THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Mississauga News - June 26, 2007 - By John Stewart.
Parrish, mayor ready to tangoA lot of people who claim they really donít like Carolyn Parrish are still awfully happy to see her careering around City Hall these days.
Thatís because there is reason again to tune into the council meetings on Cable 10, to pick up the newspaper and to keep tabs on municipal politics.
Someone has begun to probe beneath the placid waters at 300 City Centre Dr. The council meetings no longer resemble a Sunday morning sermon, complete with McGenuflection.
Parrish, the woman who Frank Magazine dismissed curtly with the description, ďBig Hair, Big Teeth, Big DealĒ has launched her Big Mac attack ó as in Hazel McCallion.
The former school board trustee has professed nothing but admiration for the 86-year-old queen of Mississauga in public. Her actions, however, speak otherwise.
Not of any disrespect per se, but of the kind of hint you might give your grandmother that itís time to give up driving so she can enjoy the view from the passenger seat.
Parrish has very effectively gone about exposing the dark side of the Long Reign.
From challenging the appointments of long-standing citizen members on committees, to threatening to run a slate of municipal candidates in Ontarioís elections, to warming up the electric chairs under Enersource staff, LaParrish has made a jarring impact.
Her many detractors would say that she has put her Jerry Springer School of Municipal Etiquette training to good use.
The Ward 6 councillorís self-aggrandizing style tends to hide her exceptional political instincts. She is well aware that many Mississaugans believe it is long past time for the mayor to go.
The increasing conflict between the two prompted a silly debate last week.
Parrish was probing staff about Enersource when the mayor took exception to the long, rigorous political fishing expedition. She suggested Parrish ask her questions ahead of time as she does.
That prompted a contretemps that served neither woman well. Parrish said she didnít need a lesson in pre-scripted civics from the mayor. ďThis isnít a secret society.Ē
The irony was rich. It was McCallion, as Ward 9 councillor, who gained her tough reputation by brutally cross-examining staff. On election night, McCallion said she had no fear that City business would be highjacked by jockeying from mayoralty candidates. She would deal with when it arose. To be fair to the pretenders, she would make any retirement announcement at the end of year three of the four-year term.
The mayor is older. The mayor is more tired. But make no mistake about it, the mayor is the only one who will decide when, and if, she goes.
Parrish, and anyone else who is too anxious to grasp the chain of office, had better be careful.
Its current owner may stay exactly where she is and none of them could do a thing about it.
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