How To Make A Silk Purse Out Of A Sow’s Ear
MEMO TO: Eddie Francis and Council
I wondered why you were so silent on the border and did not celebrate the “victory” on Monday. Your friends at the Star have been conspicuously quiet as well.
Obviously, there was nothing on which you could claim victory. Thankfully, acknowledgement was given that it was the Windsor Community's efforts that resulted in the success and achieved the impossible. So far at least.
Your “Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz” strategy failed. You look like fools as it appears that the Bi-national bureaucrats and not our municipal elected representatives listened to the people! Ojibway Road was their solution put forward and they did not propose to use EC Row and the Ojibway nature reserve. You rallied for the short-term and ignored what you were elected to do. They ignored you, did their job and came up with a long-term answer. Sort of.
Clearly, you need a new strategist. Let me apply for the position.
How do we turn this re-election disaster into a "win" for you? How do we revise history so that you come out smelling like "roses" in the City of Roses?
You know the reality. Didn’t you discuss it Monday night in camera? You know as well as I do that the Bridge Co. has won, whether Ojibway is the final solution or the Twinned Bridge comes back.
Their 200 booth solution is going to be built first since we may never need another bridge. The proposal will require a road to the existing Bridge to be built almost immediately and the Bi-national has set out the only way it can work. After all, it is the WALTS way, the City’s proposal! The Bridge Co. does not need your input to move forward since it is an American side project. You will have to build that road or Huron Church will get too much truck traffic. It can be built so that it can branch off to a new Ojibway or Twinned Bridge site.
And you know as well as I do that they can build their Twinned Bridge regardless what the Bi-national says. The Bi-national and Transport Canada have conceded that already. The only question for them is WHEN they want to build the Twinned Bridge as they move through the EA process.
You also know now that the Americans want the Ambassador Gateway even if Ojibway is built. That is so absurd that someone must have been dreaming. The Bridge Co. owns the Plaza and is not going to share it and cannot be forced to do so. You also know that “public oversight” as MOT’s Wake calls it does not mean and can never mean public ownership.
So how do you get re-elected since you have lost credibility on a Plan that could never have worked anyway. Council bought into the Mayor’s short-term billion dollar dream and that was blown out of the water.
The Mayor has a big problem since he conceded decision-making to the Bi-national early on. Who cares what he may think now since he has admitted that he only plays a minor role. Who gave him permission to do that? I sure didn't vote for him to be a "bit player." His tactical mistake was rallying for the short-term for a year with hardly a word about the final answer and NOT asking Windsorites for help when he desperately needed it.
Councillors Postma and Jones are in big trouble since the corridor to the Bridge could destroy Sandwich. Councillor Brister, Mr. STOPDRTP, especially and Councillor Zuk are at risk for their silence and invisibility for the last 2 years in the community that had the largest voice in the border fight. As for the rest of you, your failure to be “open and transparent” on the border is so easy to use in an election brochure that you will have a tough time countering it.
You need help, big time. Let me plot the strategy for you:
1) SHUT UP ABOUT SCHWARTZ ALREADY! Talk about it one last time and then forget it. Every time you mention his name you cause people to remember that you failed. You have terminated his services so be quiet
2) I have no idea if Kwame will ever talk to Windsor again after the Mayor’s stupidity of badmouthing his proposed deal right before the election. I would suggest grovelling and perhaps buying him a big drink at the Super Bowl might work. And drop the idea of buying his Tunnel interest or messing up his deal. We look like we are trying to take advantage of their financial position. Remember, he's in charge for 4 more years!
3) Support the 200 booths, it is coming in whether you want it or not
4) Recognize that Ojibway is never going to happen---the Star stories already show the opposition to Prospect and the West Enders and Gridlock Sam’s man on the scene have killed the other site because of “salt mine risks.”
5) Careful about Ojibway too—the Delray Michigan residents are just starting up now. Just like STOPDRTP. How can you support Sandwich and destroy Delray? Makes you look like hypocrites doesn’t it? Remember, they have “Environmental Justice” on their side
6) A diagonal bridge as our “Signature Bridge,” to be the laughing stock of the world. Give me a break. Engineers and the US Coast Guard will kill the "diagonal" bridge idea if the extra costs do not.
7) Nice idea to talk about preserving Sandwich. That’s all the bargaining power you have left. Talk tough about that.
8) As for looking out for the people on Talbot Road, I am sure that they will not think that the Mayor or Councillors Brister and Zuk will be their champions after their hostility to them for years. But pretend to be concerned about their “quality of life” too. It will play well to the rest of the City especially to the winning STOPDRTP parts of Ward 1.
9) GRIN AND BEAR IT—THE TWINNED BRIDGE HAS WON. Your job is to get the Community to accept it and then declare victory. Ken Lewenza’s dad and/or Buzz Hargrove should be called in as advisors to show how that is done in union negotiations all the time. Let them teach you how to “beat up the Bridge Co.” and get positive publicity to make you heroes even though you have no negotiating position.
10) For “quality of life” the Talbot Road residents have to be moved from the corridor with better than adequate compensation for them to find a new home and to move. Depending on what the exact route is, some businesses on Huron Church may need financial help too. It gives you the chance to “talk tough” on this too to the Senior Levels since you know that their preference is to move the people out anyway.
11) Demand and get an “enhanced” Ring Road, probably including “tunnelling.” Tell Dwight to remember his $500 million promise and to start spending it. Co-opt the West Enders as you have been trying to do for a year anyway by getting them more involved in the process to build a proper road that minimizes the negative impact on Sandwich. But understand that you can never please all of them!
12) Talk to Matty Moroun…He is the only friend you have. He wanted to partner with the City (remember his ads but you rejected him). He is a businessman and wants his projects finished with the least possible problems. Trade off economic redevelopment of Sandwich as he is doing in SW Detroit, JOBS and maybe even tie it into an urban village as your price of co-operation.
13) You better get people off of building a new crossing prematurely. If there is no traffic then all the crossings including the Tunnel could go broke and there goes another $6 million a year in revenues lost.
14) Finally, remember that Granholm and Kwame are calling the shots. Once the US side got involved in the border issue, they were going to make the decisions. Windsor's partners are not in Toronto or Ottawa but across the river.
There it is on a silver platter laid out for you, a strategy to win re-election. You will at least have a chance if you follow to the letter what I have proposed. It is a year before the next municipal election. Let's agree to have this all wrapped up by next March so you can bask in the glory of your success for the months before the day the votes are cast.
Do I get the Strategist job?