There is a lot more to talk about concerning the Council meeting on Monday night and other related matters. Let me tell you about some of them.
"FACE-TO-FACE" TUNNEL MEETING
A reader sent me a note this morning claiming that a number of Detroit officials were seen in the Westcourt Building on Goyeau street.
In case you were wondering, the law offices of Cliff Sutts are located at:
600 Westcourt Place, 251 Goyeau Street.
So many threats of lawsuits in this City, especially over the border file. If one is actually started, the floodgates will open and they will last for years and cost millions before there is a resolution.
Rumour has it that we should see a lawsuit started, perhaps as early as next week, involving some events that have taken place recently. Watch the scrambling when that happens.
Rest easy, it is not border related.
WHAT WOULD PERCY HATFIELD JOURNALIST SAY
Can you imagine what would have been said on Percy's Panel on CBC news? Percy as the moderator would have had a field day with this story.
What was the big influence on Councillor Hatfield in deciding to support the purchase of hybrid buses. Was it what the Mayor said, what Councillors/Transit Windsor members Postma and Lewenza said or was it the late distributed Report justifying the transaction?
Probably none of them. In order to convince Councillor Hatfield to do something it seems a high school girl out of Ottawa needs to send him an e-mail asking him to support the transaction. It seemed important to him that we went forward so that Windsor would be in the lead with respect to hybrid buses. Of course we are not as a bit of research would have demonstrated, but that doesn't seem to matter.
I guess it is not important what Windsorites think about the $11 million deal and whether it makes sense or not. It does not seem to matter to Council whether taxpayers actually get to read the Report in advance in order to decide whether or not they want to appear in front of Council as a delegation. It appears that with this transaction and perhaps with the Tunnel also finances have little role to play in the "business case."
Hatfield said that he was going to write back to the girl after the matter passed the other night. I wonder what he actually wrote after the administrative fiasco at Council that resulted in the deferral of the meeting. I'm sure that she will understand. This is Windsor of course.
COUNCILLOR POSTMA LOST THREE BUSES
In trying to justify the hybrid transaction, Councillor Postma as Chair of Transit Windsor told us that the contract for the hybrid buses was only $1.1 million more in cost than the contract for the diesel buses.
While the dollar number is correct, what she forgot to mention is for that amount of money we're getting three buses less. I hope she knew that.
EDDIE AS HAMLET
Shakespeare would be pleased with our Mayor. It appears that he is a procrastinator par excellence. Both Councillors Postma and Lewenza told us that the hybrid bus deal came forward in a big hurry.
That was strange. Eddie came back in April from Chicago with this concept of hybrid buses fresh in his mind and yet it took last-minute actions in July to try to get a contract approved for those buses and that still has not been done.
What could possibly have taken up all that time other than the Tunnel deal? Oh I've got it and here's what it is. Check out the next section.
LESS THAN 20 QUESTIONS
No wonder our poor Mayor can never sleep. He just has so many things on his mind.
In his State of the City speech, the Mayor came up with this idea of commuting i.e. sending our best and brightest out West to make money and then to have them come back on the weekends.
He has spent all of this time trying to figure out how to make this work since the speech was delivered in mid-March. Why only a month ago, I saw the following comment in a Regina newspaper:
"Francis said his city plans to survey to find how many people are already travelling to work out of province, who else would be interested and their areas of expertise.
"By anecdote, there's a significant number that are already making the trek. We just don't know how many," Francis said.
Officials can better talk abut logistics, such as how the flights would be arranged and paid for, once it's clear how many people might be involved, he said."
Well here it is... what Eddie has spent all his time on for the last four months. I'm sure that statisticians and survey companies will be examining the Questionnaire to learn how it's done:
Do you travel to Western Canada frequently?
How often do you make the trip?
Do you travel for personal reasons or for work?
If for work, where are you travelling for your job?
If there were a direct shuttle to and from your workplace, would you return to Windsor more often?
Can you imagine, the City's press release about this questionnaire has the nerve to say:
At the least whoever wrote the press release had the sense not to add in the date when the speech was delivered in March.
With the speed like this is it any wonder that the Tunnel deal has been going on for three years.
