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Bill Glisky keeps close watch on Belleville politics

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By John R. Moodie [2]

BELLEVILLE Ask Bill Glisky if he is through with Belleville politics and he will tell you: “I’m not done. If you thought I wasn’t going to pay attention about this and talk about this any more, sorry about your luck.”

Within a week of being laid off as managing editor at the Belleville Intelligencer [3] Glisky launched himself into a bid to be Belleville’s next mayor.

The outcome was not what he had hoped for. He finished fourth.

Though his mayoral campaign did not bear fruit, he still felt he had something to contribute to Belleville politics.

“I thought, you know, I have this voice that I have been expressing for a long time, I want to continue doing it,” he said.

He saw a need for political commentary at a local level. In mid December, he started a blog, gliskyfromthecheapseats.ca [4], focusing on Belleville politics.

Given his background as editor and his of experience running for mayor he said he felt no inhibitions speaking his mind on Belleville’s political happenings.

“I had been doing this kind of writing for most of my life now, in various forms, one way or another,” he said. “It is what I know best”.

He said there’s not enough political coverage at the local level.

“At this point in time I don’t think there are a lot of things like this out there. There aren’t a lot of people engaging in the political discussion like this in this community at a local level”, he said, “It’s important for people to know what is going on. I think it is important for them to have information with some perspective to it, some analysis to it.”

He wants his blog to be a forum to provoke public dialogue on local matters.

“Municipal politics, that’s the level that has the most impact on our lives and the level that gets the least attention”, he said, “It is important that the conversation takes place and it’s an informed conversation, and people share their opinions and different views rather than just 9 people who were elected.”

Though the focus of his blog is politics, he is upfront that this is also a way of keeping himself in people’s minds.

“It keeps my name out there. It keeps people paying attention to me and keeps me involved in things. You have to be out there and engaged and that’s the way things happen,” he said.

He said another run at city politics is not out of the question.

“If in four years we still have projects that haven’t moved forward. If the downtown is still a problem area, if we still have a food insecurity problem that is the second worst in Ontario. If we still have an issue with affordable housing and low-income housing and people living in sub-standard housing that’s not being addressed,” he said he would seriously consider running for mayor again.

Though he describes himself as someone who passionate about politics and has a sincere love for the city, he said he wouldn’t run simply for the sake of running. He said the prospect of running again also depends on having public support.

“I will talk to people in the city to see if there is level of interest in supporting me. I could say I want to run all I want, but if there’s no level of support then there is not much point,” he said.

And he said, four years is a long time.

“I think particularly what is going to happen four years from now is a crap shoot but I will be paying attention.”

In the meantime he is looking to find a job.

“I am having conversations with pretty much everybody in the media, about what may or may not be available,” he said.

“I am definitely looking at different things. In the field I am in there are not a lot of options if I want to stay in media (in eastern Ontario). There simply aren’t that many places to do that.”

He said he may have to look outside the Quinte area for work.

“Occasionally you have to do things you don’t want to do because you have to pay the bills and you have to support the people in your life,” he said, “I’m enough of realist to know that life sometimes gets in the way of that.”

As a journalist he said he has had to relocate many times. He wants Belleville to be his last stop.

“I have moved around a fair jag (bit) in my life, in my career, and I am not all that keen to do it. I love Belleville I love the Quinte region, my intention, my hope is that I will be here for the rest of my life,” he said, “I am going to do everything in I can and make sure I stay here.”