Opinion: All aboard the SS Grimsby, headed for abyss

By Mike Williscraft

There really is only one explanation for Coun. Kevin Ritchie acting like a horse’s behind at nearly every Grimsby council meeting.

His ongoing attempts to hamstring the powers of and discredit Mayor Jeff Jordan at every turn signals, to me anyways, Ritchie either has his sights set on the mayor’s chair or he is doing his level best to soften him up for some like-minded compatriot to take a shot.

Monday was another beauty, if you like carnage.

When I see an agenda with a 5 p.m. start time, not only do I instantly cringe but I know that Monday night is written off and I’ll need a neck massage about Wednesday from shaking my head for two consecutive days.

Ritchie was only part of the show. He was his usual super aggressive, way off base self, while Coun. Dave Sharpe (unintentionally) played the joker.

It was hilarious, and I mean laughing at my laptop screen funny, hearing Sharpe not only explain to a lawyer that he should have put his conclusion up front in the report so he would not have had to read through the 19 pages just to find out the ending was not to his liking.

Even better, Sharpe is bunched in with Ritchie and Randy Vaine as regulars when it comes to assuring anyone who will listen how much they adore “expert” opinion- that is, of course, unless they disagree.

It is quite likely recently installed Grimsby Integrity Commissioner Michael Maynard does not give two hoots what the Grimsby Five decide to do if they keep opposing his findings, but the Monday reactions were almost a carbon copy to those offered when Vaine didn’t like a finding he was on the wrong end of and Ritchie was found in breach of the code of conduct for setting up Coun. Reg Freake and getting him removed from a hydro board position.

There was a whole dog and pony show on that one Monday night as well, but let’s just stick to one set of silliness at a time.

For me, Sharpe conjured images of a chance meeting with himself and J.K. Rowling at which Dave shouts, “Why didn’t you tell me Harry wins and Valdemort dies in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.Then I would not have had to read the whole set!”

The whole charade just reinforces the fact this cast of characters are your best friends as long as you agree with them. If anyone on council dare go against them, they’re done. The Five will shoot down everything you say. They will push you off boards and committees. They will curtail any power or authority they mayor would normally have. In short, they will stop at nothing to show they run the show.

Sadly, and this is what shocks most people in town, is that Coun. Dave Kadwell chooses to ride shotgun on this bandwagon.

For years, many years, he was subjected to the same type of control and belittling at the council table – but let’s be 100 per cent clear, it was never anything near as bad as what The Five have inflicted on their counterparts.

Not only has Kadwell long forgotten how that felt, he seems dead set on charting a new course toward an abyss of dysfunction.

Another example of the antics of The Five also played out Monday with Ritchie running out a smelly red herring.

The “legendary” agreement Grimsby’s former mayor has discussed was touted to set up for the incoming council with a lease for biodigester to an external company

Ritchie made a comment about a lease which was not presented to council during a convoluted comment about an email which he deemed a formal legal opinion Jordan had received in an exchange with the Town’s solicitor.

Anybody who knows anything about the bio – and remember these elected guys should know what’s going on by now – knows the outline (and I am being generous) was for a seriously back-end loaded business arrangement which didn’t hold an ounce of financial water. None of the incentives would have been reached, so the Town would have received very little remuneration in the end.

Having seen how the Grimsby Five rolls, they likely would have taken that deal, but only after an “expert” told them to do so.

The other was Vaine, again, making a comment, “the truth will come out” about goings on at Niagara Power.

He has never backed up any of his comments alluding to his “slanderous” (according to Vardy) comments. He refused to retract his comment, saying it was “simple English” and invited councillors to issue another IC complaint. I am sure Maynard can hardly wait.

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