The following statement may blow some city hall watchers’ minds: Your faithful scribe can find attending a council meeting a bit of a snoozer some days.
I know, quelle horreur.
But with all the amendments to the amendments and points of order and clarifications on procedure bylaws and political posturing and…zzzzzzzzzzz.
The chamber can be a bit stuffy and dark, too—which I’m sure produces an unhealthy amount of melatonin for this journo and upsets my circadian rhythm.
But I have to say it was with the enthusiasm of a pre-teen boy that I planted my keester at the varicose vein-inducing media table at city hall Tuesday.
Sadly, that enthusiasm wasn’t related to the fact that Mr. Mayor was celebrating his 48th birthday! (See latest Kudos and Kvetches for more insight on His Worship’s 48 years on this happy planet).
No, it was because the birthday boy was recognizing Hastings Little Leaguers for winning the Canadian championships this summer and advancing to the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
The team opened with a 13-9 win over Mexico but ended up dropping the next two games 8-3 to Panama and 4-3 to a squad from the Caribbean.
Eight of the 12 players managed to convince their teachers that missing school for a few hours Tuesday morning to chin wag with Gregor Robertson was a worthy educational experience.
They all showed up in uniform with manager Vito Bordignon and assistant coaches John Wong and Mike Mitzel. The mayor made like a PA announcer and introduced the players, including Thomas “Tom Tom GPS” Neil, before posing with the team for a photo.
Then Robertson, whom I thought was a baseball fan, made a recruiting pitch to have the 11- and 12-year-olds consider giving up their dreams of becoming the next Derek Jeter to think about a future as a…politician?
“You guys really represented well, made us all proud and made us believe that champions like you guys can lead this city. Right now it’s on the ballpark, but in future hopefully you’re able to apply those leadership skills and all that dedication to serving our city in other ways, maybe even sitting up here and making these big decisions.”
This coming from a guy who once owned a refurbished wooden ketch named “Shoeless Joe” and has a son named Satchel, who, as I recall, was named after the great fireballer Satchel Paige.
So what did pitcher/shortstop Steven Moretto think about the mayor’s political pitch? Well, suffice to say he’s not ready to hang up his glove quite yet.
“I’d love to make this a career, I love playing baseball,” said Moretto, acknowledging the recognition by Robertson was “pretty cool.”
Bordignon said he was grateful for the invitation to the council chambers, which is often filled with men in suits and uniforms of a police and fire kind.
“It’s a great experience to come out here and get recognized for representing your community, your city, your province, Canada—it’s a great feeling and an honour for these kids,” the manager said.
Bordignon isn’t making any predictions for how far next year’s team will go, noting he’s losing 10 of his 12-year-olds to a higher division. But he’s confident his group of 11-year-olds “will battle and compete at a high level.”
Which, I believe, is coincidentally the mantra of council.