Bye Bye Bob Bratina
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday December 2, 2014
Departing Mayor Bob Bratina says he accomplished nearly all of his goals over four years, despite being “victimized” by city hall culture.
The 70-year-old former radio personality, who chose not to run again for mayor to pursue a federal seat under the Liberal banner, pointed to successes such as the new stadium and a downtown boom he said hinged on the arrival of McMaster’s health campus and the James Street GO Station.
“The time that I was mayor, Hamilton’s attitude toward itself began to change dramatically,” he said, adding he’s most proud of presiding over that emerging positivity.
Bratina said his one regret is the “compromised” city hall culture revealed in a survey of demoralized staffers last year — but he also argued he was a victim of that culture.
The famously feisty mayor was often at odds with councillors — particularly over light rail transit — and was even censured in a history-making 2012 council vote. The city’s ethics watchdog followed up later that year with a formal reprimand.
“They just wanted to make me look bad,” said Bratina in dismissing the highly publicized censure by councillors, which followed conflicting explanations about a $30,000 raise given to his chief of staff, Peggy Chapman.
“The circus that happened at times was inevitable. … If you say regret, well (it is) the fact that the culture continues, the culture that victimized me.”
“I’ve done my thing. I have no regrets. Some day, you know, in my very old age I might write a book about it, but I don’t think the time is now, because the city has to move forward, this council has to move forward and I may play a role as a federal representative, that remains for the electorate to determine. So there’s no point in going over old ground, really. It’s there, it’s on the public record. The public, as far as I know, determined that I probably would have won as mayor again and so that’s fine.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
LETTER to the EDITOR
The only upshot of Bob Bratina’s political narcissism is that I’ll be able to enjoy more caricatures of him by Graeme MacKay. Growing up in Montreal, I enjoyed great editorial cartoons by Terry Mosher (a.k.a. Aislin). Now in Hamilton, I enjoy the brilliance of an equally great satirist and artist in Graeme. He has such a unique and consistent style that it’s obvious when the cartoon is his. Even so, I searched for his signature on his cartoon of Bratina packing up his office. Was it left off accidently?
Eric Miller, Hamilton