Mayor Hewitt has great rapport with Chief Montour but no use for some residents

by Gary McHale - The Regional - Opinion

November 30, 2011

Watch what you write in your letters to the newspaper because Mayor Hewitt certainly is making a list and checking it twice to see who's being naughty or nice to him - you may end up with a lump of coal from the Mayor.

Merlyn Kinrade found out during last week's town hall meeting in Caledonia with Mayor Hewitt and council that Hewitt has no use for him. Kinrade stood up and stated, "One other thing, I have heard this from several people,  you have been ignoring me in the coffee shop and around town. I have known you for a long time since you were knee high to a grasshopper and for heaven sakes let's not let politics get in the way with friendship."

Hewitt replied, "Merlyn, Any time you want to call me - call me but if you want to choose to battle in the newspaper then I have no use for you." Conclusion, if you have a problem with how Hewitt is conducting himself then don't go public or else you are on the bad list.

Hewitt's list of bad people has been growing quite a lot in the past few months since hundreds of residents voiced their displeasure over his deal with Samsung. I wonder whether Hewitt will ever post his list of Useless Residents of Haldimand County on the County website.

After Kinrade left the meeting another resident stood up and told Hewitt he should phone and apologize to Merlyn for his words and attitude toward an elder and resident of Haldimand - Kinrade reports no such phone call was received.

However, the residents were informed that Hewitt has a great rapport with Chief Montour. During the discussion regarding DCE Hewitt stated, "I am confident that the Chief and I can come up with solutions."

Is this the same type of solution he came up with regarding the Wind Mills whereby he told residents he was against them and voted to stop them while secretly doing a commercial for Samsung? - the only Mayor in Ontario to do so. Can the residents of Haldimand expect that Hewitt will continue to say one thing to them while secretly working on 'solutions' that residents oppose?

Mr. Kinrade wasn't the only resident that Hewitt found himself in hot water with. Kinrade had stated, "We have a situation where the South side is fair game for robbers. We have a contract with the OPP which you guys are not prepared to enforce and we are paying for the service and we are not getting it."

Hewitt replied, "Merlyn, we contract the OPP but we have no ability to control the OPP. The OPP responded to a call okay. The OPP came out with a Press Release stating they were not stopped. I have no video that says otherwise and no proof otherwise. I have an email from one of your cohorts saying something else happened so am I going to believe the Chief of the OPP or someone else? - I believe the Chief of Police."

Immediately a resident stood up and stated, "I heard them and I am not lying." In Caledonia several residents listen to OPP transmissions on a daily basis and these residents were the source of the information that caused me to send out the email stating the OPP were stopped from entering DCE.

Hewitt was now faced with eye witnesses who watched the OPP from their homes and residents who listened to the OPP radio and directly heard officers say they were being prevented from entering DCE. Hewitt stated, "They (OPP) are not lying to me if I don't know otherwise."

Kinrade asked Hewitt to review whether Commissioner Fantino and the OPP lied to the community in the past but Hewitt asked what was the point. Prior to being Mayor, citizen Ken Hewitt, had no problem publicly and repeatedly stating the OPP were lying. I could fill this whole newspaper with quotes from citizen Hewitt but will simply quote from him when Fantino publicly endorsed Clyde Powless.

Citizen Hewitt stated to Fantino, "I witnessed many occasions when the OPP, confused by the lack of leadership by both yourself and your predecessor Gwen Boniface, both of you allowing the Ipperwash Inquiry to influence your decision making, knowingly violated or ignored your own training and standard operating procedures... To hear you justify the lack of arrests made with respect to the many crimes committed by protestors around Caledonia. To hear you continue to use the phrase that you’re only the "meat between the sandwich" yet laws continue to be broken under your watch."

Citizen Hewitt continued by stating, "Most of all, however it is this most recent letter of support that you submitted in defence of Clyde Powless, that has finally brought me to this point in writing you, along with petitioning for your resignation as Commissioner of what was once known as an exceptional police force the OPP...  you allow your personal conflict with Gary McHale to cloud your judgement, and as such use your position of power to sway the courts in seeing Mr. Powless as a good man, a man who cares about his neighbours, and a man that would do everything to diffuse tense situations rather than the truth as already mentioned."

Well, I am breathless that citizen Hewitt had such passion to demand the resignation of the Commissioner because of his numerous lies to the public and in particular how the Commissioner allowed his dislike of me to 'cloud his judgement'.

Now Mayor Hewitt can't see any reason to question the accuracy of OPP statements and I have been reduced to being Merlyn's 'cohort'. Amazing how political life can make you stupid or is it simply that Hewitt has been neutered and therefore unable to address the issues?

Whatever the answer, from this day forward Hewitt will get his talking points directly from OPP Press Releases. Meanwhile, you are invited to join us this Saturday at the Lion's Hall in Caledonia at 2 pm whereby we will walk down to DCE and raise a Canadian Flag.