The long days of summer are upon us but instead of silencing the barking dogs the heat appears to have unleashed the hounds. They are hot on my trail and baying for blood. The local daily has been pricked by the summer musings of local bloggers who sit in cool basements. They have questions. They want a confession. I have one.
Hello, my name is Joe and I am a volunteer. I have been a volunteer since I was 21. I started in Nelson Park working with a theatre program for children. I plan on being a volunteer when I draw my last breath. I am currently the Chair of the Trinity Global Support Foundation (TGSF). I have been the Chair since 2009 when the private foundation became a public entity and the Board took the organization in a new direction – feeding, caring and educating children – supporting those with HIV/Aids – having saved thousands of lives.
I sleep well at night.
I am a husband and father.
I am a practising Catholic.
I am a Canadian, but I was not born here. I embrace my Italian heritage and I cheer unabashedly for Italian sports teams whenever I get the chance. I proudly wear the jerseys in public.
I am a friend. I have in my lifetime, and because of my years in public service, met thousands of people from all across the globe. I have made friends who have done great things and friends who have fallen from grace.
I am my own man.
I am responsible for my actions.
I am passionate about what I believe in and sometimes I am outspoken.
I believe my community work, political experience and thousands of connections, both private and business, help me be a better Mayor. Statisticians have calculated that most people are connected by six degrees of separation. I expect I am an exception to this rule. I am probably closer to three or maybe even two degrees of separation. For those who are looking to know “who” I know, I suggest they start with the London phone book.
I meet people. I remember people. Since having been Mayor I have attended over 600 public events. If you add to that the number of meetings and events I have attended in my entire political lifetime, the totals are staggering. I know people. I like people.
My son Ugo Joe Fontana is the President of the Trinity Global Support Foundation. He shares my passion for helping children and has chosen to work within the not-for-profit sector. I am proud of him. The TGSF operates under the guidelines and regulations of the Canadian Revenue Agency. It will continue to do so. Its financial statements are audited and public.
I am on the public record as supporting the proposed Fincore Canada development. I believe this investment and others in the SoHo District along South Street will be very good for all Londoners. All decisions regarding the development have and will follow the prerequisite path through Planning and Council.
I understand and respect the rules and requirements for declaring a conflict of interest.
I understand my choice to serve the public puts me under the microscope. I understand Londoners gave me a great responsibility when they elected me Mayor. I only work for the City of London. I work every day on behalf of Londoners to meet their expectations and to represent our city with honesty, integrity and pride.
I am proud to be a Londoner. I am proud to be Mayor.
I have opened the doors to the Mayor’s office and made it known all are welcome. I engage Londoners on every level and at every opportunity. I listen to those who elected me.
I will continue to work hard on behalf of London and its citizens.
I hope those who snipe and insinuate are satisfied. I have opened my doors, will they open theirs?
I’m going back to work now.
Honourable Joe Fontana
Current Board positions for City of London
London Police Services Board
London Economic Development Commission
London Hydro Board of Directors
London Convention Centre Board
Western University Board of Governors
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