The Valentinis Shocker!
If someone wanted to really prevent citizens from knowing anything about what is going on at City Hall, then Face-to-Face should have been cancelled along with Council Close-up. John knows too much about what is going on in the City and has the knack for getting right to the heart of an issue and making people squirm, yet doing so in the nicest possible way! Just ask me, I spent 30 minutes on the hot-seat recently.
John started his 6th season with Councillor Fulvio Valentinis who always is his first guest. And what a revelation it was.
I admire Fulvio. I had hoped he would have run for Mayor in the last election. If he had, then I think we would have had a strong Council (including both Bill M and Eddie as effective Councillors) and the experience and practicality required so that this City would be in much better shape than it is now. More importantly, no one would have commanded more respect from everyone than Fulvio.
Fulvio tried his best to put a good face on everything but as far as I was concerned his interview was a listing of few accomplishments by this Council. [Heck, one of the few things that this Council has done is 3-1-1 and they had to run a commercial during the program to show it!]
From the failure of the Erie Street sewers to prevent flooding, to the University not going downtown, to hoping that there will be someone who can come up with $30+ million for a Racetrack arena and to ongoing talks about the 2 floors on Canderel, we heard a list of non-achievements.
But the greatest shock of all was the border. For 9 months now, Eddie and the Councillors have cried "Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz" as the ultimate solution for the border. Why Eddie wanted a billion dollars right away for his PLAN. No matter that it made no sense. This was the City position.
Oh we had heard awhile back (on John's show too), when Sam Schwartz was being interviewed, that his Report was meant to be a thought provoker and not the be all and end all. That was a big surprise to me especially when no one seemed to pick up on it and he seemed to undercut his bosses' position.
It is clearly the City excuse for its failure now. According to Fulvio, the Schwartz Report was merely a "starting point." The City had been asked to make a proposal and it did. No matter that the City has run up huge bills to be paid for by taxpayers promoting this "starting point" and has been trying to convince everyone to support it. Can you believe this re-writing of history?
Why Fulvio has said that if someone has an idea to remove trucks from built-up areas, then the City would like to discuss it. Someone it seems other than the Bridge Co. which put forward a proposal that was dismissed out of hand by the Mayor as "not serious."
The whole basis of the Schwartz routing was undermined when Fulvio said that it did not have to go through Ojibway. He said that it would be possible to work around that area.
Fulvio wants to "discuss and vet" Schwartz but since he endorsed it in secret and has not supported a public session for it, then I assume those discussions are to be with anyone other than citizens of Windsor!
If Fulvio had stopped there, then what would citizens say about the Mayor and Council on the border? Total failure to perform is one way of describing it.
So the geniuses at City Hall, came up with the ultimate answer, the ultimate way to get citizens off their backs, the best way to pass-the-buck, the only way to get this postponed until after the election so they can get re-elected and to let someone else take the blame:
ASK FOR A FULL
That is almost like the Senior Levels taking the easy way out by "respecting the Bi-national process" so that the border can be put off for a number of years.
Start the studies so we can get a resolution sooner will be the cry out of City Hall. Start the studies so that we do not have to admit our failure. Start the studies so that if we ever have a Town Hall meeting again, we have an excuse and so that we do not have to explain away Schwartz. Start the studies soon because we need to pretend that we have been an action-oriented Mayor and Council on the border. Start the studies, PLEASE!
This is about as good an excuse as the Mayor telling everyone to talk to the City lawyer, Mr. Sutts, when asked about the back taxes on the Mady parking garage fiasco that he was involved in when he was on the Tunnel Commission. Discussion is over due to solicitor-client privilege!
It will be interesting to see if any Councillor will stop supporting the party line and will try and get a real solution accomplished. The obvious choices for leadership are Ward 1's Zuk and Brister and Ward 2's Postma and Jones. The latter Councillors did have the nerve to attack secrecy on the arena but then look what happened to them on the Beztak vote!
Say what you will about the last Council, they did have guts and were not afraid to stand up for Windsor, even if it meant confronting and out-voting the Mayor!