contracts to friends and family. There have been politicians before them with closed minds who refused to consider other viewpoints or to learn anything. This group won’t be the last of them, either.
Failing to resign, it will be business as usual for them, continuing to lurch and fumble and stumble their way along, tearing down as much of our town as they can along the way.
True, it’s unusual to have such a majority of self-interested, conniving, secretive characters together in one council. We can at least take some solace that two at the table are honourable, decent, hard-working and honest, who put the community first; two politicians who aren’t cynically hypocritical and deceptive.
It is unfortunate, however, that two alone cannot halt the regime of destruction the rest have wrought, cannot be the bulwark we need against the corruption and rampant ineptitude of the rest. No matter how many fingers these two stick in those dams, The Block has the tide of self-interest and ignorance behind them.
We’re about a year and a half away from the next election. I can only hope that next time residents will elect a group of honest, caring people who want to work for the good of the community. A group unlike The Block. I hope that the names and dark deeds of The Block remain in the public’s mind for a long time, and no one forgets what damage this group has done to Collingwood. Ever.
Theirs is a legacy of shame, an abject lesson in how not to govern. Let’s learn from it. Let’s rebuild Collingwood, rebuild our tattered reputation, rebuild public trust, rebuild staff morale and community respect. Without, of course, any of these characters at the table.
Collingwood deserves better.