Odds And Sods
FIVE CENT A DAY PARKING
I'd really like to get upset over this but I can't. There is a need to build up the downtown after all and sometimes one does have to make a business deal, even a lossleader, to get things started but did the parking garage deal have to be for 11 years it appears with no real escalator on rental.
The people who should be upset are East End property owners and taxpayers who were trying to get the Keg's business but whose City Government scooped it from them. As the City did with Project Ice Track when they signed up the Spitfires for the East End arena.
If I were a restauranteur in another part of the City where patrons had to pay for parking, even if it is only $2, I would be upset that the City is subsidizing a competitor. I might even get angry if I owned a restaurant downtown where my customer had to pay to park in one City-owned structure but not at another.
The Mayor could have justified the deal but because of the secrecy around it and the need to file a MFOIA application, people will look at it in the most negative fashion. As an example, without the Keg, how could Eddie have said he did anything downtown to get re-elected.
BUILDING UP THE CV
According to Councillor Halberstadt,
- "Mayor Eddie Francis has been apppointed by the Association of Ontario Municipalities (AMO) to sit on an eight-member political team to help conduct, over 18 months, a review of the fiscal and service delivery of provincial health and social services."
Nothing like building up one's resume in order to get a Senior Cabinet position if John Tory wins.
WHAT'S WITH GRIDLOCK SAM
Could someone who works downtown go and visit his office to see if it is still there please and let me know.
Latest gossip is that the office is closed. I am told that equipment is being sold off or shipped back to NY. The phone number will forward people to NY.
So does that mean that the Schwartz Plan is officially dead and buried even if Sam still has his Certificate?
FRUSTRATED AND BOILING MAD
Wow, our Mayor is certainly going through an emotional turmoil these days. He better lighten up or his health is at risk. First he is mad re the DRIC report and now he is frustrated since the University of Windsor is not playing, according to him, "a greater role in helping the region's struggling economy compete on a global scale."
Hmmmmmm taking shots at the Unviersity given the less that amicable past relationship between the two is sure not going to help things. So much for Eddie being conciliatory. When one works with the Mayor, as the new Councillors will find out, it is his way or else. Thus it is up to the University to recognize "that we have to work together, from marketing (the region) to economic development. And it's got to be something that's formalized so that the university and the board of governors accept that....It requires the board to feel the same way we do in terms of the relationship"
Well not everyone at the University liked what the Mayor had to say. Here is one "rant" that was sent around:
- "I see the Mayor of Windsor is taking shots at the University about its role in promoting an intellectual community in Windsor. The nerve of this guy. First he reneges on $ 5 million in promised financing that would have helped the University move in this direction and then he criticizes the school for not doing enough. We have more involvement in promoting intellectual jobs in the W-EC area than the local Government. Does he not understand the extent that the University has developed this aspect of its mandate in automotive alone yet alone other disciplines ... ARDC, ITEC, Auto21, CARE, numerous chairs, automotive specific engineering programs and curriculum, commercialization of research, hundred of graduate students working in a R & D capacity with local industry and hundreds of graduated engineering students working in the industry. The most improved criteria in Macleans this year was the development of more research initiatives and the attraction of millions of dollar of research grants to the University.
I agree 110 percent that a lot more can be done. But to criticize our current initiatives as inadequate when his own City Council is one of the core reason we have not gone as far as we could, is hypocrisy at its worse. The Mayor should apologize to the approximately 3,000 high-end engineering and technicians that are working in W-EC. This number was only 500 when Mike Hurst started W-EC on this path about a decade ago.. If he wants more R & D in W-EC he should get City Council to pony up about $10 million in financial assistance for the construction of our new Automotive Research and Development Engineering Building instead of throwing Windsor's taxpayers money down the drain on a new arena publicly funded to compete with the private sector."
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE
Here is a story I read
"Seventy-five years ago this October, the first section of the George Washington Bridge was opened to traffic.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is planning to commemorate the anniversary on Oct. 25 with historical and cultural events, as well as the long-awaited relighting of the bridge's towers. Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler said, "At age 75, while some are slowing down, the George Washington Bridge has a bright future ahead. In its first year of operation, it carried 5.5 million vehicles; today, it carries nearly 109 million annually. This bridge is a vital part of our region's transportation network, and an important part of our local economy."
BRIDGES FIT FOR THEIR COMMUNITIES--CONTEXT-SENSITIVE SOLUTIONS
Here is a story I read that gives an example of this:
"Ambassador Bridge enhancement, Detroit
Nearly 5,000 trucks enter the United States from Canada each day via the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. For the first time, federal legislation will allow access ramps to connect the bridge to the local highway system. The Michigan DOT's program calls for the design of eight, new vehicular bridges and a pedestrian bridge.
A context-sensitive approach has shaped what will be the new Bagley Pedestrian Bridge, reconnecting the Mexican Town area's east and west sides. When completed in 2008, the single-pylon, cable-stayed bridge will blend with area landmarks, including a 300-year-old church."