Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Of The Same

Still waiting for a response from the City

The Windsor Star Should Be Ashamed (Part I)

In my opinion, the Windsor Star, its owners and management owe an apology to the people of Windsor and more particularly to their subscribers.

The Windsor Star knows that the Chief of Staff of Eddie Francis and the Windsor Star's Editorial/Op-ed Editor/Editorial Page Editor are husband and wife but have not reported it. This revelation should be no real shock to readers of this BLOG as I have posted about it previously. But do most other Windsorites know this and what would their reaction be?

Would they be concerned, once they know this information, about the possibility that the Star's coverage of City politics, and more specifically about the Mayor, is not what citizens of Windsor should have expected? Would they be concerned that members of the Star's Editorial Board are giving preferential treatment to the Mayor that may be reflected in Editorials. Would they be concerned that opponents of the Mayor, real or potential, are not given fair treatment in other ways such as access to Guest Columns or to the Letters to the Editor page or failure to report a story or have it edited in a proper fashion?

The issue is NOT John and Norma but the Windsor Star and its hypocrisy.

I have had exchanges of email with John Coleman over the years on a number of issues and as a member of STOPDRTP appeared in front of the Star's Editorial Board. Many of my Letters to the Editor have been published, but not all of them as should be expected.

I do not recall ever meeting Norma Coleman and I think I know who she is since she has been pointed out to me but I do know a bit about her background and her political connections which should make her of value to Windsor and to the Mayor.

If the Star had reported the situation, then one could not complain. But the Star did not. My assumption has always been that the Star and the Mayor are obviously aware of this situation and have taken the appropriate steps to guard against any problem. I have no idea though what they did and neither of them have ever told us. David Wonham raised this issue at his press conference right after he filed his nomination papers. Here is what I said about it:

  • "Let me give an example of what some politicos might consider “courage” in Windsor. Dr. Wonham dealt with the Windsor Star right upfront in a very fair and quiet manner. Frankly, to me it showed that he was not a man who was afraid of dealing straight on with an issue that has been an undercurrent for months with many people proposing to run for office. I believe it was the second point of his initial remarks. He pointed out what BLOG readers know that Eddie’s Chief of Staff, Norma Coleman, is married to John Coleman, Editorial Page Editor of the Star. He said that he knew John and that John was a man of integrity and that he knew he would get fair coverage in the Star. That was it, no fuss or muss, issue solved."
So why am I again raising this issue now? Imagine how I gagged at breakfast last Saturday morning when the Star ran the story: "Politicians' roles in media decried."

Why would the Star run a story that talked about politicians and the media and continue not to report about about John and Norma. The Star had the chance to talk about its situation as it discussed that of others but it chose not to do so:

  • "When Nelson Santos became mayor of Kingsville in 2003, his day job as managing editor for the Kingsville Reporter was significantly changed to avoid a conflict of interest between his roles as an elected official and government watchdog.

    His editorial column in the weekly community newspaper was cancelled.

    He was no longer allowed to edit political articles.

    And he no longer assigned stories having to do with municipal government...

    In LaSalle, where LaSalle Post publisher Gary Baxter is a councillor running for mayor, eyebrows have been raised over recent editorial content in the weekly newspaper that featured coverage endorsing Baxter for mayor...

    Baxter said he has nothing to do with the layout or content of the paper."
Did you see anywhere in that story what actions the Star took respecting John and his role? Did you see anywhere in that story what actions Eddie took respecting Norma and her role? The Star could talk about others but not about itself.

Obviously, the stories the Star reported upon and the John/Norma situation are not the same but I wonder what the Star's quoted expert would say. He talked about, in the Star story, "this attempt to keep the two positions separate is not enough to eliminate what one media ethics professor called "an inherent conflict" of working both in the media and the government." A rival newspaper editor said "[Residents] expect a paper -- even a community paper -- to be fair and balanced and impartial."

In the circumstances, the Star needs to explain why it has kept this information from its readers. There must have been a deliberate thought process involved which Marty Beneteau, the Star's Editor is now obliged to reveal to its customers and to the citizens of Windsor. This is NOT the first time that Beneteau has been in a situation such as this as I shall post another time. He revealed all before. He must this time again.

There is nothing directly on point since clearly this is a unique situation. Here though is information from the Ontario Press Council site that deals with matters such as this:

The Ontario Press Council has never adopted a formal code of practice, preferring to rely on the precedents of past adjudication decisions, although it has published policy statements on such matters as letters to the editor and opinion….Following is the ethics code of the U.S.-based National Conference of Editorial Writers, reprinted from the Minnesota News Council publication, Newsworthy.

Editorial writers owe it to their integrity and that of their profession to observe the following injunctions:

3) The editorial writer should be constantly alert to conflicts of interest, real or apparent, including those that may arise from financial holdings, secondary employment, holding public office or involvement in political, civic or other organizations… The writer, further to enhance editorial page credibility, also should encourage the institution he or she represents to avoid conflicts of interest, real or apparent.


Journalists should:
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.


RESPONSIBILITY: The good newspaper is fair, accurate, honest, responsible, independent and decent. Truth is its guiding principle. It avoids practices that would conflict with the ability to report and present news in a fair, accurate and unbiased manner.

INTEGRITY: The newspaper should strive for impartial treatment of issues and dispassionate handling of controversial subjects. It should provide a forum for the exchange of comment and criticism, especially when such comment is opposed to its editorial positions..

The newspaper should report the news without regard for its own interests, mindful of the need to disclose potential conflicts. It should not give favored news treatment to advertisers or special-interest groups. It should report matters regarding itself or its personnel with the same vigor and candor as it would other institutions or individuals.

Concern for community, business or personal interests should not cause the newspaper to distort or misrepresent the facts.

INDEPENDENCE: The newspaper and its staff should be free of obligations to news sources and newsmakers. Even the appearance of obligation or conflict of interest should be avoided.

Statement of Principles


The newspaper's primary obligation is fidelity to the public good… Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, should be declares. The newspaper should guard its independence from government, commercial and other interests seeking to subvert content for their own purposes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Still Waiting

I hope to hear something soon on my MFOIA application but I have no idea what and from whom. I think the City owes me an answer to my fee waiver letter.

Another Contest

Here is a Press Release put on the City of Windsor website today. I hope it was in response to my BLOG this morning even though I am told that no one at City Hall reads my BLOGs.

The contest, although the answer should be easy for you by now is: What's missing here?

