Proof Sheet writes:
Reading this blog, I get the distinct impression you don’t like the local councillor. Can’t imagine why – he is a paragon of virtue, treats his constituents fairly and with respect and does not reward his cronies in less than honourable ways.
Seriously, Rick’s vision of Bells Corners and what you want are two different things. The main drag in BC is heavily car-centric and with that comes a set of attitudes – people expect free parking in front of buildings and shopping trips will be done with the car. To turn it around into a more urban feel is very praiseworthy but I’m not aware of too many places in Ottawa that have been able to do this. The ‘bones’ of BC are based on the car and it developed from there.
Has RC ever responded to any of your posts either directly or indirectly? I’d be interested to know.
I live in Kanata but see RC at City Hall too often (I’m there for my job) and I never get a favourable impression. I’ve also seen him in and around BC and the same impression persists.
– You’re wrong about me not liking the councillor. I like EVERYBODY (well, Moammar Gadhafi, not so much). In fact, I’d be DELIGHTED if Rick would call me up, like he used to, inviting me over to Local Heroes for lunch or to share some tidbit of insider information.
separated at birth?
Seriously, the man has stories! At one of our tête-à-têtes I told him sincerely that if he ever quits politics he should write a tell-all book – it’d sell like hotcakes!
He has character flaws, like we all do. For example, he has a very sharp tongue when dicing up his colleagues, political opponents and gullible voters. Funny stuff, but bordering on cruel. But I’m sure, like all of us, he has lots of virtues, like being a loving family man, a good friend who enjoys a laugh, someone who never kicks dogs and hardly cheats at all on his income tax return.
I don’t think he’ll be phoning me any time soon – the last time he was REALLY angry and freaked out my daughter, just because I spilled the beans about his skateboard park meeting. That was the last time we talked. He proceeded to kick me off Team Chiarelli, have me blackballed at the City, shut down my previous blog (!), tried to fire me me from my volunteer positions in the community (rink operator, building manager and community association president) and rumour has it that he even issued a fatwa calling for my scalp. Yikes!
But this is all just hard-nosed politics, the way the game is played – nothing personal. Partisan politics is NOT for pantywaists!
So, Rick Chiarelli the man – a cool guy! I LIKE him.
Now, Rick Chiarelli the politician – that’s another matter altogether. Let me explain.
I used to live in Bay ward, so my only exposure to municipal politicians was through Alex Cullen.
I imagine that most of you reading this blog have an unfavourable opinion of Alex Cullen – he had a lot of enemies at City Hall and in the popular media. I didn’t agree with all of his ideas on the issues, but he really respected and served his constituents, which is where RC falls flat.
Cullen believed in grassroots democracy over backroom deals made by developer-financed professional politicians. He held monthly well-attended public meetings, worked closely with community associations, was always prepared to discuss his positions with opponents. He even courageously stood up to the CFRA lynch mob at City Hall, a gutsy decision.
So when I moved to Bells Corners I was expecting something similar from Rick Chiarelli the politician. But instead of transparency and accountability I found tightly-guarded secrets. Instead of consultation there was only a propaganda machine. Respect for democratic principles and integrity? Nope, backroom deals and dirty tricks.
I started looking at RC’s voting record and I was horrified – the only principles I could see (besides narrow personal political gain) were “let my developer friends prosper” “the car is king” “pander to grumpy Nepean homeowners” “climate change is a hoax” and “I’m all right, Jack, screw you to everybody else.”
RC has made some poor ethical decisions in the past but hey! nobody’s perfect. No one is free from human foibles and weaknesses – it’s no reason to not like somebody.
So my motivations for writing this blog DON’T include a dislike for RC – in fact, I admire him – he’s very good at what he does. He’s sure to set a new record for the longest political career. First elected as a Catholic student warrior at age 17 he’s picked up a lot of contacts, corporate cash and political smarts over the years – not one serious candidate was willing to take him on in the last election and his corporate and taxpayer-funded political machine sucked up almost all of the votes in College ward.
So, to answer your question, Proof Sheet – no, RC has never responded directly to this blog. I have no illusions of being anything but an annoying fly that RC easily swats away.
But I know he reads my blog, if only to get a laugh and a sneer. At the very least he has one of his minions read it to look for opportunities to attack. He may be a bit pissed off as readership climbs (almost 10,000 views in Jan. and Feb.) and more journalists, City workers and politicians look at it. But the next election is four years away, so he really has nothing to worry about. Voters have very short memories.
I’m limited in what I can blog about too – I’ve already been threatened twice, once by a lawyer and the other time by a cop/City manager (an implied threat, of course). But, more importantly, I want this blog to be fair, truthful and open. For example, I won’t blog about RC’s electoral dirty tricks when I don’t have enough proof or a whistleblower who is willing to come out of the closet.
But I don’t hesitate to say that there HAVE been dirty tricks, and I’ll gladly document that statement.
Proof Sheet, I liked your comments on the “bones” of Bells Corners. I’ll respond in another post.