Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 07, 2008

Good News Bear

Thank goodness.

The police missing person file can now be closed. The bloodhounds can stand down. The search parties can be called off. He has been found, alive and well and still living in Windsor-Essex.

Yes, dear reader, the Chair of the Economic Development Commission, Remo Mancini, has surfaced. He had been invisible over the last few days when Matthew Fischer was terminated as CEO of the Commission.

The task of delivering the bad news and standing up to the questions of the media was left to the Bad News Bear, Vice-Chair of the Board, Dr. Albert Schumacher. The Chair, was nowhere to be found. I'm sure that you also noticed on the Press Release I posted the other day about the termination of Mr. Fischer, Mr. Mancini's name was not mentioned there either as a contact.

Chair Mancini should be annoyed at the omission. What a slight! If you will recall, he said:

  • "his top priority as chairman of the group is to hire a full-time chief executive officer within the next few months to lead the commission's efforts to improve the regional economy...

    Mancini said the commission is seeking a "dynamic, energetic, and knowledgeable" person to act as CEO."

Oh well, perhaps the professional recruitment company can do better even if it costs a few bucks. The Commission people involved in Fischer's hiring just so you know were:

  • "Roger Bryant of KPMG is facilitating the search process and members of the search committee include Skorobohacz, Essex County CAO Brian Gregg, commission chairman Remo Mancini and members Gina Leslie of Casino Windsor and Allan Conway of the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor."

I'm sure you remember this story in the Star some time ago. It looks like Tecumseh Deputy Mayor Burton was right in what he wanted to do. Who knows what he might have seen in the Minutes about the mess that the Commission was in had he been given access to them. City and County Councils might have been able to intervene to do something. Mind you, wasn't that the job of the CAOs to keep their Councils advised:

  • "Tecumseh Deputy Mayor Tom Burton's bid to cut off funding to the Essex Windsor Development Commission if agendas and minutes of its meetings aren't made public received little support this week from county councillors.

    Burton was accused of "grandstanding" and being "antagonistic." His motion was rebuffed Wednesday night in a 10-3 vote.

    "It's not grandstanding," responded Burton. He said...Every municipal council, county council and other publicly funded bodies separate their public and in-camera meeting minutes, he pointed out.

    The city and county fund the commission, and minutes of its meetings should be available to the public, not just those who sign confidentiality agreements, Burton argued.

    Burton has been trying for six months to see commission records...

    "I hope the public goes nuts," concluded Burton."

However, when there is something positive at the Commission, guess which Good News Bear is front and centre with the quote: oh I'm sure you can figure it out for yourself! Here's the press release.

  • Attention News Editors:

    Ontario Invests In Diversifying Windsor Economy
    McGuinty Government Stimulating Growth In New Sectors

    TORONTO, April 4 /CNW/ -

    Windsor-Essex will use a grant from the provincial government to develop a "Virtual Incubator" to identify and support local businesses responsible for job creation.

    The program will help the region respond to changes in the automotive industry and the affects of a high Canadian dollar - and make Windsor-Essex "investment-ready" for future opportunities.

    Run by a not-for-profit corporation, the incubator will stimulate local economic growth and job creation. The province is providing $600,000 as part of its Communities in Transition program to get the incubator up and running.

    The incubator will have board representation from the Odette School of Business, the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor, Deloitte LLC, BMO/Bank of Montreal, Woodslee Credit Union and the WindsorEssex Development Commission.


    "Windsor-Essex has the skills and the resources to succeed," said Minister Sandra Pupatello. "Our government is working in partnership to give this community the tools they need to create jobs for this highly skilled workforce."

    "This is great news for the people of Windsor-Essex," said Bruce Crozier, MPP, Essex. "Our government's support will help give this community options and solutions moving forward."

    "This initiative plays a key role in creating new opportunities for our local economy," said Remo Mancini, Chair, WindsorEssex Development Commission. "This announcement of the provincial government's support is welcome news."