Hosts of a weekly political webcast are looking forward to 2019 — and beyond — with the new city council.
Sarah Morris is one of the voices on Rose City Politics, a panel webcast that debates political happenings in Windsor.
“How we make decisions is going to have four new, different lenses,” said Morris. “When you bring these new people in, those dynamics are going to change.”
Don Merrifield, another RCP panellist said he thinks the new council makeup is better.
“The mayor, in the past, has been able to whip the vote to get what he wants,” said Merrifield. “I think we have a better crop of councillors now.”
Morris attributes the new dynamic to the different backgrounds of the new councillors, using new Ward 2 councillor Fabio Costante as an example.
“His law background … brought a level of debate I don’t think we’ve seen in a long time on council,” said Morris.
According to Morris, councillors are making independent decisions for the first time in a long time.
“Sometimes it’s easy to agree with the loudest voices, but what I think you saw was people who made independent decisions,” said Morris, regarding the fluoride debate at the first meeting of the new council. “It was something you could tell they very carefully made those decisions based on the debates that you heard and the constituents they spoke to.”
Merrifield says he has more confidence in the new councillors than he did in the previous ones. Morris agrees.
“It all could change but right now I feel really good. These councillors have seen what happens if you don’t listen to your constituents,” said Morris.
With a lot coming to the table in 2019, Merrifield thinks the new council has their work cut out for them.
“There will be some big issues with a long-term impact over the next four years,” said Morris, listing the megahospital, recreational cannabis sales, the downtown library and the Paul Martin building as examples.
Morris said conversations around the table will now have good debate — something she says was missing in the past.
“I think a lot of council feels that they have a very important job to do and they’re ready to do it.”
This article first appeared on CBC Windsor