More Stories Pour In
EDDIE'S NEWEST TUNNEL DEAL PARTNER
It really was totally predictable as you read here before:
- Cockrel has transition team ready just in case
'I'm prepared to do what is necessary'
If Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick does indeed step down from office today as part of a plea deal, City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. will become the city's 61st mayor.
The city charter dictates that when a sitting mayor is removed, resigns or dies in office, the City Council president replaces him...
The city's budget and finances is a major concern, and Cockrel said he is unsure whether Kilpatrick has been truthful with the council about the state of the city's books.
"I need to get a better handle on what is or is not the city's financial situation," he said. "I think some form of financial review is necessary..."
Cockrel faces a host of major issues.
There's the languishing deal proposed by Kilpatrick to sell the city's half of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel for $65 million to help balance the budget.
Cockrel said he wants to reopen talks on a deal with Windsor on the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, but not to sell the city's half and instead work out a joint management agreement that could net the city revenue over the long term."
Here we go again!
A RAY OF LIGHT NEEDED
I happened to notice on the list of people who are members of Dave Cooke’s canal feasibility study team the name of Mike Ray. He is shown as a “Member at Large” rather than someone who seems to be appointed from an organization like the CAW or the Chamber of Commerce.
I wonder how he was picked. Was there an application form that someone had to fill in? If so, I did not see one nor did I see an advertisement for the position. Does he have any special qualifications for the position? He must be a very important person go to be chosen because it seems that he must represent the “public” on this august team.
I’m not certain who this Mike Ray is. I did notice that there is a Michael Ray on the Windsor Port Authority who was appointed by the City of Windsor. He is a retired lawyer apparently. It wouldn’t make any sense to have him as a Member at Large since the Port Authority already has two other places on the Team.
There was a Mike Ray who ran for Mayor when Eddie first ran…until he dropped out three days later. He might have given Eddie a good run for his money if he had stayed in the race and that might have allowed Bill Marra to sneak up the middle. The Star seemed to like him because they pushed his name about a year before the election as a person who could possibly run for Mayor. He made this comment when he was running
- "At the time, he said that he believed Marra and Francis were too young and inexperienced and that the job needed someone with maturity, integrity and sensible leadership abilities."
I do not know if they are one and the same person or different people.
Oh well, perhaps Chair Cooke could provide an explanation if he's not too busy with this project, his other tasks with the University and the Education Quality and Accountability Office to which he has just been appointed.
HAS THE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION HEARD ABOUT THE BORDER FILE
Here is an interesting slide that was presented at Council by the WEDC representative. It is a shame that the Chair, Remo Mancini, had a conflict and could not attend because I'm certain, given his past experience, that he would have remembered that there was an issue with respect to the border going on in Windsor for the last six years or so.
The slide mentions any number of positive factors for the region including the multimillion dollar Casino expansion and the new Engineering s complex.
Here is a quiz for you. What isn't mentioned? You got it: the multi-billion dollar DRIC and/or Greenlink road and the Enhancement Project and/or the DRIC bridge.
Can you believe it?
It is an absolute disgrace to ignore this project considering that it will produce thousands of new jobs that ought to encourage people to come to the region and that will produce the foundation for our new economy.
It must mean that this is not part of the sales package that these people use with new investors. Perhaps someone could enlighten them.
At the least however in going through their presentation it seems that they have dropped this stupidity:
- "Because of the nature of the region’s strategy, traditional performance measures such as the number of new plants attracted, or the number of jobs retained, albeit significant, should not be the primary indicators of success. These could actually be counterproductive by driving the wrong behaviour."
CAESARS TALKING UP A STORM
It is the perfect economic storm. Here is how Holly Ward of Caesars Windsor describes it:
- “Since 2001, Canadian tourism has taken a major hit because of border concerns, the strong Canadian dollar, the economic climate on both sides of the border and more recently, high gasoline prices.
But Caesars Windsor spokeswoman Holly Ward said those issues have been partially mitigated by the influx of 5,000 visitors on concert nights in the new Colosseum…
Of course, the Colosseum has been a major change as well and there's clearly been a spike in attendance with the influx of 5,000 people on concert nights."
"I would say the majority are U.S. visitors, but there has been an increase in our Canadian clientele as well," said Ward.”
The latest border crossing statistics that I have seen do not tell a very good story. The traffic at both the Bridge and the Tunnel were down again in July compared with last year. Naturally, the Bridge Co. traffic is down considerably because of the Ambassador Gateway project. However once again, that traffic has disappeared from the region and people have not crossed over since the Tunnel did not capture the traffic lost from the Bridge. The traffic year to date for both the Bridge and the Tunnel is down compared with last year.
The only good news for the Tunnel is that its loss is certainly not as great as that of the Bridge. It is impossible to tell whether the Tunnel numbers are bolstered by the Colosseum or whether it is traffic that is afraid of being caught up in the Gateway construction.
The real tragedy is that the Bridge and Tunnel are NOT co-operating to increase the number of tourists coming over. Oh well, Eddie has not gotten over the fact that the two crossings are competitors. It seems to me that he has lost sight of the big picture of what is good for Windsor.