Why 6-4 city council split 'fuels some people's cynicism'
Several high-profile voting decisions have tipped slightly in favour of the mayor's position
The perception of a 6-4 vote around the Windsor city council may change Monday night with one open council seat and a few other close races.
Several high-profile voting decisions have tipped slightly in favour of the mayor's position — such as gutting the Pelissier Street parking garage retail in favour of more parking.
"I think it fuels some people's cynicism that maybe decisions have already been made before they go to council, which is kind of dishearting for people when they're fighting for an issue," said Paul Synnott, political watchdog and campaign manager for Ward 10 candidate Jim Morrison.
On one side of this perceived voting split, there's Fred Francis, Jo-Anne Gignac, Paul Borrelli, Ed Sleiman, Hilary Payne and John Elliott, who often aligned with Mayor Drew Dilkens' point-of-view.
'I'll stand on my own two feet'
However, Elliott insists he's not part of a group and it's simply coincidence the way the votes fall.
"I'll stand on my own two feet. I'll live with my decisions, even when they're not popular," said Elliott.
One example he mentioned about going against the grain was on the issue of outsourcing city caretakers. He opposed and "held his ground."
The notion that Elliott supports something because the mayor or five other councillors do isn't true, he said.
"No way man," Elliott said.
On the other side of the 6-4 vote sits Rino Bortolin, Irek Kusmierczyk, Bill Marra (who isn't seeking re-election) and Chris Holt.
6-4 perception 'blown' out of proportion
Although he admits there appears to be a divide, Holt's take on this perception is that the media, and social media has "blown it a little bit out of proportion."
"We're talking about five or six decisions total, out of the five or 6,000 we've made together as a council," he said.
Holt maintains he's not part of a voting block either and he's not aware of councillors who are sometimes in the minority four arranging votes ahead of time.
"I don't go into a council meeting with any preconceived notions," said Holt.
"It wouldn't surprise me to know that there are councillors that go in there with a preconceived notion on how they're going to vote."