Mayor Eddie Francis Is A ....
Clearly, I have a point of view about what is going on in Windsor. I do try to give you a reasoned argument about why I take the positions I do. But every so often, I lose it. This is one of those times. I am so disgusted that I will let you fill in the blank in the Subject line with any word that you so choose after reading this BLOG. I am that angry.
You need to listen to the clip from a news broadcast on CKLW. For those of you who do not have speakers attached to your PC the transcript is below the clip.
From CKLW, Oct 5, 2007:
- "Announcer: Our top story this hour: Windsor’s response to the DRIC Parkway proposal.
It’s been unveiled to City Councillors behind closed doors and should be made public shortly. Tunnelling experts have developed a road design that meets City objectives. Mayor Eddie Francis says what’s needed now is public support to convince DRIC officials that the city plan is the best plan.
Francis: Every single resident will have to speak up. Every single resident will have to be part of this decision, and every single resident has a role to play. If you want to stand up for the city of Windsor, if you want a better solution, if you want to be able to influence DRIC to a point where we get a better solution, then this is the way that we are going to have to do it.
Announcer: The DRIC plan calls for a series of underpasses along a truck route from the 401 to a new border crossing. The City’s plan is a tunnelled approach."
That message seems to be very reasonable you might be thinking. Why is the Blogmeister so upset?
Naturally, the Schwartz proposal was first disclosed behind closed doors. Wow, disclosed a few days before a holiday weekend. That really gives Councillors a long time to think too. What if there was something they did not like in the proposal? It does not matter. They have something to be thankful for: the Mayor does all of the thinking for all of them. He is their Voice and Brain too it seems.
The Mayor wants people to speak out to protect our City after all. What’s wrong with that? Every single one of us has a role to play to convince the Senior Levels that our cause is the right one according to the Mayor.
Or so it is claimed except for one small, teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy detail.
If our Mayor really meant what he said, then he would want to hear what we said and right away. He would want everyone to hear what his/her neighbours had to say, right away. He would want the citizens rising aginst the DRIC outrage, right away. Why then was this notice put on the City’s webpage respecting the meeting dealing with Sam's border road plan? Why would Eddie say what he did in the CKLW clip when he knew how citizens were going to be muzzled:
- “As the border presentation will be heard at a "Special Meeting of Council", pursuant to Section 3.3 of the Procedure By-law, no delegations will be heard, as there will be open houses scheduled for the week of October 15, 2007 to allow for public input.”
Contrast this with the Special Meeting that took place in March, 2006 before Eddie became terrified of open public discussion. The purpose of that meeting was:
- “Council meets in formal session this day at 6:00 o'clock p.m., at the Ciociaro Club, 3745 North Talbot Road, to discuss the City of Windsor’s response to the Detroit River International Crossing Partnership (DRICP) Environmental Process…”
It sure sounds like a similar topic to me.
Believe it or not there were over three dozen people who registered and spoke as delegations in that March meeting. It was a "Special" meeting too I believe and should have set a precedent for Tuesday's Special meeting. But it did not.
If that meeting was not true democracy in action at the Municipal level than I don’t know what it is. That was also the meeting where Alan McKinnon received the biggest round of applause when he attacked the Mayor and Council with his theme:
- “there is a need for increased openness and transparency by City Council, by creating a border solution with public input”
Clearly Eddie does not have the “expletive deleted” to hear mere citizens. What happens if McKinnon signs up again or someone else takes a shot at him? As we know, our poor Mayor cannot handle that!
How little have things changed about secrecy in the City of Windsor even with a new Council.
I don’t want you to think that this action by the City was done ad hoc. Nope, it was carefully orchestrated to keep people from registering as delegations and speaking. Oh there was legal consideration given to preventing citizens from talking out both for and against what Schwartz is going to propose. Here is a note that I received from the City Clerk that demonstrates this:
- “As you may be aware Notice of the Regular Meeting of Council scheduled for October 9, 2007 was given last Friday and the Agenda for that Regular Meeting was published. Only after the publication of the Agenda was the Presentation respecting the Border confirmed and the Chair called a Special Meeting of Council to hear this Presentation, also scheduled for October 9, 2007.
Accordingly, the items scheduled for the Regular Meeting of Council on October 9, 2007 now need to be deferred, or otherwise dealt with as Council determines. Therefore, the Regular Meeting of Council will be held on October 9, 2007 and immediately following adjournment of that Regular Meeting, the Special Meeting will be called to Order and the Presentation will be heard.
