The stank of sopping sewage, thanks to the Ashbridges Bay treatment plant, is never too far from the Beach or, for that matter, its peculiar brand of gutter politics.
Back in the bad old days, former councillor Tom Jakobek was a popular figure in local imbroglios. And while he no longer rules the roost east of Coxwell, Tom Cat’s never too far removed from the mix in his old stomping grounds in the Beach. Jacko’s used to marking his territory.
His new passion is real estate development and so it was only a matter of time perhaps that he’d end up butting heads with his old political nemesis, Councillor Sandra Bussin, the woman who replaced him after Wacko Jacko’s incredible bellyflop from grace.
A number of development projects he’s been pushing in the east end, including a luxury reno, coincidentally on Bussin’s street, have not exactly received the kind of smooth ride you’d think would be accorded a former councillor for the ward.
“When you’ve got residents breathing down your neck...,” says Bussin’s executive assistant David McCully.All of a sudden, Bussins’ old enemies are coming out of the woodwork, or so it seems. A half dozen showed up to picket her at an Environment Days event at Ashbridges Bay a couple of weekends back. The results were posted on Youtube (above).
There, a small but vocal group led by LeRoy St. Germain, self-described longtime lcal activist and publisher of Ward 32 News, showed to rekindle an old fight – alleged infractions of the Municipal Elections Act. Namely, Bussin’s receiving $750 donations, a total of $8,200, back in 2006 from the owner, friends and various employees of the Boardwalk Bistro.
What’s really sticking in St. Germain’s craw is that council decided not to put a call out for competing bids to run the popular Beach hangout. The lease holder has promised certain renos.
On the video posted of the demo by St. Germain, Bussin’s EA David McCully is shown taking snaps of the assembled.
“Some of the things printed on those signs were libelous,” says McCully, to explain why he was taking photos. “He’s been buggerring around with us forever. Its become a bit of a sport for us.”
St. Germain’s allegations don’t stop with the Boulevard Bistro. Documents he’s filed with the Ontario Court of Justice in pursuit of those aforementoned campaign donation charges, point out Bussin paid her daughter $5,800 and McCully $5,500 to work on her campaign, as well as her parents $2,500 in return for permission to use their garage as storage for her election signs.
Nothing illegal about politicians paying family members or friends for working on their campaigns, St. Germain acknowledges, “except very few do.”
In the Beach, contempt breeds paranoia. Can the hand of Tom Jakobek be too far away?