Remo Mancini to Chair Development Commission Board of Directors

(Windsor, ON - Tuesday, October 24, 2006) At its meeting held on Monday, October 23, 2006, the new Board of Directors of the Windsor-Essex County Development Commission (WECDC) elected Remo Mancini, ICD.D as its new Chairman. In addition, the Board elected Dr. Albert Schumacher as Vice-Chair, Dr. Lucy Ellen Kanary as Secretary and Robert Feldmann as Treasurer.

Following his election, Mr. Mancini detailed some of the activities that he sees as critical to the Board’s success.

“First, one of our primary goals is to as quickly as possible select a dynamic, energetic and knowledgeable Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the Commission’s activities. This important task is being managed by a Board committee and is moving forward.”

Mr. Mancini stressed that “the Commission must intensify its advocacy for Windsor and Essex County. Our region is strategically located for trade and commerce within North America. We have a great deal to offer the world: a well-trained and skilled workforce, a highly developed post-secondary educational infrastructure, and a successful and diverse agricultural industry.”

“The Board has already exchanged views with important community organizations and is looking forward to continuing this dialogue. Our goal is to fully engage the community and marshal all of our resources to increase economic development in our region.”

The Commission’s new eleven member Board was formed in July, 2006 following a search for members by a Transitional Board that had presided over the Development Commission’s activities since 2004. The Transitional Board placed high consideration on applicants with broad-based knowledge of business development and the community.

The resulting Board includes the Chief Administrative Officers of the City of Windsor and the County of Essex, representing the funders of the Commission, and nine other members selected from applicants representing a range of economic sectors and considerable business development experience.

The Board’s mandate is to direct and support the Commission in its continuing efforts to retain, diversify and expand existing business as well as the attraction and creation of new business.

Biographies of the New Executive

Mr. Remo Mancini is a private sector public policy and corporate governance advisor/ consultant. Mr. Mancini is a former Ontario cabinet minister and long-time senior corporate executive. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, issues management, corporate development and in managing teams of experts including consultants, lawyers, engineers and other professionals. He is an active member of the US-based National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Canadian-based Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). Mr. Mancini is a graduate of the Corporate Governance College, “Directors Education Program,” at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. The program is a joint initiative by Rotman and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Mancini also serves on the Board of Advisors of Watts Energy, a Michigan based energy company focused on renewable wind energy.

Dr. Albert Schumacher is a practicing family physician and a former President of the Canadian Medical Association, 2004-2005, where he played a senior advocate role on key issues such as the shortage of doctors and long waiting times for patients. He is also a former Chair of the Ontario Medical Association Board and served as President, 2000-2001. He was recently elected as a director of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in Edmonton. He remains active on the issue of medical education and is the founding chair of the Ontario Medical Student Bursary Fund.

Dr. Lucy Ellen Kanary, P.Eng. Dr. Kanary’s career has spanned the entire spectrum of innovation; from the product development stage through to helping others to bring the results of their research and development to market. She has 18 years experience working directly with business, government and the educational communities to lead the evolution of a high performance business incubation environment for accelerating the growth of high technology companies. Ms. Kanary has also served on a number of Federal-Provincial Taskforces struck to develop an innovation strategy for the Province of Nova Scotia and evaluating Nova Scotia’s economic performance within North America.

Mr. Robert Feldmann is currently responsible for the regional Economic Development initiatives of Union Gas Limited. He has several years of direct and related experience in municipal economic development and was most recently involved in the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Human Capital Policy for its 2006 Ontario Economic Summit. He has also served as Board Governor, Treasurer and Vice Chair of St. Clair College (2000-2005).

The Windsor-Essex County Development Commission (WECDC) was established in 1958 as the Greater Windsor Industrial Commission and was given its current name in 1974 to reflect an expanded regional mandate. In 2006, the elected councils of the City of Windsor and the County of Essex agreed to a per capita formula to fund the Commission’s activities and confirmed its key role in building the region’s economy. The primary objective of the Commission is to market the region as an attractive location for business investment and to retain local businesses while assisting them in diversification and expansion of their operations.


For further information, contact:

Remo Mancini, ICD.D
Sandstone Strategies
420 Devonshire Rd., Suite #5
Windsor, ON., Canada, N8Y 4T6
Phone: 519 253 4030
Fax: 519 253 4828
Cell: 519 980 7047

De-bridging Mancini

Can the E-machine be any more arrogant or was it another miscue, like the arena going to Tecumseh? There is the potential for Eddie to lose thousands of West end votes because of the new problem that has arisen as he has already with the arena fiasco across the City. In fact, mayoral candidate David Wonham may just have to sit back and relax and tell his campaign manager not to bother as mistake after mistake is made. Is the Eminence Grise so confident of victory that he went on vacation instead of minding the re-election store?

How could the E-machine let it happen before the election unless they just do not care what people think any more? Or was it another slip-up that will come back to haunt Eddie over the next several weeks! They must believe that they are all-powerful and invincible. Are they also challenging certain politicians and daring the West enders to vote against Eddie so he can kill their Olde Sandwich Towne Community Planning Study in retaliation? (It’s on the agenda for October 30. Nice timing eh)

It was on CKLW’s website: “Former Ambassador Bridge President, [amazing, he got promoted after he left their employ] Remo Mancini, has been appointed Chair of the Windsor-Essex County Development Commission. Mancini says, while the auto industry is important to the region, economic diversification is key to a healthy future. Among the top priorities of the Board is to find a new C.E.O.”

I went to the City’s website and could not find a press release about it. In fact, I cannot find the press release about the Board of the Commission being set up any more there either. Seems strange not to find anything announcing Remo's appointment. But isn't that the same thing that happened with Norma Coleman's appointment as Eddie's Chief of Staff. Openness and transparency or something no one should know about!

For the West End activists, politicians and conspiracy theorists, they must be in heaven now, saying to each other “I told you so.” The buzz has been out there for a long time that Eddie and the Ambassador Bridge people have been working together so that the Bridge Co. will get what it wants on the border. What could be better proof than this they will be saying. Remo Mancini, the former head guy for the Bridge Co. now working with Eddie for the economic development of Windsor and the County or of…you know who. All of the pieces now fit in together so well they will think.

I can just picture in my mind the thundering hordes of West End Truck Watchers, Tunnellers and Politicos running around the hoped for heritage-designated Olde Sandwich Towne exhorting their friends and neighbours to vote A.B.E. on the 13th of November, Anybody But Eddie!

