Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Library As The City

One short story in the Star dealing with the Library that points out in one place just about everything that is wrong with the City.

  • "He said that "as a city councillor I would have voted no," but as a library board member he would have voted yes on the motion."

There is the inherent conflict of interest I've talked about so much between acting in the best interest of the taxpayer and acting in the best interest of another organization. In whose interest is the Mayor acting when he takes action on the Tunnel as an example? What about the levy increase for the Windsor Utilities Commission or the non-increase that we saw this year for which we know we will be hammered in the future? Councillors have Board meetings and their salaries are increased dramatically by the payments received from certain Boards and shared amongst all Councillors. In whose interest is a director/Council member of one of our private Corporations acting?

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis and some councillors objected to being blamed for cutting funds leading to the closure... "If you want to blame me as chairman I'll take the blame," Halberstadt said."

At least Councillor Halberstadt has the guts to stand behind his decision. Our Teflon Mayor has to find someone else to take the fall doesn't he. It will be Brister when the arena goes over budget, naysaying and whiny negative Bloggers for our City's negative image not border stalling, sending people out of towns to find jobs or WEDC fiascos, the former WUC Administration, Hurst on everything. Eddie won't start the lawsuit against the Senior Levels on the DRIC road; we will demand it. Why does he always talk collectively about "Council" except if there is limelight and then none of them are ever around.

  • "At a joint meeting all the participants are equal," Guillet told councillors at the end of the session. "I did not feel like a joint participant. I feel I have been reprimanded, lectured and talked at."
Imagine a lowly Library Board member calling the Mayor a kindergarten teacher, in effect, scolding his pupils. It seems that not one Councillor other than Councillor Halberstadt has the nerve or the guts to stand up to Eddie and tell him off. "Spit it out," lecturing at Council, showing Councillors how to hold their arms up straight to gain his demeaning for 10 adults. And to be shown in this manner week after week on television for the entire City to see.

  • "Francis said the library board needs to move ahead with a strategic plan for the future, and said the board is having problems with how it handles its authority, or governance."
And the City's strategic Plan is what after 2 sessions put in some planters to tart up the City after cutting the Parks budget? How about jobs or is the Mayor still working on the Jobs Today Fund plans? A border solution or millions more to be spent on litigation. 15,000 jobs or a Greenlink ad blitz. Speaking of governance, open and transparent government has disappeared to be replaced by Procedural By-law tricks and games.
  • "[Francis] referred to "severance" issues with the library that are being considered in camera by council, but did not elaborate."
Why elaborate. Throw out things and see if they stick. Speaking of severance, how much of the Economic Development Commission funds will be paid out not to find new companies to relocate here or help expand but to pay off former staff! How many companies were to come here but the Mayor could not tell us who they were for confidentiality reasons. (Except for the secret German onion importers that justified a trip for two overseas at taxpayer expense).
  • "The board is being asked to reconsider closing the branch, and to look at expanding services to underserviced parts of the city."
Now how is that to be done? What magic is to be performed? How about reconsidering the Library budget? Others have to reconsider their position but not the Mayor or Council. Perhaps they are wrong on the Tunnel deal with Detroit, on the DRIC road, on the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project, on the Engineering Complex, on the WUC audit, on keeping confidential any significant transaction.

  • "Coun. Al Halberstadt, who chairs the library board and took some flak from his fellow councillors... Coun. Dave Brister is also on the board."
Only Halberstadt gets hammered because he is a thorn and does not follow the party line and kiss-up. What has the other Library Councillor suggested other than slashing reserves and distancing himself so as not to take the hit on a branch closing. You know already about the attacks on anyone who dares defy City Hall, the money being wasted on feel-good ad campaigns and the strap-on order by our local radio station. I can hardly wait for the Star's waste of money too. To survive in Windsor, one must be a cheerleader and sycophant.
  • "We have a broken [Library] system."
Let's see now, didn't the Library audit come out quite well to the shock and dismay of some on Council! Where are Eddie's audits of Departments that he promised when he first became Mayor? Who needed a WUC audit? Who had the scandal of dead men perhaps pumping gas? What will the long-delayed 400 building audit say. As for the arena [LOL].
  • "We give you that pot of money," Francis said. "I find out some of the money has been going to paying for some of those severances."
How generous of Eddie! See above re the Economic Development Commission who took a year to figure out they needed some brochures to hand out.
  • "We're the ones that write the cheque. We are concerned with the way it's been handled."
As a taxpayer whose taxes and levies are skyrocketing upwards and who can see what Eddie's new extravaganzas will cost us when they all fail, I can only say: