The election is over and the collective Cambridge complacency has sealed our fate for the next four years. Less than 30% of eligible voters actually voted, but you can bet your sweet bippy that more than those 30% will spend the next four years bitching and whining.
We have four new members of council, with Mike Mann and Jan Liggett filling the seats that were vacated by Karl Kieffer and Ben Tucci. Mike Devine and Shannon Adshade defeated incumbents Rick Cowsill and Gary Price.
It is rare for an incumbent to be voted out in Cambridge and few local pundits would have predicted Cowsill and Price being ousted. . The only one I could find was Pam Wolf defeating incumbent Ted Fairless in 2006 by 407 votes. ( Jan Liggett came in 3rd. Other notable “also rans” that election were our present M.P.P. Kathryn McGarry who lost in Ward 4 to Ben Tucci, Donna Reid who came in second to Rick Cowsill in Ward 1, Nicholas Ermeta who came in second in Ward 3 to Linda Whetham and Andrew Johnson who ran against Gary Price in Ward 6.)i
This leaves Mayor Craig in the unenviable position of leading a council with a grand total of 5 terms of experience in office. ( Wolf has 2, Ermeta, Monteiro and Reid with one each.) He may well want to dust off the teaching certificate that he put away in 1976 when he was first elected as a councilor.
Mayor Craig will have his hands full with the new recruits.
Jan Liggett has a history of fighting city hall. She recently publicly complained about the circumstances around the acquisition of the post office.
In an article in the Cambridge Times on November 6th she asked “What are they hiding?”
In reply, Doug Craig stated “”I think this is old hat, I really do,” he said. “You have a new councilor who has a history of being opposed to everything we do.”
You can be sure that there will be some noteworthy moments between these two in the next four years.
Although the other newbies have yet to “test their mettle,” they all bring some new perspectives and visions to council. (Some of you may remember when rookie councilor Nichols Ermeta proposed that council sing “Oh Canada” before meetings.The motion passed but it took council by suprise.) It will be interesting to see if any of them carry through on their campaign promises before they succumb to the kidinky dust that seems to hypnotize council and turn them into mindless politicial zombies.
Both Devine and Adshade are well known and respected among the working class, and Adshade’s work as a cab driver gives him a great source to hear what the voters are really saying. (The Undercover Councillor?)
Mike Mann has already worked with Frank Monteiro with the Waterloo Region police Services. Between the two of them you can be certain that Cambridge won’t be neglected when it comes to policing. (Not that the Region would ever neglect Cambridge.)
The “Old Boy’s Club” of yesteryear is gone, but whether it is for better or worse remains to be seen. Either way, this could be the most interesting term of council that Cambridge has seen.