If that is what the thought process is, then they are wrong. Eddie and the Bridge Co., it would appear, have been at loggerheads for quite some time. Mancini's appointment means something much different.

The obvious manifestation of the animosity was the Schwartz Report, which was a masterful political document not an engineering report in the end. It was cleverly drafted by someone who knew the ins and outs of the border file. It was never designed as a City solution or even a "starting point" but as a diversion for the real Plan. It was designed to focus attention away from what was really intended. Almost everyone in town got what they wanted out of it other than the Bridge Co. when you look at the various proposals Schwartz put forward. The twinned bridge proposal was slammed by Schwartz and the City. So much for helping the Bridge Co.

We learned, in an August 25, 2005 story from the Star, that David Estrin’s border "work plan and budget" showed how he planned:
  • to fight off proposals by the Ambassador Bridge….He told council his hiring of a transportation planner and govern- ment/media relations expert were vital to help council achieve its objectives.

    The transportation expert would come up with a traffic bypass plan, he told them, while the media expert was needed to ensure council's position was well presented locally, provincially and federally…

    Estrin soon after hired New York traffic expert Sam Schwartz to come up with a bypass plan…

    The total to fight DRTP, Ambassador Bridge and the railway lands use bylaw was $1.87 million plus GST, he told council -- bringing the overall proposed sum to $2.2 million.

    Coun. Ron Jones, among those who supported hiring Estrin two years ago, said there was no other choice for council at the time given the threats of the nine-point plan, the Ambassador Bridge's proposed ring road through the west end and DRTP's planned truck route through the heart of the city.”
That is hardly what a "friend" does.

We learned something from Councillor Halberstadt’s Blog the other day, although exactly what is not clear. What “response” to what “enemies:
  • “Meanwhile, I am still waiting for a public report, which I orginally requested, on an in camera meeting Council had with border lawyer David Estrin last month.
    Council was given a legal opinion by City Solicitor George Wilkki that this matter should remain largely confidential under solicitor-client privilege, since it could compromise the city in its ongoing border disputes with third parties…

    Council has authorized a sizeable amount of money to be spent on legal fees in this latest response to the enemies.”
Who can forget Eddie butting in to the Detroit mayoral race to try to prevent the Bridge Co. entering into an agreement with Detroit over the Tunnel and his sales pitch at the Joint Councils Meeting. That's not what a "friend" does is it?

What is it all about?

One can almost see Eddie’s hand behind certain actions that have taken place, given how he normally works and strategizes long-term. Here is a timeline with Star stories to help you see what is going on:

09-27-2004 Mancini resigns bridge post
  • Former Ontario cabinet minister Remo Mancini -- the most prominent figure associated with the Ambassador Bridge over the past decade -- has handed in his resignation.

    Mancini, 53, said his departure from the bridge after serving over 10 years as vice-president has been in the works for a couple of months. His last day on the job will be Thursday.

    "We are doing this in an amicable and orderly fashion," said Mancini of his resignation. "For me, its been a great 10 years with the Ambassador Bridge. I'm looking forward to new challenges. I want to pursue other opportunities."

    Mancini said he has rented office space in Walkerville and plans to explore his options, hoping to land something new in an executive or management capacity.
05-17-2006 Former bridge executive joins energy company
  • The former Ontario cabinet minister and long-time area MPP has joined the Watts Energy Board of Advisors, a company which will focus on renewable wind energy with hopes to initiate projects throughout North America.

  • Mancini's 21 years in public service and 10 years with the bridge company were cited in his addition to the company's board by Douglas Dudley, manager and president of Watts Energy.

    "This experience in business and government is a nice combination

07-05-2006 ICD promotes corporate governance

  • A nice guest column in the Star and a photo if I recall correctly on Corporate governance education in Canada

    Remo Mancini was described as a former Ontario cabinet minister, senior corporate executive and a graduate of the ICD/Rotman program. He sits on both private sector and not-for-profit boards. Can you see what he was not described as!

07-29-2006 Development commission selects board

Interestingly, the Star described Mancini as “Remo Mancini, former Ontario cabinet minister and former senior corporate executive with the Ambassador Bridge” Here is what the City said about him. What is missing:

“Mr. Remo Mancini, Private sector public policy formulation and corporate governance consultant
· Former Ontario Provincial Cabinet Minister and Senior Corporate Executive
· Experience in strategic planning, issues management, corporate development and managing teams of experts including consultants, lawyers, engineers and other professionals
· Active member of United States based National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD); Canadian based Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and graduate of the ICD Corporate Governance College Directors Education Program at the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto”

08-25-2006 Local economy: The new regional board

Star Editorial that mentioned Remo and this time put in his position: Remo Mancini, former Ontario cabinet minister and former senior corporate executive with the Ambassador Bridge

September, 2006 Windsor-Essex County Development Commission newsetter

Remo was described as a Public Policy Consultant. What was missing

10-02-2006 Bringing the world to our door

Another photo and guest column for Remo Mancini on about local regional economic development.

He was described this way: Remo Mancini ICD.D is a former Ontario Cabinet Minister and senior corporate executive. He sits on both private sector and not- for-profit boards. Guess what is missing again.

10-25-2006 CKLW story:

  • Former Ambassador Bridge President, Remo Mancini, has been appointed Chair of the Windsor-Essex County Development Commission.

Don’t you get it…. Remo Mancini is being de-bridged. He is being born again, re-invented. Oh there are the odd slip-ups but as time goes on no one will remember that he used to work for the Bridge Co. It has taken some time but his schooling, 2 Guest Columns and appointment as Chairman of the Board will not hurt him, will build up his credentials as a Director and will help make him a leader in Corporate Governance.

Governance for what you might wonder? Where is this all heading you might ask? Why would Eddie take the chance in promoting Mancini? It was either Chair of the Board of the Commission or Chair of the Board of, say, Roseland Golf and Curling Club once Tom Wilson goes. There must be a reason. And there is in my opinion. I would guess that if you read the Schwartz Report, you will see that the answer is all there laid out in front of you. It's just my guess. Who knows what is really happening until we are allowed to do so.

Of course, no one in the West end will believe what I have written. They know the truth. Oh well, the consequence is Eddie getting fewer votes there and Wonham picking up a lot more than expected. Hmmmmm that's not such a bad result is it?

Isn’t the world bizarre? Mike Hurst went from Mayor of Windsor to DRTP. Remo Mancini went from the Bridge Co. to the Windsor-Essex County Development Commission. Go figure.

