The Price Of Eddie Francis
How does one judge if the Mayor is doing a good job or a bad one?
If you have been reading my BLOG, then you know what I think of the Mayor's lack of accomplishment. On the other hand, the cheerleaders and sycophants would have you believe that Eddie has been doing a marvelous job and that he should be applauded for his efforts.
Which one of us is right? I'm sure that is an issue that cannot be resolved easily since it is so subjective.
However, is there an objective way of making that decision? For example, certain people will argue that the Tunnel deal if it is completed is a great boon for Windsor. I would argue, depending on the terms which I will probably never see, that it could well be a disaster for Windsor in more ways than one.
Look at Eddie's commuter plan. I think it is a joke on which he has spent little thought while the Star Editorial today states:
- "Mayor Eddie Francis's idea of providing an air-shuttle service to booming economies in Western Canada makes sense."
See what I mean. Who is right?
I was watching television and happened to see a MasterCard commercial. That gave me a great idea about the approach I should take. Let me know what you think:
Tunnel Deal: Cost of $100-200 Million
If Eddie had done the Tunnel deal when he first said the Tunnel was worth $200-$300 million, then we would not be doing a deal priced supposedly in June, 2007 at $111 million. As I argued in a different BLOG, given that the new DRIC bridge will take about a quarter of Tunnel traffic, the valuation will be substantially less today.
That assumes of course that the valuation is accurate the first place.
And if the deal with Detroit goes through and there is a default with Windsor on the hook for the repayment of the loan...I don't even want to think about it!
Tunnel Dividends lost: cost of millions per year
Under the Mayor's leadership the dividend of the Tunnel has sunk from $6.6 million at least from the time of the Joint Councils meeting in Detroit to $0 today.
MFP loss: cost of $68 million
I love how the Mayor put it to justify the disastrous results:
- "Taxpayers will save millions of dollars and hopefully this is not one of those situations people ever forget about."
I have not forgotten! Nor has my pocketbook. Who could!
There is no doubt that a good settlement is better than a bad Court decision. Nevertheless, the failure of the City in the Court of Appeal to be able to keep confidential a key Windsor document proved our undoing. Someone made a mess and a damaging forensic accountant report lost its legal privilege thereby allowing the other side see all of our dirty linen.
Windsor Utilities Commission fiasco: cost of 86% water rate increase so far
Never mind the cost of a whitewash audit, we have the Mayor saying in May, 2005 that he believed water rates were too high. When the rates were increased so dramatically, he had the nerve to try and blame it on past administrations of the Commission. Francis accused them
- "of playing politics by keeping a lid on rates even as the city's watermains deteriorated."
What is the cost of watermain replacement---somewhat over $800M.
East End Arena: cost of $50 million and counting
Remember what the Mayor ran on in his platform. He wanted a public/private partnership in downtown Windsor with the City's maximum exposure at $15 million. Now we have an arena in a location that does not help the downtown with the City bearing many of the risks. Who knows what the total amount will be. And if it loses money every year in operating costs given the nice deal the Spits received...?
Lack of infrastructure and spinoff jobs: cost of 10 to 15,000 jobs
We know that the Ambassador Gateway project in Detroit will be responsible for about 2800 jobs in itself. The contribution rebuilding some infrastructure in Windsor by the Province recently will create over hundred jobs. My estimate, based on what the Construction Association has said in the past, is that the Enhancement Project and building the road to the bridge would produce between 10 to 15,000 high-paying infrastructure and spinoff jobs. Even the Mayor has finally admitted that 19,000 man-years of work would be created and Dwight Duncan tossed out the number of 7500 jobs. DRIC mentioned 12,000.
How many have actually been created in Windsor... well actually, the Mayor is trying to send people out of the City for work as he continually stalls the border process for years now, ever since the first Schwartz report right up to Greenlink.
Canderel lease, Mady parking garage, funky bus terminal, Keg parking, Cleary, Capitol, lawyers and consultants and ad blitzes etc., etc., etc: Cost of too many millions to even think about
Look at all these transactions that have been undertaken that have cost us money for a variety of different reasons. If the naming rights for the arena are any indication, I had a good idea of what the release of the Spitfires' agreements with the City would look like. I was not wrong.
Heaven help us on the recent airport and proposed Tunnel deals.
Slightly less than 2 1/2 years before Eddie's term is over: Cost to taxpayers will be priceless!