To give the councillor credit, I’ve always liked his keen wit and his sly self-deprecatory humour.
At Council Rick led the charge in favour of trans fats, scoffing at the idea that clogged arteries should be a matter of concern for local politicians: “when people voted for me, they weren’t thinking of doughnuts!”
He also carries the Mr. Doughnut moniker in the Catholic high schools – he loves to drop in on classes to promote himself as part of a ‘civics’ class. The students are always glad to see him, as he brings enough doughnuts for everyone (and sometimes pop too). If you have a son or a daughter or know a teacher at St. Paul, ask them – I’m NOT making this stuff up!
Taxpayer-funded doughnuts and pop (and sometimes hotdogs and City trinkets) also play a key role in RC’s secret/public meetings, for example: the skateboard park secret/public meeting, the renaming Hillside Park secret/public meeting, the upcoming Lynwood
Village Community Association AGM secret/public meeting, and the BIA secret meeting.
A secret/public meeting occurs when only certain selected people are notified by the councillor and his staff.
Two recent examples among many – some people on my street got a flyer in their mailbox this week, delivered by the councillor himself or by his family or employees (according to eyewitnesses). I didn’t get one, and I’ve talked to many others in the same boat.
If there’s a secret/public meeting next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Lynwood community building, ostensibly to launch the new Rick Chiarelli Lynwood
Village Community Association and finally hold the long-promised VOTE, shouldn’t everyone get notice of the event, not just some people?
Who appointed these people? Rick? The City? Harry?
Another example is the recent secret/public meeting about the new Bells Corners Double Drive-thru Tim Hortons.
The councillor’s newsletter, containing notice of the consultation was only distributed to a few Bells Corners mailboxes (in Westcliffe) a day or two before the meeting, which is how I found out about it (somebody phoned me).
This explains why no one showed up for the consultation – no one knew about it. And why wasn’t the ‘consultation’ held in Bells Corners?
But if you only read the ‘community’ papers you’d probably think that the consultation was genuine. Nowhere in the story does it mention that no one knew about the ‘consultation’ and nobody showed up except me, Bill and ONE person. The reporter wasn’t there, of course – he just took Chiarelli’s feed and Chiarelli’s photo and presto – story done!