Guelph mayoralty candidate plans to makeissue of city-county relationship

While it might seem there is an impasse between the city and Wellington County councils, mayoralty candidate and former city councillor David Birtwistle says there is no need for a fight.

And he blames city hall, not the county headquarters, for the problems between the two.

“One of my campaign issues is resolving the rift between the city and the county,” he said in an interview last week.

He said Mayor Karen Far­bridge supported the funding of a special city social services committee last week, and he thinks it is a waste of money that belongs to the taxpayers.

“There’s no need for this split at all,” Birtwistle said.

He added that the Guelph MPP, Liz Sandals, has been no help in trying to heal the rift. Sandals recently parroted some city complaints that received major play in Guelph media, and they turned out to be totally incorrect.

Birtwistle said he, unlike city councillor Bob Bell, does not blame staff for the problems that have arisen because “The staff is there to do their job.”

But, he added, “A number of them are being told what to say.”

Birtwistle added that he has talked to a number of candidates, and hopes there are several changes coming to the city council on election day.