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Accusation hurtful. I am not a city hall mouthpiece

Joyce Walter reflects on a recent run-in at the grocery store
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

The conversations at the grocery store are typically pleasant, short, often related to the weather, or sometimes, about the price of apples and onions.

Occasionally someone will comment on what I have written recently, and for the most part, grin when they talk about the escapades related to Housemate and our adventures.

Such was not the case recently near the check-out counter where I was headed with the groceries I had rounded up. The large man standing there in my path obviously had something on his mind. I could tell by the look on his face that I likely wouldn’t enjoy what he had to say.

In essence he told me he wouldn’t be reading my columns anymore because I had turned into a mouthpiece for city hall.

I looked around to see if he might have been talking to someone else. But no, I was in his crosshairs and on his mind.

No one has ever accused me of being a mouthpiece for anyone, least of all, city hall. But he did and he stood by his resolve.

In my mind I wandered quickly through the past topics of my meanderings and could not come up with any that might have been too cozy with city hall, city council and the state of potholes and watermain replacement progress.

So, this person is entitled to his opinion, no matter how out of whack I might think it to be. My first editor would have been offended at the idea that he had trained someone to be a mouthpiece, for city hall or anyone else. He is likely rolling over right now.

As a mouthpiece, I might give grudging approval to the purchase of a smaller automated garbage truck that will allow my friends and neighbours on our avenue to finally receive one of those green bins that we have been denied because of our location. I believe I complained about such discrimination when the talk about garbage collection had city fathers and mothers so confused.

As a mouthpiece, I might applaud the person in charge of the city’s flower pots and planters. They are beautiful this year and lend a welcoming atmosphere to city streets. Those vibrant blooms are a cheerful addition to our community.

As a mouthpiece, I might be favourable to the construction of pickleball courts out there near the Kinsmen Sportsplex. This addition to the sports facilities is surely welcome by pickleball enthusiasts but I simply cannot applaud the sign with that “notorious” word in it. This alleged mouthpiece is struggling not to gag.

As a mouthpiece, I might be convinced to give officials some credit for not rushing into any offer to sponsor the downtown event centre. But there again, why would I do that when the whole affair has been shrouded in secrecy and sponsorship seems to be eluding the committee?

As a mouthpiece, I would be shouting positive comments from the rooftops about the city’s brand new economic development slogan: “get a life.” No, no, no, I will not give that phrase any credibility. Nor will I wear the T-shirt.

Does that mean my days as a so-called mouthpiece for city hall are over? The appropriate mouthpiece words are currently stuck in my throat. Neither going down and certainly not coming out.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.