10-26-2006 Mancini to chair economic authority
  • Remo Mancini, the former provincial cabinet minister and Ambassador Bridge executive, has been elected chairman of the board of the new Windsor-Essex County Development Commission.

I guess Chris Vander Doelen didn't get the memo

Who Are Our Enemies?

Be warned; we are at risk. THEY are among us but we do not know who THEY are. Eleven people and some hangers-on are in the "in" crowd and are apparently safe but not the rest of us! We may be in mortal danger

Councillor Halberstadt's latest BLOG scares me. But is Councillor Halberstadt serious or is he pulling our collective leg? While he deserves full marks for having a "sunshine bylaw" resolution passed by Council, he did not ensure that Administration did what they were told to do ie report quaterly. But then, after listening to the Superior Park fiasco, when does Administration listen to Councillors anyway. What a disgrace for the people who are supposedly in charge of this City and the residents who suffered from what the Councillor said were flaws in the process.

Of course when Adminstration wants to pretend that the public is advised, matters are put in the Communications package which most people do not read or perhaps do not even know about.

Here is how Alan describes what was presented:
  • "The report was not based on quarterly data, as directed, [who cares what Council wants, Administraion rules!] but summarized the period January to September 28, 2006. Twenty-nine (29) in camera meeting have taken place in that time with 137 items being considered during a total of 47 hours and 48 minutes. By comparison, thirty-four (34) open meetings were held with 430 items being considered during a total of 91 minutes and 25 minutes.

    In other words, almost twice as much Council business is being conducted in open session as behind closed doors. Depending on your perspective, that reflects an open and transparent Council, or one that spends too much time behind closed doors."

Now Alan, get real. How many hours of public time were taken up by debates on feral cats and skunks and other such important matters in public while the boring things like the border, the Cleary and arena were being massaged in camera. Gee, I wish I knew how the City was giving away money on the Canderel and Arena deals but they are in camera. The issue is not the number of hours but the quality of what is being discussed that is important.

Then Alan made this remark: "I am still waiting for a public report, which I orginally requested, on an in camera meeting Council had with border lawyer David Estrin last month...Council has authorized a sizeable amount of money to be spent on legal fees in this latest response to the enemies."

Gee.... don't tell us what it is about. We are only paying the bills after all, a sizable amount too it seems. I wonder who our "enemies" are. Don't you think someone should tell us in case we meet them on the street. We will need to know to be prepared but right now we are at their mercy. They know us but we do not know them. Clearly this must be a huge matter or else it would not be in camera and protected by solicitor-client privilege.

Hey I was thinking, this kind of makes of mockery of everything Alan just said about "Council business is being conducted in open session." Alan is waiting for "a public report...which I orginally requested...last month." Then "Mayor Francis has asked the legal department to put together a report for the public agenda" Alan asks if "this report finds its way onto the public agenda before the Nov. 13th election." If it is damaging it won't, if it is helpful, it may be.

I got it! Alan has demonstrated conclusively to me that our real enemy may be our own leaders.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

No MFOIA Fee Waiver News Yet

It's only whether I have to pay out, as a taxpayer, $100,000 plus to see documents of the City

How New Windsor Jobs Were Won

Some quick reactions.

Good to know that Dwight is acting and has forwarded my response for an OMB inquiry on the East end arena to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. (see email below) As for my MPP Sandra, I have had 2 conversations with her office and was advised that she too has forwarded my materials to Toronto. Small steps true, but I have also been advised by another inside source that the Ministry is taking my Report very seriously and is reviewing it in detail!

Speaking of Sandra, did you notice the attempt at making up in Gord's column:
  • "Considering the bludgeoning Pupatello has taken recently from critics, including yours truly, it will be one sweet "gotcha" moment for her when the formal announcement is made."
Amongst the gushing of praise for Eddie and his brilliance for getting thousands and thousands and thousands (it's Wednesday so hasn't the number of jobs increased dramatically overnight again?) of new jobs for Joe Mikhail's building was this key line:

"When the deal was not there he kept them at the table and brought in Sandra."

Eddie, it seems could not get the deal done so he had to bring in the clean-up hitter to hit the grand-slam home run! Gee, do you think that having a Minister of the Crown there had an influence on the outcome? Do you really think that Sandra played a secondary role "with help from Economic Development Minister Sandra Pupatello."

What won it was simple:
  • "The agreement, which includes provincial funding for training initiatives...What matters right now is the training fund the Windsor West MPP is tapping into..."
Eddie's Eminence Grise, given his/her connections in Toronto, must have been dying every time that another Henderson slam was picked up by the NDP for House questioning. He/she recognized, as unfortunately our snubbing Mayor does not, that a municipal government needs Senior Level friends in high places. Just look again at the remarks I posted from the Mayor of London to see how a successful City works with their MPPs.

Windsor is fortunate that Sandra had the sense to overlook the ridiculous campaign to smear her and Dwight and look out for the best interests of Windsor. Obviously she needs the jobs for her Ward too but can you imagine if she declined to help and the story leaked out that Eddie lost the thousands of jobs to Mexico! She could have made political capital out of Eddie's failure and cost Eddie his job right before the election. She refused to be petulant and play childish games.

That's the story about the jobs and how they were won. Eddie's brilliance---hardly!

What it shows you in the end, loud and clear, is the powerlessness of the Windsor Mayor. And why we need to be friends with the Senior Levels. If you are not scared now, wait unitl after the municipal election and see what happens

Dear Mr. Arditti:

Thank you for your letter of October 18, 2006 expressing your concerns with the new arena.

Please be assured that Mr. Duncan will write to the Honourable John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing detailing your concerns you express with the city of Windsor resolution concerning the arena complex . Mr. Duncan will be pleased to forward Minister Gerretsen's response immediately upon receipt.

Once again thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to Mr. Duncan's attention.

Constituency Assistant
Hon. Dwight Duncan, MPP
Windsor-St. Clair

Insider City Hall Gossip

Gee, I feel like a Hollywood Gossip Columnist with all of the stories I have been hearing over the past few days.

Apparently, according to the Star's Roseanne Danese in her very flattering comments on my Blog on her blogsite :

  • "The juiciest [BLOG] of all though – the one which is considered a must-read among city hall workers and political hangers-on – is the one that’s posted by Ed Arditti, a municipal politics muckraker and not a big fan of Brister and Mayor Eddie Francis.

