on December 10, 2010 by test_editor in Archive_2010, December, Print Articles, Comments Off on December 2, 2010: Leadman’s Legacy.

December 2, 2010: Leadman’s Legacy.

Leadman’s Legacy.
By Jude Haynes.

It’s always nice to be appreciated.  Christine Leadman may have lost her  seat as councillor for Kitchissippi Ward,  but she has not lost the respect of community  groups and activist in the area.
On Sunday, November 14 they  threw a party for her and her staff of  four, just to say thanks. From around  3:30 pm, people started arriving at the  Carleton Tavern. It was a casual  event: drinks and conversation on the  main floor followed by a private dinner  upstairs where community groups  presented Leadman and her staff with  gifts and certificates of appreciation.
Members of three community groups,  who got together and organized the reception,  told Newswest about some of  their reasons for expressing gratitude to  Leadman and her staff.
Pat O’Brien of the Hintonburg  Community Association said, “As  councillor, Christine was supportive of  the many initiatives that contributed to  the betterment of the community.” She  supported community policing as well  as establishing the community police  centre in the Hintonburg Community  Centre. O’Brien also pointed out that  about three million dollars of infrastructure  money from all three levels  of government was allocated to projects  in this area, thanks to the efforts of  Leadman and her staff.
Cheryl Parrott of the Hintonburg  Economic Development Committee  said, “Christine had a tremendous impact  on a number of landlords of problem  properties.” Community members  were displeased that buildings on some  of these properties were being used as  crack houses. “She invited them to a  meeting with city agencies and gave a  true description of the problem and was  able to get their co-operation to remedy  the situations,” Parrott explained.
About three years ago, Leadman  was instrumental in helping local business  owners establish the Wellington  West Business Improvement Area.  The organization’s executive director,  Annie Hillis, said this was necessary  so local businesses could prepare for  the multi-year reconstruction of  Wellington Street West.
Now that she’s no longer councillor  for the ward, Leadman said she’s naturally  disappointed with the results of  the elections, but she is moving on and  doesn’t see herself filling that role  again. She’s satisfied that the work  she did for the community is what defined  her as councillor.
“I’m proud of that work; I’m proud  of the relationships I have with the  residents and the community groups  that I worked with,” she said. “I’ve  done my four years and I think in  those four years there’s been a lot  that’s been achieved. That wasn’t reflected  in the general media, but it was  certainly reflected in the community  itself,” she added.
Leadman’s staff members are equally  pleased with their achievements and  they are just as sad about having to
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move on. Fabrice Cote spoke  about having to work a lot of  evenings and weekends to make  things happen.
He added that this ward is  experienced and knowledgeable  and that the area is growing and  will continue to do so. That  makes the need for good leadership  important. He found working  for Leadman rewarding because  she believes in this community  and was dedicated to it.
His colleague, Jennifer Young,  was the last member to join the  team, but she found Leadman  was a good boss to work for. “It’s  been very busy over the past two  years, but she’s always taken the  time to help me with anything or  to offer me advice or support.  Now that we have to look for  new employment, she’s been  very supportive,” Young said.
Simon Evanik also spoke highly  of his former boss: “I’ve worked  on all the other levels of government  and I can honestly say that  Christine is ethical, courageous  and intelligent. And she demonstrated  what is best for politics.  Unfortunately, not everybody always  agrees with those stances.”
And Marissa Aitken explained  that their job wasn’t just  about big accomplishments; the  small ones were just as important.  “I did a lot of the constituency  work, so when we were  able to help out someone in even  a small way, it was actually really  rewarding for us,” she said.
Some community members  say they are concerned about what  will happen with the things they  accomplished in partnership with  Leadman. “I feel discouraged that  all the hard work that Christine  and many of her supporters have  rallied to do in the last four years  seems to be hitting the toilet and  that’s very discouraging,” said  Elaina Martin, executive director  of the Westboro Village Business  Improvement Area.
But ultimately, Leadman is  out and Martin, as well as the  other community activists in  this ward, have expressed their  readiness to build a working relationship  with Councillor-elect  Hobbs and to move forward.

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