Betrayal---Where Is Our Right Of Recall
Councillor Halberstadt is scared and he has good reason to be. He and his colleagues have been threatened. If you check out his BLOG, you will see this comment.
- "Mayor Eddie Francis and Councillors Ken Lewenza and Fulvio Valentinis suggested last week in the Windsor Star that hiring an Integrity Commissioner might be a good idea in the wake of a controversy surrounding the posting of "alleged" sensitive information on the border file on my website...
some municipal governments in Ontario are considering punishing Councillors who do not express support for Council resolutions, even when they vote in opposition."
Integrity you say....or eliminating a contrary opinion? Integrity...or making sure that no one talks. Integrity....or a chilling way to silence an opponent in violation of the right of free speech.
If you ever wanted confirmation that the desire for a tunnel for the road between Highway 401 and the border was nothing more than an election gimmick, to get the Mayor and Councilors re-elected, then you have it now.
It is a shame that we do not have in Premier McGuinty's legislation that extended the term of Council by one year the right of recall as well. Frankly, I would be leading the movement to have the Council tunnellers recalled today.
It does not matter what your position on a tunnel is....the issue is a politician keeping his/her word on an important matter in this City! Maybe our local politicians are all McGuinty disciples.
- City plots DRIC plan
Dave Battagello, Windsor Star, Saturday, May 26, 2007
City council has agreed on a strategy to convince the provincial government to tunnel a controversial feeder route leading to the next proposed Windsor-Detroit border crossing.
The binational Detroit River International Crossing team, assigned to determine the location and type of roadway, has indicated the Talbot Road-Huron Church Road corridor will be the main route to its planned crossing near Ojibway Parkway in the city's far west end.
But the question remains whether a six-kilometre stretch of that route will be tunnelled, at-grade or below-grade. Tunnelling would cost about $3.8 billion -- up to six times as much as a surface road.
But council and many residents who live in nearby subdivisions have demanded the provincial government -- which is responsible for the feeder route -- build a truck tunnel to handle at least 10,000 international big rigs travel the route each day, spewing unhealthy diesel emissions.
With a final DRIC decision expected in June, council met for two consecutive nights this week behind closed doors to firm up its position for negotiations.
Mayor Eddie Francis said he briefed councillors on his discussions last week with DRIC officials and attempted to reach a consensus among them on how much of the route they want tunnelled.
"We are aware DRIC is moving towards a decision in regards to the corridor and what the route will be," Francis said. "Our experience in dealing with them in the past leads to concern on what the ultimate decision will be."
The city will assemble its own technical information on tunnelling -- information the province has indicated it will look at prior to making a decision, Francis said.
"We will get as much technical data together as we can," the mayor said. He said the city doesn't want an at-grade route. "We will not accept a cheap solution. We want something that works.
"Our starting point is a tunnel."
WHY WASN'T THE NAME OF SAM SCHWARTZ MENTIONED
According to Councillor Halberstadt, Sam and a team of his people were down here. How much will that cost the City. I heard some time ago that Sam was back and working on tunnelling [BLOG May 07, 2007 "Numbers Game"]
Here's what's funny though. If I knew about it, why didn't Councillors?
I heard that at the in camera session, a Motion was made to retain Sam. Then the next day, Sam and his team brought out a bundle of maps and other documents. A Councillor wondered cynically how so much work could have been done overnight forcing the Mayor to admit that he had asked Sam to work earlier. Clearly he did it on his own and without asking for Councillors' permission
- "If we can't resolve this, I no longer want to work in this environment," said Francis. "We go door-to-door to try and convince the electorate that we are the ones who should be entrusted with these decisions and yet we are not allowed to make those decisions with all the information we need."]
I defy you to ask your Councillor to show you a copy of any of the documents. You can't....The Mayor gathered up everything to prevent leaks. However, my inside moles know all.
I have heard that certain Councillors are disgusted with what happened and the lack of leadership being shown by the Mayor! Will that ever be reflected publicly? If so, when? If not, why not?
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE PROCEDURAL BY-LAW AND THE TUNNEL MOTION
I am sorry to have to do this to the Mayor but if the story is correct then he is in breach of the Procedural By-law! You know THE WORD in Windsor when things get too tough for the Mayor and then the Mayor pulls it out to shut up people at Council.
