What A Pity
I used to go just about every Monday for several years, especially when a Border issue came up. I thought it important that I be there to understand what is really happening at City Hall. Then I started going every other week. My rationale was that the border was being solved, so I thought, so why did I have to give up every Monday night. Then I started skipping more....after all, I could watch it on TV. Finally, I stopped going. My excuse was the serious fall I had taken and I needed my rest.
It was all a lie and I knew it. I went last night because there was a border issue on the Agenda so I felt I had to go. But sitting through most of the session confirmed what I knew. I did not attend any longer because this Council is a farce. A joke. I wish it was November already so we could be looking forward to some new blood running this City.
Remember the phony rap against the last Council. It was "dysfunctional." Well this Council is "impaired or functioning abnormally" as the dictionary would say. The old Council was not "united" ie there was a major split on every significant vote but it worked. This Council does not. They fight amongst each other, they are inconsistent, they do not share with the public or it seems amongst themselves. They cannot deal with the important issues facing the City as the old Council did. They got it handed to them on a silver platter and what have they done.
I did not stay to the end. I left after the matter dealing with the Bridge Site Plan. I should not say this but I will. Another fellow and I (and the two of us differ on what our solution for the border is) met up with the Bridge Co. people and had a coffee with them to see if there was something that we could do to try and get this whole border mess back on track. Imagine, the two of us doing what someone at City Hall should be doing---talking to the people who are the dominant player on the border. Ridiculous isn't it!
Oh and last night. I am sorry. I cannot take it. Where is the leadership on Council. From anyone.
I only stayed around for the Motion to Defer re the Library and not the main discussion since it was a foregone conclusion what the result would be. Imagine Councillor Zuk suggesting that there may be a "witch hunt" going on since she has no idea what the issues are at the Library. And Councillor Halberstadt talking about "possible fraud" due to calls from anonymous whistleblowers.
I know what some of the issues are but why should I tell Joyce. I do not understand why her Ward mate, Councillor Brister, had not explained things to her since he is on the Library Board. Ohhhh I forgot, they do not talk much to each other.
Can you imagine, Al Nelman agreeing with Caroline Postma on anything. Well they were allies last night. Al said he might even revise his Report Card based on what happened. Imagine, poor Al being told, in effect, that he did a lousy job on the Library Board, so bad in fact that an outside audit was needed.
And we are going to miss Councillor Wilson after this term is over. Can someone beg him to run again, please. Was he the only one that thought it absurd that KPMG was going to audit KPMG? Isn't there a chance that an issue in the "operational audit" might raise the question if the external auditors may have missed something in their annual audit so that the Library had a loss? How will KPMG report that when it may mean a lawsuit against KPMG? How can KPMG be put into such a position by Councillors who are so concerned about the Library? (Oh I won't mention that I have been asking for an outside auditor to do a review of MFP since the City has lost $68 million. But that is dead except for what one Councillor may be doing).
If I may be so bold, if the City's Audit Committee is so concerned about audits at the Library then what about the Enwin audit by the Ontario Government group. Where is the demand for an outside audit in that City subsidiary!
Then we had the Fire Department. Let's see now, what would you do if you were the Chief listening to Council last night. Smear stories about you in the Star, big pay cut being proposed, learning that you were one of the lowest paid chiefs in comparable cities already and then being expected to do your job and manage a massive re-organization. I am sure that he knows who is for and against him on Council too.
Finally we had the Bridge issue. Councillors had agreed unanimously with the Schwartz Plan which supported what the Bridge Company wanted to do. Council voted for the Site Plan before. Last night, the Bridge Co. was there to tell them they were going to do less work than before since it was no longer required and three Councillors opposed it! Even after the Bridge Co. and Administration answered every question asked so there were no outstanding problems.
Now I expected Councillors Brister and Gignac to oppose it. But Councillor Postma....what were you thinking?
What I found fascinating, and I am not sure if you could tell on TV, was that when Dan Stamper, the President of the Bridge Co. stood up and walked to the table to answer questions along with Skip MacMahon, the atmosphere in the room changed drastically. No longer were Councillors beating up on a "straw man" Library issue or a subordinate, even if he was Fire Chief. They were facing the head of a multi-billion dollar corporation who was not in the least afraid to sue the City, especially on an issue which Councillors before had conceded that they would lose! All of a sudden, the room got quiet and the questioning most repectful.
I am not at all suggesting that one need to be concerned about any company no matter how big. But it was abundantly clear that the Bridge Co. was not going to let some Councillors push them around and the Councillors knew it.
I have had it. Council is out of control. How can anyone deal with a Council when one has no idea what Councillors are going to say from one session to another even on the same matter. How can we as citizens have faith in a Council doing the right thing for us when even Councillors have not been given the facts and words like witch hunt and fraud are tossed around, possibly besmirching reputations.
To change the expression a bit....Only in Windsor you say, Pity!