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Archive: Berry gets his wish and still pouts

Originally published Sept. 30, 2005
If I didn’t know better, I’d say Sept. 26 marked the dawn of a new age in councillor cooperation at town hall.

But, alas, I do know better. And it was nothing like a new age. It was school age, and even included a school girl insult being flung, “rude.”

When Richard Berry got something he sought, he pouted. I almost thought he was going to hold his breath until he turned blue, but no such luck.

In an example of what Berry has derisively taken to calling “Wayne’s democracy,” the mayor said — to very liberally paraphrase — “If you’re going to be a cry-baby about it, you can have another chance at bat.”

After at least one false start last year — because Berry couldn’t get the wording right — council passed a motion Nov. 22 to ask voters in the next election if they want to separate from regional government.

Critical to his motion has the proviso that the exact wording have the concurrence of the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

As well, Mr. “Why-The-Hell-Do-We-Hire-So-Many-Consultants” (Berry) wanted a — you guessed it — consultant to study the feasibility of secession.

The minister, John Gerretsen, wrote back last spring to say the province is not interested and that Fort Erie can work out its problems with the Region.

His letter was filed with no comment, not even from Berry, and no suggestion for follow-up.

Redekop came up with a new motion of which he gave notice Sept. 13 and it was “debated” last Monday.

It was pretty much the same intent but was more fully developed: it had the proposed wording of a ballot question and gave staff 60 days to report on what services the town would have to assume and at what cost and how to get information out to the public.

Since Redekop made the motion he had relinquished the chair and acting mayor Ann-Marie Noyes immediately went to Berry for comments and questions.

He said he wasn’t going to support the motion because he said his was still on the table.

So the councillors took a break while clerk Carolyn Kett did some research.

After recess — with a little time added for a nap — council decided Berry’s motion was done.

He still wasn’t happy, saying Redekop was merely floating an election diversion from the “real issues.”


Berry’s motion last year was nothing more was a swing at an easy, fat political pitch — All Hail the People’s Councillor — and he dribbled it.

Redekop took the bat after following up with other mayors and having lost “faith” that any meaningful reorganization will occur at Region, and he hit one.

Tom Lewis called it “rude” and agreed (surprise, surprise) with Berry.

Redekop, Chairman Mayor of the People’s Democratic Republic of Wayne — “Wayne’s democracy” — acquiesced.

“If it’s more important for Councillor Berry to have his name as the mover of this motion, I’d be happy to have him move the motion,” Redekop said.

“I don’t want the issue to be clouded with some of the detritus that’s been referred to or some of the comments about planted boulevards or what have you or what the future holds for any one of us around this council table . . .

“I’m  bringing this back to council because I believe we need to move forward with this issue.”

Berry took him up on his offer to be the mover, scratched out Redekop’s name and inserted his. When it came to a vote, the mayor and the councillor for Ward 4 voted the same way — a historic moment in this council term.

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