MOST RIDICULOUS COMMENT OF THE EVENING
You have to hand it to Councillor Lewenza. He is in a class by himself.
As you know, all poor Councillor Dilkens wanted to do was to have the time to read the report with respect to the hybrid buses before he cast his vote. After all, it was presented in the last-minute and it was a very major transaction.
That did not impress Junior. In a comment that I just could not believe I heard come out of his mouth, he told Councillor Dilkens that once Dilkens got the chance to read the Report he was confident that Dilkens would think that it was a very good initiative.
DUH Junior. The reason one reads a report before there is a vote not after is so that one can decide whether one should be for or against what is being proposed on an informed basis. If the vote had been taken, then there would be no point in Councillor Dilkens reading that Report because the decision had already been made! Who cared at that time whether he thought it was a good initiative or not.
WAS HE JUST HAVING FUN
It has been said on more than one occasion that no one on Council will second a Motion introduced by Councillor Halberstadt. Yet last night he introduced one and it was seconded.
Who did it... none other than Councillor Dilkens.
Why did he do it? Did he want to get back at his colleagues for their foolishness with respect to his request for a deferral? I don't think he's that petty.
I suspect that he did it because he felt that his Council colleague should have the opportunity to present what he wanted to discuss. I think that is being called being a responsible Councillor.
It did not matter anyway. The Mayor did not allow the Motion to go forward without a reconsideration vote which was lost. After playing with the Motion language subsequently, he did tell the Councillor that that he would have to come back with new language if he wished to introduce a different type of Motion to achieve his objective.
Why that couldn't have been done prior to or on Monday night by amending the Motion is beyond me.
HALBERSTADT AS A GEORGE CLOONEY LOOK-ALIKE
You be the judge of the Councillor's new look when looking at Clooney's photo below.POTENTIAL MAYORAL CANDIDATE
It looks like there might be somebody new whose name is being kicked around. The rumours with respect to Dave Cooke running just won't go away although I heard that he has said that he has no interest in doing so.
The new name is an interesting one because I expect that he would have a great deal of business support behind him. He is a lawyer in town who has actually practiced for more than a few days. (Oh no, can this City take another lawyer as Mayor?) He was Chair of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce so he would be very familiar with a lot of the issues that impact on the City.
He made good sense recently with comments on the border issue:
"But with jobs and investment at stake, the local business community does not want any more delays getting construction started on a border traffic route solution, said the chamber's chairman"
"We want to see something done," he said. "The concern of business is to get this moving forward. That's in the best interests of the community."
He understands that
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the potential new mayoral candidate, Peter Hrastovec! Another person to enter the race against Bill Marra to take away votes from him so that Eddie can sneak up through the middle.
BRISTER AS SCAPEGOAT
I found it very interesting that Councillor Brister gave a press conference with respect to the East End Arena.
One should expect that he would give the press conference because after all he is the Chair of the Committee involved.
But just consider, who is the head of the WUC--- Junior. But who was the one who was front and centre dealing with this matter for damage control--- the Mayor.
Who is the Chair of Transit Windsor--- Councillor Postma. But who is the one who was front and centre dealing with the applause of the crowd for going "green"--- the Mayor.
All that I can imagine is that the Mayor knows that the Arena will be a fiasco and wants to stay as far away from it as possible. Let Councillor Brister be front and centre on that one!
YOUR CHILD SHOULD GROW UP TO BE AN ARTIST
I told you before that being able to render drawings is a growing profession in Windsor. We learned that $10,000 has been spent on drawings for some potential economic development opportunity in the Urban Village area.
I am told that we may see a vision that will be focused around Caron Avenue and the river. One person described it to me as resembling San Antonio, Texas perhaps with their River Walk area to capitalize on what has been going on with our riverfront.
With canals connecting to the river, perhaps the idea is to try to become the "Venice of Canada" as well since we already have Sam's plans to make Huron Church the equivalent of the Champs Elysées.
I must admit that, when I heard about this, the first thing I thought of were the boards and artists' renderings created by DRIC in United States to show the Delray residents how beautiful their area was going to become even though an international bridge was going to be built through their community.
The only fly in the ointment there, and here too, will be lack of money. But hey, since when has that stopped anyone from THINKING BIG!