    Most city councillors will never admit they read Arditti’s blog, but they do. Be certain of that. Privately, city hall employees have said they’ve been surprised from time to time at the accuracy of some of his inside information. He has moles. But no one seems to know who they are."

I must admit I thought the comment was not too nice since I was not sure exactly what a "muckraker" was until I read this explanation:

  • "Although the term muckraking might appear to have negative connotations, muckrakers have most often sought, in the past, to serve the public interest by uncovering crime, corruption, waste, fraud and abuse in both the public and private sectors."

I liked that and think it is pretty accurate. So to keep my reputation intact, here are some interesting items circulating around and about Windsor recently:

  1. Who owns this Website Hint, it is NOT the City of Windsor! What a hoot!

  2. Who was the Mayor sitting with at a table recently for dinner at a function at Willistead Manor?

  3. Did the Willistead caterers serve egg salad hors d'œuvres with a slightly bleachy taste

  4. Are some people worried at City Hall that if the PCR price goes $1 over the fixed $47,920,000 price as set out in the Administration recommendation (That is the amount Council approved by the way), then the whole mess starts over again and has to come back to Council since there is no authorization to go with a different price! [Since GST is an extra, are we in trouble already?]

  5. Were Eddie's fundraising efforts falling flat? Is that why he is using his old election lawnsigns?

  6. On which "today" is Our Future starting according to Eddie? The Today in 2003 when he was first elected or the Today in 2006 when he is seeking re-election? Read his lawnsigns and see what I mean.

  7. Which Super Bowl dynamo is now part of Eddie's re-election team?

  8. Public school board trustees' massive pay increase--145% here--are not unique to Windsor. But will Ward 5 voters take out the shocking increase on Percy Hatfield since his wife, Gale Simko-Hatfield, is Board Chairwoman even though "the funding for the pay increases is supposed to come from provincial coffers."

  9. Which candidates for Council, if elected, are going to ask for a judicial inquiry re the arena after the election.

  10. Who has been writing letters for Eddie this time around trying to raise money for Eddie as he did last time? Like Gord's 1,000 jobs source, were he and his associates "at times... a harsh critic of the current mayor?"

  11. Is Administration going around to land owners with properties about 20 acres in size and talking a price of about $200,000 per acre for unserviced lands for the arena? Why would they be looking at such small sites if true and isn't that amount high for such land if true also? If putting together several small parcels will be a lot of work, then why doesn't Administration just go out and offer about $15 million for part of the Lear site?

  12. Why couldn't the Superior Park agenda item be posted before noon on Friday? Now anyone who registers after that time needs Council approval to speak as a delegation if he/she thinks to look again at the Agenda!

  13. How many Police officers were stationed outside (and inside in plain clothes) Council Chambers on Monday for the Superior Park item?

  14. Which Community Citizens Group leader had an election sign placed at the family home without permission by a Mayoral candidate.

  15. Will our new signature "Eddie Francis" City Hall Square be built on the site of the Barn to boost the development of that part of the City? Ridiculous you say....then you have not seen the plans for the Tunnel Improvement Plans, heard talk about replacing the Glengarry housing projects and figured out why consultants have been hired to look at the old City Hall. Just ask Councillor Halberstadt about "critical mass." The City Hall complex in Toronto was named after the "Mayor of all the people." Our project will be structured as a Public/Private Partnership too so we won't have to worry about such things as Purchasing By-laws, RFPs and tenders. And Windsor Construction Association members won't get the opportunity to bid on that job either. If they cannot stop the arena, well....

  16. Not only was the Council vote a loss for the Superior Park residents, it was a huge loss for Councillor Brister when the majority of Council supported the postion of his Ward mate, Councillor Zuk who is not running again. If Councillor Budget cannot persuade his colleagues to vote his way on a Motherhood issue like a park, one wonders, and so should his constituents, how he will work with the next Council, assuming he is re-elected. How can he be an effective voice for his Ward?

  17. When is applause at Council Chambers in violation of the Procedural by-law not applause at Council Chambers in violation of the Procuedural by-law...when it is given for an Eddie Francis election speech at Council after the arena debate (but not if given for speakers in favour of keeping Superior Park)

  18. Have political candidates realized yet that writing a BLOG can be dangerous for his/her political health at election time

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

MFOIA Creeps On

Waiting for the mediator now!

Is Windsor's Water Safe To Drink

I told you before that at the transition meetings of Windsor mayors, the old Mayor passes on in a blood ceremony to the new mayor a secret Mayor's Manual giving the standard cliches to use when certain situations come up.

It's either that or what is happening here is due to the water from the taps being cleaned by the dangerous "lemon-Pepsi" alum. How else can one explain ex-Mayor and DRTP CEO Mike Hurst's Star story "DRTP mulls legal action."

Isn't that almost exactly like the story about Eddie a month ago: "Mayor threatens lawsuit." I bet the people from the Senior Levels were shaking in their boots when Eddie made that threat back in early September. Hmmmmm I wonder if Eddie can write as strong a letter as the one I posted a few days ago that Dan Stamper wrote.

You know what, I would like to post Eddie's letter for all to see. Since Roseann Danese said "Most city councillors will never admit they read Arditti’s blog, but they do. Be certain of that" then I am sure one of them can arrange to forward that letter to me. Trouble is my moles tell me that if such letter has been written, it has not yet been received by the Senior Levels. Must be that slow mail service again.

One could say that it was really an empty threat designed to make Eddie look rough and tough for re-election purposes. For those that are Eddie fans, I will give the excuse that Gord gave us in his latest column: "He's running an election campaign. He's running a city. And yet he made this a fulltime job.[Getting us all of those high-tech jobs]" So Eddie did not have time in his 18 hour day to write a simple threatening letter on the most important issue in the City right now (other than Eddie's re-election).

Now Mike Hurst's threat is just an idle one too, taken from the Mayor's secret playbook. [Mike must have kept a photocopy of it] DRTP does not dare sue and everyone knows it. Mike used that secret word too: "may soon be challenged legally if they fail to reconsider." As in Legal threat "Coming soon."

The DRIC people have already looked at DRTP and dismissed it no matter how it is built and no matter what Mike may claim. He can hardly make a case when he cannot show us engineering drawings, how it links up to the expressways and how DRTP (NOT taxpayers) will pay for it, never mind how it can be built given DRTP's Rail Lands By-law loss.

I dare you Mike. Come on. Take charge. Don't wimp out. Stand up for Windsor. Sue DRIC. Show them who's still boss in this City no matter who may sit at the head of the Council Chambers in City Hall.

