Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Transformation of Eddie

Last week was the week of the beginning of the rebranding of the image of Eddie Francis as our Mayor. Just wait if DRIC dares try to do something at the end of the month that hurts the City.

Knuckle under to Greenlink boys or Eddie will be all over you. If he talks about lawsuit, he won't be threatening this time around. You can bet on that one.

We're seeing it right in front of our eyes. Clark Kent turning into Superman. Dr. Bruce Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk. The Transformers live and in person!

It started on CKLW on Tuesday with the following comment from Eddie:
  • "We have to get out this mindset that everything needs to be studied. And really, we can’t be afraid of making decisions. If they’re the right decisions and they’re supported, then there’s a reason to make them."

It was followed up with and Gord Henderson's column on Saturday with this comment:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis told me this week that he's asked the city's legal department to craft a bylaw that would let the city declare war on eyesores. "Don't tell me I can't do it. Tell me how I can do it. We need to have something that can't be challenged in court," said Francis of the city's current legal impotence."
I'm sure that you saw the story in the Star about the demolition of former fire engine factory on Walker Road, the Seagrave Building. Everyone is demanding an explanation and that heads roll because this building was torn down.

It's interesting to watch the finger-pointing going on. For example take a look at what the Chair of the Heritage Committee said:
  • "It was a very significant industrial building that we had hoped to designate (give it official historical designation) someday," Heil said Thursday..."

    "The building department dropped the ball," Heil said..."

    "We're not in the business of trying to designate every single building on the inventory. I would classify this one though as one of the more prominent and important buildings on the inventory, and we very, very much regret seeing it lost," Heil said."
Well it is not as easy as that. Perhaps if Mr. Heil had acted yester--day and not some--day the building would still be up.

In any event, let's take a look at Gord Henderson's Saturday column. It starts off talking about the "The tragedy of the Seagrave Building." And then, halfway through, all of a sudden the column is transformed into discussion about abandoned buildings and homes! Gord changes the conversation just like Eddie ordered in his State of the City speech.

The Mayor of Windsor is quoted there. Does he take responsibility as the CEO of the City for the snafu... Eddie, take any blame, oh please. Does he let us know that he is undertaking an immediate investigation to ensure that this does not happen again... Eddie's Administration never makes mistakes, please. But if a scapegoat can be found, so much the better.

Lo and behold there is our Mayor huffing and puffing and banging on his chest being all-powerful. Now it is the new Eddie, the tough, take action guy who doesn't require months of study in order to take action. I guess that is what the headline in the Henderson column meant when it said "Trash the Past." It is Eddie's weak past that is being trashed supposedly.

His image requires an immediate transformation so that he is no longer viewed as the consultant-hiring, report and study preparing, weak, ineffectual leader who is afraid to make any kind of decision in case he is wrong.
  • "Don't tell me I can't do it. Tell me how I can do it."
Wow! Now that's the kind of Mayor that our City needs. At least I'm sure that's what his polling told him.

I wonder if Eddie will really call anyone to use

  • "moral persuasion to convince owners .. to fix up their properties. "I'm sure they'll be co-operative when we call them. I know they'll help us."
That moral persuasion stuff is really tough talk isn't it. I sure am impressed!

I wonder if his first call will be to the owner of the Ambassador Bridge and demand that he tear down the homes on Indian Road and replace the derelict buildings with green space instead using the assistance of the University's Green Corridor Group.

Ooooops, my mistake. That is what the Bridge Company wanted to do and Eddie and his cohorts on Council prevented them from doing that.

Eddie has his chance Monday night at Council. He can ensure that the criteria for demolition of buildings in Sandwich includes those homes!

But don't hold your breath. After all, it's just another ad campaign. It won't last long. Just until the next one starts.