Locations should meet needs

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It’s been some months since the municipal elections and the re-election of Mayor Dennis O’Keefe in St. John’s.

Our mayor campaigned under the primary banner of “leadership” with a secondary nod to our need for affordable housing. As far as I could tell at the time, these made up the full extent of O’Keefe’s re-election platform.

On the latter, I venture to say that since his re-election, our mayor has for the first time ever, made public statements about our need for affordable housing, the city’s role, and has actually shown some leadership and taken some accompanying action. Finally, and well done.

However, and though not municipal funding responsibilities, I have never heard the mayor advocate for the now announced redevelopments of Her Majesty’s Penitentiary or the Waterford Hospital. Yet, with the announcement of the former, the mayor is quick to advocate that the new HMP remain in St. John’s. I assume he will feel the same about the new Waterford.

The siting of the much needed replacements of these ancient facilities should be guided by the needs of those who are to be served, not the mayor’s.

The mayor would have some credibility on the placement of these facilities if he had previously shown some leadership, which includes advocacy, and concern about the state of the these two antiquated facilities in the city for which he is, and has been, mayor. To my knowledge he has not and did not.

Our mayor needs to remember and practise the adage, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” O’Keefe should have previously had something to say, and been doing his job, to get these city-located facilities replaced, and not coming on board after the fact, and on others’ efforts.


Geoff Chaulk

St. John’s

Organizations: Waterford Hospital

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Recent comments

  • Anna
    February 24, 2014 - 11:25

    I just want to get rid of that dump that is there now and get something built as quickly as possible. No one should be made to work in such inhumane conditions. I agree with Geoff, Mayor O'Keefe hasn't shown any empathy for the inmates, he just wants another tax base. I do have one question, is it my imagination, or has Ron Elsworth been silent since being elected Deputy Mayor. I haven't heard one comment from him on any topic that has risen in the media since he was elected.

  • Guy Incognito
    February 24, 2014 - 07:49

    Doc is reactive, he only responds to things. He has shown time and and time again that there is no planning or foresight at city hall. Doc just wants his face on the news. Not ready for snow fall, bike lanes that are a hazard to use, ooops the unpopular fence now blocks snow dumping in the harbour, and of course siding with Kinda Danny believeing our population decline is a mythg....get a grip Doc. I didn't vote for you.