Bloom starts as she means to go on- editorial 0
Covering multiple council meetings can be a tough part of my job but every once and a while you get to catch a glimpse of the theatre of politics.
Between the passing of by-laws and acknowledging page after page of correspondence from other municipalities there is sometimes a brief display of the power of municipal politics.
These moments are why names are placed on the ballot at election time and these moments are why people come to watch council meetings in the small municipalities across rural Ontario.
Mayor Bloom took the opportunity on April 18 to make her first remarks as Mayor and in a few short minutes she transformed herself from a councillor to the leader of the council.
Her style was different than that of her mentor Ron Emond but she was just as confident and serious in her message.
Bloom thanked council for placing their trust in her. They made her mayor when the seat became vacant and her speech in the fairly full chambers made it seem like a darn good choice.
Bloom cut right to why she needed to speak and dealt directly with the uncomfortable issue of septage and the battle that has been brewing as the Papineau Lake Cottage Association have taken a firm stance against the dewatering trenches being located anywhere near their homes.
Bloom reminded all present that they need an acceptable way to deal with the waste. There are not the resources for a sewage treatment plant so like it or not, dewatering trenches will become a reality.
The location of the trenches is still up for debate and the PLCA has started legal action to ensure their location is not the final choice. No matter what.
In Bloom's opening remarks she reminded all present that she represented the entire municipality with her one vote. She reminded all present that consultants have been hired and that no decision will be made until the science is complete.
Bloom spoke of an open process and ensuring that precious resources are to be protected. Tests are needed to provide, as Bloom said, the voice of science.
Because the voice of science is being impeded, the municipality is spending additional resources on legal advice, all to, as Bloom stated clearly, "appease the views of a special interest group."
"Although there have been no tests, there are many constant threats issued as to what will happen should one site be chosen," Bloom said. "Fear mongering based on speculation rather than science [will] do nothing but hurt the whole municipality."
Mayor Bloom's not having it and in a couple of minutes she's made it clear that she values the job she's been chosen to do. She's going to represent the whole municipality and that she's not afraid to openly tackle the toughest part of the job.
She was soft spoken but firm. She didn't lose her temper. She delivered her message as an entire room of people hung on every word.
This is municipal council at its best and it is powerful.