Regional Councillor Tom Vegh won the October 2018 election in Newmarket on a false prospectus.  

He made an explicit promise to the voters that he would build a new library and seniors’ centre on the site of the old Hollingsworth Arena which the Town plans to “decommission” in 2020.

Of course, Tom’s vote is only one out of nine on Newmarket Council and I took his pledge to mean (a) that he would strive to convince his colleagues to support his library/seniors’ centre plan and (b) that he had thought it through and had a proposition to put before us. 

Alas, instead of a plan we see a gaping void.

There is, of course, no disgrace in a politician arguing their point of view and losing in a vote. It happens all the time. But Timid Tom refuses to engage in debate. What’s he afraid of? 

On Monday 29 April 2019 the Town’s Committee of the Whole will be considering a staff report on the redevelopment of the Hollingsworth Arena site – which is owned by the Town – and the adjacent lands owned by the developer, Briarwood.

It is Tom’s last chance to redeem himself. (You can read the report here at agenda item 5.1) 

The staff report invites councillors to:

“endorse in principle the notion of redeveloping the entirety of the properties municipally known as 693 Davis Drive, 713 Davis Drive and 35 Patterson Street, in a manner generally consistent with the conceptual drawings entitled “Scenario 2 – Site Plan” and “Scenario 2 – Aerial View”, attached to this Report, prepared by the Briarwood Development Group, dated December 7, 2018” 

If this is carried – as I suspect it will be - it kills stone dead any possibility of the dual library/seniors’ centre that Tom dangled before the voters last October, enticing them to vote for him rather than the early favourite Chris Emanuel.

The very next item on the agenda (item 5.2) is a piece of puffery about the Town’s “strategic priorities” which reads as if it emerged from a sophisticated process but, in reality, it is just an expensive cut-and-paste job, re-hashing stuff that’s been around for a long time and repackaging it.

There was a discussion of sorts about the Newmarket Public Library but with no enthusiastic champion it failed to get into the top five in its particular “pillar”. Yet again it is not a priority for the new Council. 

And Tom, more feeble and hesitant than usual, is content to play the part of a spectator when he should have been speaking clearly and persuasively about his vision for a new library and seniors’ centre.

I’ve told Tom he can post a blog here on Shrink Slessor to explain how he is going to put his plan (whatever it is) into practice. He can write whatever he wants. 

He has done this before to correct what he considered erroneous and tendentious commentary about land he bought from the Town years ago in Silken Laumann Drive.

So Tom. It’s over to you.

Make the case.

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I see Newmarket Today has run a piece about Tom taking developers’ money to finance last year’s election campaign. Tom gets the money but what’s in it for them? My advice to Tom is to steer clear of developers’ money. It always ends in tears.


+1 #1 Bill Kukulewich 2019-04-25 03:06
A sad reality that Councillors are elected with 35% of the vote.
How many have made promises that are not even their jurisdiction?
There is no accountability, so they say what they want.
Some I belief are in it for themselves

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