Thursday November 30th, 2023 - 03:38:06 AM

Jim and Lisa Gilbert Ambushed by Editorial
Austin Wright - July 29, 2008

The following opinion article was submitted to and ignored by Bruce Corcoran, editor of the Chatham Daily News, in response to an editorial letter they published by John Cryderman titled, "What worked then may not work now," in which he tore into well-known and respected historical writers Jim and Lisa Gilbert over a positive article about Downtown Chatham that they ran in their weekly column. For inexplicable reasons, responses seem to be rarely permitted by anyone challenging that particular writer, even in defence of their own regular columnists!

Do you have any idea how sick most right-thinking people in this community are of reading another 1000-word pronouncement from Captain Negative? Jim and Lisa Gilbert have been well-respected contributors to your paper for many years and don't deserve to be targets of this most vile form of criticism. Their article was well-done and very thoughtful.

I have no doubt that the only "worthy" project deserving of taxpayer funding (in his mind) would be the Kinsmen Auditorium. I'm sure his $20,000 plan from umpteen years ago qualifies it as "construction ready" and would not be misleading in any respect. The lack of a fixed-up facility for taxpayer-subsidized trade shows is apparently what's been holding this community back.

I suspect that killing all other progressive municipal projects and spending (like the Rec Centre) in order to divert the money towards renovating the Kinsmen Auditorium would surely meet with his approval at twice the cost, and promptly put us all back on track for prosperity. That's likely what he really meant when he altruistically mentioned spending more tax dollars on smoke-screens like libraries, firehalls, bridges, roads, and parks. "Kinsmen Auditorium" was clearly printed between the lines in my copy!

Will we be reading the rebuttals to this diatribe, or did he conveniently use up the opinion column-space quota for the month? Why don't you inform your readers a little bit about this expert author, and why you feel him so qualified to authoritatively attack those who value this community and are trying to make positive contributions?

His accounting credentials must be quite impressive to know exactly what is going on with our tax dollars. He'll soon have us all believe the Capitol Theatre has cost every single taxpayer $7,857 without being challenged, instead of the actual figure of about $30 spread over three years.

Is it safe for anyone to express opposition to the opinions you published without being censored or threatened with a libel lawsuit? If people can't freely and equally express their contrary opinions without fear of retribution, you ought not publish 31 column-inches of inflammatory material in the first place!

Jim and Lisa are the latest of many upstanding citizens to be openly ripped to shreds in your rag, so why has the author of such provocations, and his friend mayor Hope, been off limits? I forgot - the mayor is rather negative himself, and a bit clueless behind that artificial fa├žade of smiling photo-ops.

He's a hypocrite who conveniently "supports" the Capitol Theatre to get his picture in their glossy calendar, but votes against it when it counts, to get his picture in the paper. Can't see much backbone on that stance. At least he does exactly what his handlers tell him to.

Residents have been wondering how much influence our elected officials are subjected to behind those closed doors up there at city hall, and by whom. I think the public would be much more interested in reading the details of some actual investigative reporting, instead of hearing Mr. Mensa drone on and on with more signature pessimistic drivel.

Are your award-winning journalists up to this, or are you too afraid to ask questions? I could give you a list for starters, like, why doesn't Chatham-Kent regulate lobbyists as per the Municipal Act. (Answer - there would be nobody left to tell council how to vote.)

There appears to be a vocal minority dedicated to leading Chatham-Kent back to the stone age for their own pecuniary/political interests. These cynics seem to get all the ink in this publication. The rest of us don't want to read any more of this regressive rubbish.


This site is Copyright 2002-2017 by The Maple City Star which is the sole responsibility of Austin Wright, formerly of Chatham-Kent, Ontario. This site represents views, opinions, and comments on matters of public interest that may not necessarily agree the views of the website hosting company, ISP, sponsors, directors, children, spouses, parents, pets, the phone company, the hydro company, mortgage company, the computer manufacturer, that guy who doesn't do anything but is always just there, the coffee farmer, nor any other vicarious entity, their family members and potted plants.