25 February 2016

Sheilagh fits right in #nlpoli

What exactly is Sheilagh O’Leary?

Did she get elected to Council in the Ward 4 by-election or is she a re-elected councillor?

Well, never mind.  She will fit right in with the gang at Tammany on Gower, d.b.a. St. John’s city hall. They are, generally speaking, very high on themselves, and very low when it comes to competence.

CBC has one of those great money-quotes in their coverage of the by-election results.  “People have lots of issues,”  O’Leary said, “and I'm just — I'm honoured, I'm humbled and I'm so excited about getting back because you know what?  I belong in that chamber.”
“When you know that you can make a difference and that you can make that change happen, you have to follow your heart.”
Then  there was her pledge on Twitter to make everything in private council meetings public. Repeated requests for clarification – did she mean she’d blab confidential staff matters to the media? – earned stony silence.

There are her credentials:  Sheilagh is Galgay without the depth and Hann without the humility.

City hall is in a deep crisis of leadership.  No, we are not talking about the tax-payer funded junket to Florida that Doc “Love Boat” O’Keefe has taken every year.  We are talking about the budget unanimously supported by councillors this year that jacked up taxes, slashed public services, and poured a pile of money into an accelerated capital works plans.  

We can expect none of that to change now that Sheilagh is back at city hall.   The difference between Sheilagh and da b’ys is that she speaks for different narrow interests. None of them speak for the general,  public interest.

Because she is precisely the same as the rest, we can expect that Sheilagh will go along with the rest.  Her penchant for self-praise puts her an inch away from posting youtube videos of herself having a deep philosophical discussion with the inside of a bus shelter.  That self-absorption is what led her to take a run at the mayor’s chair based solely on her own ego.  Sheilagh shows no signs of personal growth since voters gave O’Leary the rather obvious message that they preferred a cranky, condescending Gavin McLeod wannabe to her.

While the folks at Tammany are busily staring into their own navels,  the people running the city to the west are coming to grips with a far more pressing problem.  As The Pearl reported this week,  Mount Pearl city councillors are worried that Danny Williams’ Galway development is going to cost residents of Mount Pearl a huge amount for new infrastructure while all the tax revenue from development there will go to the crowd at Tammany on Gower.

The folks in The Pearl will be rightly looking for the townies to fork over some cash.  Well, they should.  It’s the least they can do.  And it would certainly be a damn-sight better than any of Doc O’Keefe’s lame attempts to funnel public money to Danny Williams either in the form of the ridiculous story about a concert venue or the failed purchase of land for a service depot.

St. John’s has a very serious problem with a lack of political competence, let alone political leadership.  There is little reason to believe that will change any time soon.  Sheilagh O’Leary’s election in Ward 4 this week just continues a very disheartening trend in local politics.