I wonder if DRIC will call his bluff. They may even egg him on. They may dare him to sue. He won't just like Eddie won't. Neither of them can win and they both know it.

That's in the secret Mayor's Manual too.

Coming Soon---500 Jobs. No 1,000

OH MY GOODNESS! I have not even had time to use the Saturday Star for my birdcage when the number of “high-tech” jobs has jumped to 1,000 according to Gord Henderson.

I honestly am so tired of this. No wonder people become so cynical about politicians. Another "coming soon" announcement. Just like how many others before this one. Oh I cannot tell you anything, it is confidential or there are big announcements in the next few weeks, more jobs. I am sure you read the Spits story today. Big story but it’s all confidential. For a guy who told us that "I am not a politician" at his Campaign Kickoff Speech, on July 24, 2003, Eddie has learned well in three years.

How convenient this one came out just a few weeks before the election. And the praise for Eddie’s brilliance, why Gord must have forgotten that Bill Marra is not running for Mayor this time. Or is this just more of the run-up stories to Eddie’s provincial campaign as a PC candidate.

Except what is the announcement: HP or no HP, fact or rumour, high-tech diversity or some low-level jobs, confirmation or none. Joe Mikhail can tell us and he is the landlord but Sandra and Eddie cannot. In fact, my source told me over the weekend that if it were not for Joe, and with him granting concessions, we would not have had any jobs here. He is the one really responsible for this and should take the credit.

But I guess Gord’s source and my source are different. Gord’s source said he was at times “a harsh critic of the current mayor “ Hmmmmm I wonder if he was part of the "ABE" movement, one of the founders in fact, that had started at one time. Perhaps he was also part of the group that had the $150,000 supposedly raised according to Henderson to beat Eddie if another candidate for Mayor appeared. Who knows.

Gord describes the employer’s role as “business process outsourcing. It provides customer management operations for major firms in sectors that include banking, financial services, retail, information technology and communications.”

In other words, it is a call centre. It is “[not] another minimum wage call centre” but it is still a call centre. It is not the beginning of some fantastic high tech sector for Windsor that will make us a Silicon Valley competitor. Eddie should have asked Joe about how to do that since he has the Ottawa experience that he can draw upon. Joe’s been there, done that.

Of course, everyone should be happy for the "up to" 500 jobs or as the sub-headline put it "may employ 500" or is now 1,000 jobs but there are some things that bug me.

Doesn't the Eddie/Sandra co-operation on this project make a mockery of the vicious attacks on Sandra over the past few weeks? In other words, it was all a big political game. OR Is Sandra now so mad, that she will stop working with Eddie and there go our jobs in new ventures?

Gord says “By the way, I now understand why Francis kept his head down and left it up to the NDP to hammer Pupatello.” My sources tell me if you ask the big-name Liberals in town about Eddie, you will get another answer. Ask which member of the NDP fed the Party information and from where he got it. Anyway, from my experience, Eddie never does the dirty work. He is too nice a guy for that.

I sure hope that Eddie will invite the Ward 2 Councillors to be part of this big announcement, say right before the election day. They can argue revitalization of the West End too. You know, 1,000 workers and a fast food chain restaurant as their future, sort of like the downtown. So they sell Big Macs and not steaks, big deal.

Obviously Eddie has known about this for some time. I wonder what effort he made to fill the Canderel Building rather than offer rents to others at low amounts. I would have thought 500-1,000 high-paying high-tech jobs would have been the spark to revitalize Downtown Windsor in addition to the 1,000 St. Clair students, a bus terminal and a franchise restaurant. And Joe also has space for rent downtown so he would not have suffered if the location was there instead.

I guess the company who rented the building beside McDonalds is not too concerned about the twinning of the Ambassador Bridge. It makes a mockery of the complaints from West end activists and politicians though doesn't it. Perhaps we will even have sidewalk cafes along Gridlock Sam's Huron Church "Champs Elysee" where these people can sit during their coffee and meal breaks. Perhaps that is how we can make use of the overpass that kids do not use.

“What's exciting about this, said the source, is that the thousand jobs could be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. If all goes well here and certain contracts are landed, the workforce could explode.” Or as one might put it during an election campaign “Coming soon.”

Our New Signature City Hall

We are going to have more Signatures in Windsor than John Hancock had pens!

First Gridlock Sam talked to us about Signature bridges. Last night at Council, Councillor Jones talked about a Signature pedestrian mall downtown. Then we will get our new "public" Signature East End arena complex so the millionaires-owned Spitfires can have a home to play. Then you will hear, about a year from now or so, that we are going to get our new "public" signature City Hall. I mean after all, we are getting a new Casino extension built and we cannot have this old municipal building beside it can we.

Why we can afford another monument to ego can't we? We have been told that "By 2009, when major projects like the Norwich Block fiasco, the city hall welfare tower mistake and the new Huron Lodge at St. Clair College have been paid off, the city will find itself with torrents of money flowing in and no major funding obligations."

Come on, look what the new City Hall did for Toronto. Its image became "Toronto" to the world. Surely we can do the same here. Hmmmm I wonder if a local contractor has some components left over from some other project that did not work out so that they can offer us a building at a discount?

I must admit I do not understand the Rules of Council too well. On some occasions, updates go on the Public Agenda and on others they merely go on the Agenda buried in the Communications package.

Take the item "Corporate Space Needs Study and Site Condition Assessment Study for 350 City Hall Square." It was in the Communications package several weeks ago. Part of the study includes: "To review the opportunity for consolidating various off site satellite administrative operations within a centralized campus environment with a view of creating a long term spatial program that is both efficient and effective while taking advantage of available corporate synergies."

Whew, that tired me out typing this never mind trying to figure out what it means.

What will happen soon is that a Repot will be issued to propose that a consultant be hired to undertake a study which will last between 6-12 months.

I have a better idea. As Councillor Halberstadt asked and was answered at the Council meeting, a new City Hall is a possiblity (although the Mayor did say jokingly that the existing building could be use for the next 50 years)

Save the consultant's fee and tell us we are getting a new Signature City Hall after the next Council is elected. They need some edifice to dream about. I know we are being setup for one. Perhaps we rubber-stamp it now and save the fights and aggrevation later.

Now how do I know we are going to get one. Simple, we spent all of that money on a consultant's study on 400 City Hall Square to tell us how to run projects better. Now that we know how, we may as well do it. We do not want to waste those fees do we?

