OPINION: That’s gonna hurt…

Well, we know one person who won’t be running for election or re-election in Town of Grimsby’s municipal election extravaganza this fall – Dorothy Bothwell.

If you ask 100 people – of the two councillors who sold their home, which one would you want to see pack up and never log into another council Zoom, which one would you want to keep – Dorothy would be the one people wanted to stay 99.9 times.

To her credit, there is no “I really have a residence in Grimsby” shenanigans while she plays out the string until the  October 24, 2022 municipal election – by the way there are 200 days until voting day.

At Monday’s council meeting, she noted the decision to leave was difficult and unexpected. adding she had planned on running again in the fall.

As a council rookie, Dorothy had to be shocked by how this council term actually materialized. Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have foreseen what an utter disaster this group – and the Town’s admin – have made of the community.

Yes, yes, before you get your knickers in a bunch, I realize there have been some accomplishments in three-and-a-half years, but solid homeruns have been few and far between. Some accomplishments – like the attempted economic strategy/study which drew crickets in terms of interest but will somehow be listed as an item on the plus side of the ledger – are far more common.

But none of that was not for the lack of trying of a minority of councillors of which Dorothy found herself on a regular if not weekly basis.

She is a creature of detail unlike anyone I have ever seen on any council, almost to her own detriment as she would drill down into the detail to make sure all was correct moving forward. Often, she was correcting staff on numbers, phrasing and policy – and did so in a very positive manner.

Her adversaries in the Grimsby Five always seemed to take that as she was somehow showing up staff as opposed to it really not mattering so long as things got done right.

And the contrast between someone who is so intense on detail compared to those members of council who one can be pretty darn sure have not even opened up the agenda ahead of the meeting is also stark.

Her efforts on the heritage front have been very important. With another councillor using his buddies in The Five to push Dorothy out as chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee, that portfolio was considerably weakened. Then The Five stocked that pond with people more of a pro-development stance while ushering out those who invested hundreds of hours on the committee to help preserve heritage in town to deal that portfolio another blow. Again, nobody could have foreseen how this group on council would hijack the agenda.

We won’t even get into some of the crap residents have seen all too often which necessitated Integrity Commission complaints. Dorothy has managed to stay above that even when attempts were made to drag her into the mud on a regular basis.

When Dorothy put her name up for election in 2018 I was very happy. Having seen her in action at a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority watershed meeting it was clear she would do a stellar job.

I had asked a consultant a question, and Dorothy overheard. The fellow’s answer did not make sense with what she understood, so jumped in. The consultant had no clue on the detail with which she was speaking, so he brought over an NPCA staffer. The staffer disagreed with Dorothy’s information. She stood firm.

The staffer disappeared, only to return about 30 minutes later to confirm with me Dorothy was right. He brought the consultant up to speed and they proceeded to give out correct information from that point forward.

It is true much of her effectiveness on council has been thwarted continuously by The Five, but at least she got correct information on the record time and time again.

I know you are not done just yet, Dorothy but, for one, I miss you already. Grimsby thanks you for your service!

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