The wife and I were surprised and pleased by the number of season’s greetings we received this December. This damn Covid-19 is not wiping out our entire generation. What we expect to be the last card for this year arrived while we were having breakfast on December 30. (Yes, we get mail delivery to our door.) As the crow flies, the distance that card travelled would be measured in metres. We live just a couple blocks from Barrie city hall and this card was from the Barrie mayor.
It was appropriate, as at the time, we were discussing the political prospects for Mayor Tory of Toronto. We agreed that John Tory had done a fine job for Toronto and merited a third four-year term. Despite Mayor Tory being a conservative, I think he is the first mayor of the amalgamated city of 6.8 million, who really understands the city and the kind of mayor it needs.
John Tory has been a voice of compassion and reason throughout the last two years. He has been everywhere in the city and has helped it handle the problems of close living during a pandemic.
And I wish I could say that for the mayor of Barrie. It is typical of Mayor Lehman in Barrie (a city of 156,000) that his Christmas card would arrive six days after Christmas. And despite living so close to city hall, the last time I think I talked to the mayor was four years ago when he had no trouble running for a third term. I did hear him on a local radio station recently about some problem with the pandemic but his voice was so muffled, the station should have been embarrassed by the sound quality.
And Jeff Lehman is a liberal. At least, he was when I helped him win the mayoralty 11 years ago. He was the ideal candidate. He drove at door-knocking like an old-time Fuller Brush man. He was tireless.
If only he had brought that same level of energy to the mayor’s job, there is no telling how far this city would have come through his three terms. He can blame it on the majority of conservative party adherents on council if he wishes, but as John Tory has proved in Toronto, leadership matters.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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