Some Almost Final Thoughts
I'm accused of overreacting with respect to the border crossing issue and the failure of the Mayor to perform. Here's the reason why this accusation is totally invalid.
Does anybody remember Greenlink? You remember it don't you... we had the Schwartz and Parsons Brinckerhoff extravaganza, we had all of the Ward meetings. The Mayor spent tons of money on buying full-page ads in the Windsor Star, four or five anyway, on CKLW radio ads and nice glossies to send around. A website was created and phone-in surveys begging support were asked for using 311. Didn't it cost us about half $1 million for all of the consultants and lawyers involved?
Do you remember the claim for the "scientific" survey that showed overwhelming support for Greenlink, you know the one with a few percent of the total population in favour.
All this effort was undertaken by the Mayor and Council and huge amounts of money were spent on media blitzes and consultants fees to demonstrate to DRIC that the City found a way to move trucks to the border in the best possible way. The City was to prepare a DRIC response and send it in sometime in November I believe.
I wish I could see that response to see what the City said. Unfortunately I'm not sure that anyone has seen it or if in fact it has ever been created. Citizens haven't seen at and it would appear that neither has DRIC. Here's the latest e-mail I received from DRIC this morning:
- "Mr. Arditti:
Thank you once again for your inquiry. At this time, we have not received a report from the City.
You may want to contact the City for further information."
You'll have to explain this to me because I don't understand it. As far as I'm concerned this Mayor and this Council are totally useless in solving Windsor's biggest problem. It should be fascinating to see what the border issue to be discussed at the first meeting at Council is all about.
In the end, if it was not for the Ambassador Bridge Company spending its own money to solve the border issues, the biggest crossing in North America would be in total chaos. No wonder nothing is going on at the City-owned Tunnel.
FIRE THE WINDSOR TUNNEL COMMISSIONERS
Everyone on this Commission from the Mayor on down ought to be fired! Do Councillors have the balls to do anything yet or does the Tunnel have to be ground up into the dirt before somebody does something.
Here are the latest numbers that I have seen with respect to Tunnel volumes:
The car volume is down in November by 6.68% while it is down 10.12% year to date. The respective numbers for trucks are -10.24%, -13.81% and buses -33.02%, -8.99%
Whatever happened to the Public Open House that was postponed early in the year with respect to the Tunnel Plaza improvements? Whatever happened to the US$75 million Tunnel deal?
What was the conflict of the Mayor with respect to the Duty-Free Shop and why did he not reveal the general nature thereof?
It is so nice to see the Councillor formally known as Councillor Budget snuggling up to the County. Prospective Windsor mayors have to do that don't they to show the differences in Administration approaches. After all, the relationship cannot possibly be any worse now.
- "On Thursday, Ward 1 Coun. Dave Brister announced that at the next city council meeting, he will raise the idea of setting up a schedule of joint meetings between city and county councils.
"I think there's room for improvement in terms of creating an environment where there's sharing of ideas, back and forth, between the city and the county," Brister said."
Sure I should give him some credit for it and I will but you'll have to excuse me if I'm very cynical about it as well.
Knowing how City Hall operates, I cannot believe that this was done without the permission of the Mayor. I'm sure that Councillor Teacher's Pet would not dare face an "Eddie Stare" when he introduces his Notice of Motion. Did he give Eddie the wording too for approval? His Council-mate, Councillor Dilkens had the balls to introduce a Motion without tipping off the Mayor in advance.
If I am right in what I am saying, then the County politicians will understand it as well. They will see it for what it is... a political move merely to pretend that the City is trying to mend fences but the Mayor and Council really don't mean it.
We really should run a contest to figure out why the Capitol Theatre was placed in limbo for about a year. The announcement by the Trustee in Bankruptcy that the Capitol will reopen is certainly great news.
There is no need for litigation. With a new Board, the Capitol and the City could solve all their problems with a five-minute telephone conversation. It is really that simple.
Why hasn't it been done? That is something that I do not understand. Why wasn't the theatre reopened since it seems from the Trustee's action that it was so easy to do? That is something too that I do not understand.
Here's where the childishness and immaturity come in, the finger-pointing. What is fascinating to me is the lack of communication between the parties. That seems to be par for the course with this Mayor as can be seen with examples such as the lack of communications with the Ambassador Bridge Company and with the Senior Levels on the border issue, and with the County and Mayor McNamara in particular:
- "The city was not prepared to grant any more hall licenses, so we couldn't have any more shows because the city was not letting us."
"The city is now letting us, so we take that as great news."
But the trustee's claim angered Francis, who countered the theatre has remained closed because it was deemed to have been a fire hazard after inspectors learned sprinklers were not operating during the Les Miserables performances.
"They were told they could not have more shows until the deficiency was corrected," the mayor said. "That's why there hasn't been any other shows. You can't have shows in a theatre if it's a fire trap.
"(Funtig) is in control of the theatre. He was told once that was corrected he could have as many shows as he wanted."
So the Capital sat in limbo for a year while expensive litigation is being carried on all because we lack leadership in this City. There is certainly something going on behind the scenes with respect to this and I wish I knew what it was.
I DISMISS THIS REPORT TOO
Here is another report that shows the problems that Windsor is in. It probably does not have much validity. After all, the data was only prepared by Statistics Canada.
CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO TIME MAGAZINE
What is the matter with the national media, especially the American media. Haven't they received the memo yet saying that the only news that you can report on Windsor is good news. Where is the "W" strapped to their chests?
Here is the Time US comment about Windsor in a story about the strong Canadian dollar:
- "In the meantime, Mayor Eddie Francis of Windsor, Ont., near Detroit, is trying to cope with an 8.6% unemployment rate in a town known as the automotive capital of Canada. "It's a challenge and we're going to have to get through it," he says. The strong loonie may be great for cross-border shopping excursions, but it's of little help to anyone without a paycheck."
WINDSOR STAR AD RATES
I thought that the Agenda item dealing with the Windsor Star was deferred so that the City could try and get a further reduction from the newspaper for the advertisements placed in it. I thought that Councillor Lewenza wanted a 10% reduction if my memory is correct. Whatever happened to that idea? When the item was brought back to Council I don't remember the reduction being discussed at all.
By the way, how much is CKLW receiving?
MICHIGAN STRATEGIC FUND RESOLUTION
I must have missed this story in the Windsor Star and on CKLW.
It appears that Santa came early for the Ambassador Bridge Co. The Michigan Strategic Fund will allow them to issue bonds in the amount of $212,600,000 for their Ambassador Gateway project.
Michigan seems to have had a silly reason for doing so... it would only improve the flow of commerce between Michigan and Ontario and create hundreds of construction jobs.
NO GOOD DEED GOES UNDONE
Congratulations and best wishes to Joe and Lou Mikhail for generously contributing "500 turkeys and fixings to hand out to Windsor's low-income families."
Perhaps Santa can give them a present too by filling up their building with Provincial civil servants and by allowing their TD Bank project to move forward.
Come to think of it, that would be a nice present for Windsor as well.