Friday, February 24, 2012

Mayor Peter Kelly

As I was sitting here thinking about what to write about, the one thing that kept coming back to the forefront of my mind was of a person: Mayor of the city of Halifax, Peter Kelly. Now, I must share that I have had a personally terrible experience of lies and deceit when it comes to Peter Kelly. In fact, I was as much against him as any person who thought he was a poor example of a politician. It seemed that despite any ridiculous type of mistake, the people of Halifax were always ready to forgive him.

Over the last year, Kelly has done nothing to help himself. The first big mistake was a mishandling of city funds to the estimated tune of nearly $400 000 in a concert scandal. It has been reported that Kelly gave an advertising/marketing company a loan to have a musical group play here in the city; the company representative skipped out when the group cancelled taking the money with him. The people were made aware and yet, somehow it was eventually forgotten.

Mayor Peter Kelly, Tom Waters & Myself, Nov 2012
One of his other great blunders over the last year was the eviction of the Occupy Nova Scotia encampment on November 11th, 2011, Remembrance Day, at Victoria Park in Halifax. As I was present that day, I can most assuredly tell you that what happened that day was as deceitful and shady a move as any individual can make; a promise was made, then broken by our hypocrite mayor, Peter Kelly. I will be bringing this particular story to light in an upcoming blog post. Needless to say, ONS had been given certain assure-ties which were then broken as over 40 police officers abused, accosted and violently brutalized peaceful protesters. Some of us were jailed. Me included.

As if this disgrace to the Veteran's were not enough when combined with the $400 000 giveaway, there comes the Transit Strike. Mayor Kelly and the council have had many opportunities to bring this current labor dispute to end on several occasions; including being offered binding arbitration by the unions which is a gamble as there is no guarantee that they would get a ruling in their favor. Yet, no terms of agreement were found. As of this moment, the city has offered its final offer which union workers will be voting on today. Fingers crossed.
 
The Mayor seems to have a knack for getting himself in hot water with the public. One other such occurrence happened in regards to the sale of the St Pats-Alexandra school in the North End. Blatantly ignoring policy, the property was sold directly to a private investor rather than being open to the community groups nearby for 90 days as is the custom when selling schools. As expected, many non-profit groups were outraged as their current locations are in disrepair and such a location like the school would bring all the community outreach groups together under one roof.

There is one more disgrace that is most important to mention as it has just recently come to light. Peter Kelly, in 2004, was given the task of executor of the will of Mary Thibault, a long time family friend. Her assets totaled over half a million dollars. Briefly, Kelly was instructed to divide the estate between the dozen or so beneficiaries, including a well-known not-for-profit group. Instead, eight years have passed and most have not seen any money whatsoever. Meanwhile, Kelly has pocketed over $150 000 dollars from the estate. Currently, there is no investigation into his actions, but the release of the story by local journalist Tim Bousquet of The Coast created a firestorm of ridicule and criticism especially the next day when the good Mayor failed to appear for an ever important council meeting. Repeated attempts to reach him by telephone and email were not even received by him, but forwarded to his lawyer.

So as you can see, Peter Kelly has done a fantastic job of ruining his own political career over the last year through hypocrisy, by sticking his fingers into a cookie jar that did not belong to him, by ignoring his own policies and by failing to take responsibility for his actions. So why have I taken the time to re-iterate all this? Well, you may not know of his failures and I felt it was essential to give you a background before making the intended point which is this:

Mayor Peter Kelly has brought upon himself the many criticisms and ridicules that have been at the forefront of local and national media as well as a continuous barrage of social media sites that are constantly blasting him for his actions. While I completely agree that Kelly brought this upon himself and the initial firestorm was well-deserved, I also began to stop and think about what this might be like for him. Again, much of the inflammatory comments were earned but at what point have we, as citizens, crossed the line? Peter Kelly is finished in politics; he has already announced that he has dropped from the mayoral race for re-election. He heard the people's words loud and clear. Yet still the onslaught of public critique continues.

Why do I feel for him? He is going to have a lot to answer to concerning the estate of Mary Thibault; his reputation in politics is tarnished beyond repair; he has all but resigned from being the mayor; I guess I think he's going to suffer enough, and has already, for his mistakes. I think that it is extremely critical that, in a case such as this where I had a predisposition to be opposed and critique him, if I can stop and realize that this man is a human being and that he is receiving and going to receive his just desserts that it is time we, as individual human beings, understand that when someone has paid for their or will pay for their mistakes, we allow them the humility of forgiveness.

Future ex-mayor Peter Kelly, you lied and deceived me. You abused your own citizens and ignored their voices. You took advantage of a situation in order to profit from it. I have seen you suffer an ongoing tirade of well-deserved criticism. In spite of all this you are still a human being and as such, I forgive you and I hope you will have grown from this.