And can you guess where it is going to go? I'll let you know in another BLOG soon

Monday, October 23, 2006

Issue Advocacy: Send Me The $150,000

I have to be honest with you, dear reader, but people have suggested that with the volume of hits that I am getting per day now on this Blogsite, I should be selling advertising space. I could have made a fortune by now I am told. In fact, one person suggested that he would help finance an ad campaign to drive traffic here.

I have to admit that this was a tempting thought. Believe it or not it is hard work to do some of these BLOGS. It takes a lot of time to do research, the writing, and get it out so you can have something to read with your morning coffee. However, I resisted the temptation.

However, I got a great idea last week from one of Gord Henderson's columns. Frankly, it made any idea to put advertising on here look like chicken-feed. Why I know if Sam Schwartz were here, he would tell me to THINK BIG! So here goes. Here is what Gord wrote:
  • "It might be urban legend. But the rumour that refuses to die is that powerful business interests were trolling a $150,000 campaign war chest under the noses of potential heavyweight challengers in a bid to unseat Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis.

    According to the rumour, these folks were prepared to dig deep and do serious fundraising to enable a VIP candidate, someone with a prominent name and a solid track record, to conduct a first-rate campaign, turf Francis from office and create a more receptive climate at city hall...

    But it wouldn't be the first time a collection of movers and shakers has agreed to bankroll a champion, even if it means reaching out and tapping into a couple of hundred likeminded individuals.

    This much is obvious. The big-name candidate didn't bite and the money, the juice needed to run a high-voltage campaign, remains tucked away in its owners' wallets."
Hmmmm there are a bunch of well-heeled individuals with money to burn but who probably like anonymity as well. I don't think they care if Eddie is mayor or not, contrary to what Gord says; they want a city that works. Most of these people have probably made a lot of money here and have a loyalty to the city that made them rich but are frustrated with 3 years of inactivity and the thought of 4 more.

Clearly, it is too late for someone to run since nomination day is done. But it is NOT too late to express their views about what is wrong here. This concept is known as "issue advocacy" in the US or the "the discussion of political issues and ideas." One is "supposed to discuss broad political issues rather than specific candidates."

Here's my concept. About that $150,000....send it my way and as quickly as possible. I will promise to take that money and buy up space in the media and write commentaries similar to what I am doing here and as I have done elsewhere. That will let the entire City know what's wrong in Windsor and what must be done to correct it.

I am told, and I will have to check it out first, that the finance rules under the Municipal Elections Act would not apply to me since I am not running for office. So the cheques can be more than the $750 limit a candidate can receive and I would not have to report the funds so no one would know who contributed.

Sounds like a good deal doesn't it. I get to spread my word and the head honchos get to open their wallets for a good cause. I won't keep a penny; it will all go for the dissemination of ideas. Just email me and I'll tell you where to send the cheques.

Oh and thanks for the idea Gord.

Rezoning--Another Superior Wrinkle

Something I just learned today. I would have thought that the Conseil Scolaire de District du Centre-Sud-Ouest had to have the Park rezoned to build a school. I think I am right too.

According to City Administration, the Board is:
"(116) "Public Authority" means a School Board, Public Library Board, Board of Health, Board of Commissioners of Police or any other board or commission or committee or authority established or exercising, exercising any power or authority under any general or special statute of Ontario with respect to the affairs or purposes of the City of Windsor."

Once that hurdle is passed, then Administration says:

"A lot or part thereof, located in any zoning district, may be used for any of the following uses, provided that all buildings and other structures erected thereon shall be in compliance with all regulations of the zoning district in which they are located:

l. Any use of the City of Windsor;

2. Any use of a Public Authority."

So the argument goes that Conseil Scolaire de District du Centre-Sud-Ouest is a School Board and a Public Authority and so can build their school without the need to rezone.


I read that "The Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest, also known as CSDCSO or Ontario District School Board #58, manages the French-language schools in the central south-western region of Ontario. The area in which this school board operates covers 68,180 km² of Ontario." In other words, not just Windsor.

The high school is NOT just for Windsor but for the entire area of which Trustee M. François Gratton has responsibility: County of Essex (includes Pelee, Leamington, Kingsville, Amherstburg, LaSalle, Windsor, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Town of Essex). We know this because M. Gratton has no loyalty to building a school only in Windsor. He said in a story in the Star: ""If there is nothing in Windsor, LaSalle has land close to Windsor."

Accordingly, Conseil Scolaire de District du Centre-Sud-Ouest does NOT meet the definition since it is not a Board that exercises any power "with respect to the affairs or purposes of the "City of Windsor" but rather to the entire county.

So if the residents lose at Council and at the OMB, then the fight returns when they try to rezone the property.

Why do we have such a mess:

" a French public school official said he feels the board was misled by city officials who suggested the site has been for sale for years....We can't wait any more. We've spent all kinds of time and money on this."

Someone better ask Administratuion what is going on! If the Trustee's charges are true, would the Board be able to sue the City for the amounts they have wasted due to incorrect information? It's getting uglier by the minute.

Flower Wins, Bambi At Risk

It looks like some Councillors are more interested in helping skunks like Flower after the last Council meeting than saving Bambi and friends in Superior Park. But they had better start asking some real questions about the Park.

Is there more at play than just the sale of a Park? There are some significant legal and fairness issues involved that someone has to deal with.

Obviously, that person is the Mayor first. Councillors do have a role under the Procedural By-law as well. Their role is: "To collectively oversee the administrative functions as carried out by appointed officials within delegated authority and the policies adopted by Council and To act as liaison between the citizens they represent and the municipality, to ensure that the intention of the established policies and regulations are applied in a manner that is conducive to the citizens and community as a whole."

In all honesty, can the Mayor and Council say that Administration has carried its function "within delegated authority" and in a way that is "conducive." I do not believe they can after you read what I set out below.

It might be nice as well if Councillors took into account the wishes of the vast majority of residents too when making their decision. They oppose selling the park.

It is getting very rowdy at Superior Park meetings isn't it if you watched the last one on TV news. What's the matter with those people, it's only their homes at risk!

At least Councillor Zuk was there this time and she did not attack anyone opposing the school proposed to be built as racist. Perhaps she realizes that people have a concern about their homes and what they were promised about the Park when they first moved in. If it is a "crappy" park, in her words, then the fault is hers and that of her Ward mate, Councillor Brister. Why didn't they make the effort over the past 3 years to ensure that it was properly looked after. Or was it always expected that the Park would be sold so no one wanted to put money into it?