How can the City negotiate anything? Sam's fees are a waste of money. The City has a position and there is no need to reach any other concensus. The City's position is Councillor Marra's Tunnel Motion.
The Mayor and Council cannot legally deviate from that position without a Motion of Reconsideration under the Procedural By-law. I'd ask the City Clerk if the 2 day session is therefore illegal but none has been appointed yet.
Here is what the Mayor tried to get a consensus on: "how much of the route they want tunnelled."
In effect, he is now admitting that what was said on the Tunnel Motion was all a gigantic joke. Council never really meant to support a tunnel at all. It was all a public relations gesture to fool the masses. The intent of the Motion was clear and now the Mayor is trying to force a backtracking from something that was totally unrealistic in the first place!
OUR STARTING POINT IS A TUNNEL
But what is the finishing point?
There you have it...the tunnel is nothing more than a negotiating tactic, not Windsor's position. It was never a real position. Who can ever believe this Mayor and Council. You never know what is real with them!
You know what this reminds me of....Councillor Valentinis on Face-to-Face when he totally undercut the Schwartz Report. Here is what I wrote in my BLOG on October 04, 2005 "The Valentinis Shocker:"
- "But the greatest shock of all was the border. For 9 months now, Eddie and the Councillors have cried "Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz" as the ultimate solution for the border. Why Eddie wanted a billion dollars right away for his PLAN. No matter that it made no sense. This was the City position.
Oh we had heard awhile back (on John's show too), when Sam Schwartz was being interviewed, that his Report was meant to be a thought provoker and not the be all and end all. That was a big surprise to me especially when no one seemed to pick up on it and he seemed to undercut his bosses' position.
It is clearly the City excuse for its failure now. According to Fulvio, the Schwartz Report was merely a "starting point." The City had been asked to make a proposal and it did. No matter that the City has run up huge bills to be paid for by taxpayers promoting this "starting point" and has been trying to convince everyone to support it. Can you believe this re-writing of history?"
They are re-writing again.
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
It is hilarious....Eddie Francis is doing exactly what Mike Hurst did. They both were the Mayor that had a Motion passed in public that placated the masses--Mike on NO DRTP and Eddie on a tunnel-- and then a short time later in an in camera strategic session tried to reverse what the Motion said.
Mike asked for a partial DRTP while Eddie asks for a partial tunnel.
It's a shame that the pro-tunnel people are not as strong as STOPDRTP...If they were, Eddie's career as Mayor would now be over just like Mike's was when the story became public.
And the big irony for Eddie, as he well knows, is.....well, I'll save that one for another time!
Did you remember the Tunnel Motion? Here are relevant excerpts again:
- "M74-2007 WHEREAS tunneling projects are common throughout the world; and
WHEREAS the City of Windsor wants to protect neighbourhoods and get trucks off local streets; and
WHEREAS tunneling combined with capturing and scrubbing emissions will significantly improve local air quality; and
WHEREAS there have been numerous public statements and correspondence from the City of Windsor urging tunneling;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Windsor advise DRIC that they must have a tunnelled solution as the design of the highway through the corridor determined by the final DRIC process, with an absolute imperative to mitigate any and all impacts on local residents and the community as a whole from Windsor Border Traffic. Adoption of this motion in no way indicates or implies any support for any existing Border Crossing Operator or Proponent of a new Border Crossing. "
Do you see anything in the Motion that limited the length of the tunnel..I do not either. It talks about the entire length of the highway. Then why is the issue for the Mayor and Council:
- "But the question remains whether a six-kilometre stretch of that route will be tunnelled"
I found it interesting that the add-on to the printed edition in the Star was the story about the Bridge co. requesting a demolition permit. Typical Star timing and story positioning.
I can just hear the Ward Councillors moaning about the demolition of a few boarded up homes when they said not a word about the destruction of their community by a non-tunnelled road and a DRIC Bridge.
PETITON FOR RECALL
Wouldn't that be a nice way to go for a walk during the next few months...collecting signatures.
Failure to put into legislation the right of recall of Council members. That's another reason NOT to vote Liberal provincially.