Tonight was the final meeting for this council. Not returning after the October 24 election are Fred Clipsham, Louis Browne and Jocelyn Hutchinson. And of course, Mayor Fiacco has also chosen not to run again.
The meeting closed out with a touching address from each councillor. They thanked their families, their colleagues on council, the city administration, the people of Regina. It was all very positive and not a single negative word was spoken.
Well, except for one.
In closing out the speeches, Mayor Fiacco had a few words for Regina’s media. Here’s what he had to say….
Um… ouch. I guess I suck?
Geez, what would he say if he knew about all the things I haven’t put in print.
Later, in the press scrum after the meeting, I got a chance to ask our outgoing mayor a question. Here’s how that went….
For the record, when we’ve met in person and had exchanges in press scrums, the mayor has only ever been polite and professional with me. On his last day, he took a shot at the city hall coverage in the paper for which I provide coverage of city hall…. I guess that’s his prerogative.
I should also note (in part, so there’s no unwarranted collateral damage from this post), my dealings with the rest of city council have been 100 per cent friendly and productive. Seriously. I couldn’t have asked for better councillors to have to write about. In particular, of those leaving office this year, I have spent a lot of time talking with councillors Clipsham and Browne — which you’ve probably noticed from the number of quotes I use from them in my coverage. It’s a serious pity they’ve chosen to move on.
And as for Councillor Fougere, who you probably know is running for mayor and thus won’t be returning to represent his ward, I know there’s this perception that as head of the construction association and chair of planning commission he’s somehow a natural enemy of a paper like prairie dog, but despite this, he has always returned my phone calls promptly and never been anything but helpful.
Holy heck. You should have heard some of the interviews I subjected him to back during those tempestuous days of condo conversions. I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I’d have him on the phone for upwards of an hour just peppering the poor guy with questions. Sometimes things got pretty heated but he never held a grudge and we’d be back at it again two weeks later.
So, anyway, I have genuinely enjoyed covering this council. And as much as I get a kick out of covering an election and from seeing what will come of it, I have to admit, I too was a little sad to see the old gang breaking up.