What do we know so far about Superior Park fiasco:

  1. The agenda item that started off this mess where approval was given for Administration to negotiate the deal was moved by Councillor Brister in camera
  2. Councillor Budget had to change his position and oppose the sale since Gord Henderson made him the hero of the park, supposedly leading the opposition.
  3. When it was brought to Council the first time, the motion was presented to Council as a done deal without notification to neighbours as is required and in the summer when many people would be away on vacation and who therefore would not know about the deal until it was too late.
  4. Councillors Valentinis and Jones were blind-sided by it since "they are on the school liaison committee that was created precisely to deal with this type of situation."
  5. Councillor Jones said that there are many other places where the School can go.
  6. The Report to Council tried to pressure Council into accepting a deal with the School Board immediately [a so-called August "drop dead" date by which the sale HAD to be done was inserted] .
  7. After a fuss was raised, Administration wanted to have a "proper and thorough consultation" with residents and wanted a 90 day period but Council considered the matter and gave them 30 days. That time period started on September 5 I believe and the 30 days are long past.
  8. Then the infamous meeting that Administration messed up, what kind it was, when notices were sent out, where it was held (out of the area)
  9. The race card was played, subsequently, and blown out of proportion. Why I cannot figure out yet unless it was the excuse to make the deal go forward
  10. Then the next meeting was scheduled for the October 17, more than 30 days after the Council resolution
  11. Since the meeting was outside of the 30 day period, Superior Park supporters argued that the meeting was not proper and Administration was acting without authority. Notwithstanding that she was asked to do so, the City Clerk did not provide a legal opinion from the City Solicitor but ruled that the meeting after the Council deadline was legal. How that can be done is beyond me since Administration must act, as the Procedural By-law says, "within delegated authority" only.
  12. There may be a conflict of interest involved since it can be argued that the Clerk should not have participated at all since the Clerk's husband is the person who has responsibility for the project. Her ruling allowing the Clerk's husband to carry on with the meeting. If she had ruled against her husband, the project might now be dead. She also justified her assertion by claiming that a noted and filed letter was an implied acceptance. I frankly cannot believe that statement. Again this matter needs an opinion from the City Solicitor
  13. Another Council session is scheduled for the 23rd although it was not posted as an Agenda item on the City's site until after noon on the Friday before the meeting (that means no delegation who sees it posted can appear in front of Council as of right, but must now seek Council consent),
  14. That meeting was to have taken place on Ocotber 10 and is again outside of the 30 day time limit.

Now I don't know about you, but this issue is giving me a headache. I heard on the news that the residents will go to the OMB and appeal a decision that sells the park and they should have an easy go of it with the Administrative law flaws in the process so far. Where is justice or the appearance of justice at least. We should run a contest about how many flaws there are. In my opinion, the whole Superior Park matter should be thrown out and started all over again. And this time it should be done according to the Rules.

I read the Mayor's website and it was said that:

1) The Mayor ensures that the laws governing the Municipality are properly executed and obeyed.

2) The Mayor has primary responsibility for seeing that the policies of the Municipality are implemented, and he works closely with Council to ensure that this occurs.

3) As CEO, the Mayor has responsibility for all actions taken on behalf of the municipal corporation. The Mayor oversees the Municipality's administration to ensure that all actions taken by administration are consistent with Council policies.

In other words, the buck stops with Eddie! It is up to him to make some order out of this chaos. Will he support Administration against the residents no matter what they do or will he take charge and tell Administration to do it right. Will he wimp out since he is afraid to confront Administration or will he act as he is obliged to do and stand up for citizens? This will be a test of his worth as a leader!

I assume that he will request that the City Clerk NOT sit beside him as she usually does during an agenda item discussion and NOT give him advice. If he does not do that, then we will know that the citizens will have lost.

Just a few issues more that are strange to me:

1) I thought the deal was to be signed by August 22 or it was "null and void." It is October now so why is this being discussed. I guess it was NOT that urgent after all but a game was being played to force it down Council's throat before residents knew what hit them. Whoever dreamed up that scheme, if that person worked for the City, should be fired for cause! Who made the decision on the City's part to extend the Agreement? I do not remember Council doing it or authorizing it. Why is it in front of Council now?

2) How was the appraisal of the land undertaken? Was it appraised as green space or as residential? (Residential use can include a school) If Residential, then the land is probably worth in the range of up to $5 million. This means we are giving the School Board a bargain at the price quoted in the Administration Report.

3) The School Board only tells us what they "intend" to use the land for. There is NO condition that if that use changes, it reverts back to the City. Why not?

4) There is a strong rumour from one of my unknown City Hall moles that a City Hall official "met with a developer who is trying to rejig the deal with the school board and build 65 homes on the park instead of the school." Some of the park can already be used for homes I believe but not the whole Park. That got me thinking. What if the School Board decides after they buy the park because of "racism" they should not build a School there. It does NOT revert back to the City. What if the Board sells the Park to a developer who wants to build 65 homes. What happens then? Interestingly, if the School Board sells the park to a developer at the price they paid for it, then who makes he profit on the land on the sale of homes? Isn't it the private developer?

So Council needs a way out and so does the School Board as do the residents. What's the Board's $15M worth now after sitting on this for 4 years. And what will it be worth after the OMB appeal is heard in several months or more from now.

We need a King Solomon to find a solution. I think I have it!

I heard another rumour from a mole---a lawyer for a developer in the area sent a letter to Administration with a copy to the Mayor and Councillor Budget (why not to Councillor Zuk also is a mystery) recently as well as to a few others offering his land. His property is very close to Superior Park so should be convenient for the new school. Hmmmm I wonder why that was not included in the Council package as an alternative for Council to consider. Don't you find that odd that Administration would not include that since it was faxed to Mr. Duben and dated before the Agenda item was posted?

The letter states that not only was there enough land for a school but also there was land for a 7-9 acre park in addition, which land was going to be donated by the developer. A park that is badly needed in the area.

Doesn't that solve the problem and make everyone happy since the Board gets a school and the residents keep Superior Park?

It should be interesting to see how this plays out on Monday night. What also will be interesting to see is which of the Ward 1 Councillors can persuade colleagues to support his/her position. Councillor Zuk doesn't care because she is not running again. If Councillor Brister cannot persuade his colleagues, does that mean they won't listen to him in the future too?