Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Bunch Of Small Stories

There is so much going on that is hard to keep up.

I wish I had the time to write full BLOGs on each of these items but I don't. So here they are in a shortened version just to let you know some of the interesting things that are going on in our town.


As I have explained to you before, on many occasions, you might want to start reading Windsor Star stories and columns from the end. That's where all the important revelations are laid out. In another Larry Horwitz column, Gord Henderson right at the end wrote the following:
  • "It's time for the five footdraggers on council and Mayor Eddie Francis to find some spinal fortitude on this issue."

Imagine that, Gord actually saying nasty things about the Mayor, saying he has no backbone!

Don't mark the column date on your calendar quite yet. Don't get too carried away. This is Gord just giving Eddie a gentle slap on the wrist. So far.


In case you have forgotten, here are the people that Gord Henderson believes will fight for being Mayor in 2010 when Eddie leaves:

  • "I'm placing early money that it will be between Marra and Ward 1 Coun. Dave Brister."

I am convinced that while Gord owes the Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget a favour since Brister helped save his home as Chair of STOPDRTP, he is realistic enough to know that Brister could never beat Marra in an election. Marra is much too smooth for Brister and Marra's election machine would be just too powerful.

Once again, Brister is being praised by the Star's columnist or so he thinks:

  • "The next day Brister was over the moon at how well (with a couple of predictable exceptions) these two supposedly hostile groups got along. "It was a beautiful thing. You walked out of there feeling absolutely vindicated."

    He wasn't totally surprised. "I knew from sitting on ERCA (Essex Region Conservation Authority) that there are good people in the county that we can sit in a room with and hash stuff out. There were a lot of people in that room (Wednesday) night that I have a huge amount of respect for."

What a strange word to use "vindicated." For suggesting a meeting? For thinking that people have brains and can get along?

Of course, the quote from Brister is typical of him and shows how much of a divisive force that he is. He places people into camps, the good and the bad, just as he did with his Council colleagues:

  • "This term it's totally different. Now it's insiders and outsiders, with Marra, the guy who insisted during the last campaign that he would be Francis's biggest supporter and a virtual deputy mayor, the apparent leader of an undeclared opposition that includes Al Halberstadt in Ward 3, Drew Dilkens in Ward 1 and Ward 5's Percy Hatfield.

    "I would call it the 'take down the mayor' clique versus those who want to move the city forward," said Brister."

So Brister has identified "hostile camps" within his own Council. I guess he does not have respect for those considered his enemies. Frankly, how can anyone now work with him on Council from the outsider side after that slur?

Gord has a sense of humour, allowing Brister to bury himself. The funniest quote that Gord disclosed was the following that most people will not appreciate. It is Gord mooning Brister, again:

  • "It's a matter of getting to know people and recognizing they are not the enemy, said Brister. He said for three or four city councillors, this was their first direct contact with as many as five or six of their county colleagues. For the first time, they could move beyond being suspicious strangers in rival armed camps."

Here is Brister talking about meeting people and understanding that they may not the enemy. Yet, when he has a chance to meet a border proponent and learn that maybe they have something to offer:

  • he does not vote to give the Bridge Co. extra time at Council to discuss their billion dollar Enhancement Project (neither did anyone else)
  • "DRTP officials have been busy in recent weeks meeting with politicians and transportation authorities on both sides of the border to explore the possibility...

    He [Brister] declined an invitation to meet with DRTP over its latest plan" the double-stack rail tunnel."
  • "Brister, a vehement opponent of the original DRTP plan, has not met with the group to hear about the revised design [underground truck road]. He could not be reached for comment about why he declined the group's invitation...

    But his ward mate, Coun. Joyce Zuk, felt she owed it to her constituents to listen."

Compare Brister today with what his Ward-mate Drew Dilkens says:

  • "Dilkens said he'll talk to anyone, including high-profile bridge company and DRTP representatives, "but that doesn't mean they're running me in any way, shape or form. I'm an independent thinker but I try to get as many inputs as I can."

Letting people know about what you are doing openly and transparently:

  • "Unfortunately, Dilkens' motion was defeated by a 6-4 margin, with ...Couns. Dave Brister... endorsing the secretive status quo that spawned this democratic accountability initiative in the first place."

Poor Dave, one day he will learn.


I wonder who at the Star advertising department heads the City of Windsor account. The bonus for that person with all of this Greenlink advertising will be quite attractive I'm sure.

I should find out again if there was a Request for Proposal for the agency to create all of these advertisements. Last time I asked in mid-February, I was told, after Councillor Dilkens said on Face-to-Face that he expected an RFP to be undertaken:

  • "The procurement of goods and services for this particular project will follow the Purchasing By-law, whether it be through the competitive bid process, or Sole Sourcing, whichever is deemed in the best interest of the City of Windsor.

    As of today, I have not received any formal written requisitions from the Department, for anything related to this particular project."

It would be nice if the Agency and the Mayor got together on what the main focus for Greenlink should be. Try and find the word JOBS in the latest advertisement.


The secret is now out.

I've written to the City Clerk asking for a copy of the entire report on the poll since it is now a public document being mentioned on the Greenlink site.

I wonder how much this cost taxpayers and how many books for the Library could have been purchased instead.


Excuses, excuses, excuses. That is all the Mayor gives us.

You know already that the Mayor's excuse for not attending the meeting in which Ministers Duncan and the Pupatello handed out money to Windsor was:
  • "Mayor Eddie Francis did not attend because he was at a read-a-thon at General Brock elementary school."

Fortunately, two good Liberals, Councillors Valentinis and Marra were able to attend. Of course, I assume that this was an excuse for Eddie not to meet with the Ministers.

I must admit that I find it very strange that the Mayor could not change the time when he was attending at the school so that he could accommodate the Ministers. After all, from the General Brock School website, it states that:

  • "Read-a-Thon activities take place all day long from JK to Grade 8."

Seriously, how do we know that he really was there and not just hiding from the two Ministers as he did when he flew off to Germany at taxpayer expense so he would not confront Dwight.

We need proof that he really was at the event. There is only one way that he could demonstrate that as far as I'm concerned. Now here is something that I would like to see to prove his attendance at the Read-a-Thon:

  • "While our main goal is to raise funds and promote literacy, we are going to have a lot of fun in the process. Read-A-Thon day is also pajamas Day at Brock! Our staff and students really dress down on that day…they wear their comfy, cozy flannel PJ’s, fleecy slippers and robes! Many of our guests have even promised to wear their PJ’s, slippers and robes, too!!"

Where's the photo? After all, a promise is a promise:

  • "It sends a powerful message to kids if we cancel at the last minute," said Norma Coleman, Francis's chief of staff."
It sends a powerful message to the Government and the citizens of Windsor if we do not see Eddie in his Pj's, slippers and robe.


Oh I know it's not fair since it was a typo, but it's too hilarious not to point out.

In the original story on the Windsor Star online dealing with the infrastructure money to be given to Windsor to repair roads and bridges, the following quote was attributed to Mike Palanacki, executive director of public works of the City:
  • "We are taking preemptive steps to fix brides before we have serious issues with them."
I thought that was pretty tough talk and rather sexist. I wonder what they were going to do to brides. I did not know they were broken. This was subsequently changed to:
  • "We are taking preemptive steps to fix bridges before we have serious issues with them."