Pursuant to the City's Procedural By-law 420-2001, section 10.1, the Clerk may only list a Delegation if there is a specific item listed on the Order of Business to which the delegate has a bona fide interest. Further, pursuant to section 4.1 of the Procedural By-law, the Clerk is mandated to prepare an Order of Business only for "Regular Meetings" of Council. As Council will not be dealing with the regular business items during the Special Meeting of Council on October 9, 2007, an Order of Business is not required for that meeting. As there will be no Order of Business, there are no matters for which delegations can be listed.”
All of this talk by the Mayor on the radio was nothing more than “expletive deleted.”
As far as I’m concerned, the Mayor is a disgrace to his Office and a disgrace to our City. It is no wonder that he is viewed by some as irrelevant on the border issue. What a tragedy for our City.
Who will take him seriously when he is so afraid of his own citizens, when he doesn’t trust us. Why does he hide everything from us? Is it any wonder that citizens demanded an independent investigation of the Windsor Utilities Commission? What a fall for a Mayor who received almost 80% of the votes at last year’s election to a Mayor who has to bring in a third-party to investigate what was done.
Compare that with the Bridge Company. Here is another CKLW clip
- “MELANIE DEVEAU: Was there a lot of interest and did a lot of people show up to the open houses?
DAN STAMPER: Yes, we probably had close to 100 people between the two days that showed up and we are real interested in how the community is going to look and how it's going to be affected.
MELANIE DEVEAU: What kinds of questions were they asking?
DAN STAMPER: Just wanted to know how the studies were turning out and what the findings were and if we're going to be able to... most of the questions were are we going to be able to tear down those homes along the Indian and Greenhead area, believe it or not, that would leave more people involved and interested in that than in the environmental results that we had coming. But I think it was very interesting for everybody and our team was there to answer questions. So it was very open, very good to see the community come out and ask good questions, and get good answers.”
The Open Houses just confirmed my own view that once Windsorites understood properly what the Bridge Company wanted to do, it did not shock them. In fact, it would not surprise me if a considerable number of people now want the Bridge Co. to build their Enhancement Project so that the our economy, with the highest unemployment in Canada, can share in the thousands of high-paying jobs that would be created. It would also give time for Tony Toldo and his business and industrialists colleagues to create the new economy for Windsor.
What Eddie is saying is nothing more than “expletive deleted”and absolute “expletive deleted.” He does not give an “expletive deleted” as to what people in Windsor think or say. He treats us as if we are complete “expletive deleted.”
Here is another point. Remember, according to the Star, the deadline for DRIC comments is October 15. Our Mayor does not start listening to citizens until that date so how can we contribute anything that will help our City. It is too late!
Presumably, by that time, the City will already have presented its comments to DRIC. This exercise that we are going through with the Ward Meetings is nothing more than “expletive deleted!” The exercise is nothing more than pure, controlled manipulation. It's all the theatre of the aburd. Nothing we say will count at all. Who knows if the results will even be forwarded on.
I wonder if the results of the Ward meetings will be the same as that which the Mayor and Council want. Why then the Mayor will say that he has a mandate to move forward from Windsorites on his "expletive deleted" PLAN! [Have you noticed that he has not used the word "plan" very much lately. I guess he finally admitted to himself that he has none!]
Why is taxpayer money going to be spent for an ad campaign when the Premier has already said that the DRIC proposal is "a pretty solid recommendation" and Sandra has confirmed that there is no scrubbing technology around! Haven't they rejected Schwartz already? Or have they?
Obviously, the ads are all to glorify our leader and keep the border road front and centre and not allow us to think about things like an 86% increase in water rates or a City falling apart with job losses and a declining retail market as people flock to the US to buy.
The ad campaign nothing more other than "expletive deleted" to show how "expleted deleted" tough Eddie is as Dalton crumbles. I guess that is to scare the Feds and the Bridge Co. too
Distract and divert citizen attention from real problems! I can hardly wait to hear the praise at the start from the usual cast of sycophants.
[Psssst....I have already speculated that there must be a "secret" deal. Why else would Dalton give himself an out if needed when in Windsor:
- "The people of the city of Windsor are the ones who have to live with this, so let's see what they have to say."
It is exactly the way Eddie played it with City Council. Eddie must have made all of the decisions. Schwartz must have been following his instructions in June of 2007 when DRIC turned down his first proposal. Schwartz’s tunnel consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, was helping Schwartz out even though the firm had not been retained yet by City Council. Council did not retain them until months later.
So please excuse me if I am angry. Please excuse me if my language is considered inappropriate. Please excuse me if I tell you that our Mayor is nothing more than a ........ (You can fill in the blank now too) . It's just how I feel.