Stories For The Holiday Weekend
SLAM THE PROVINCE MEETING
I see that there is another Special “Eddie is our saviour” Council meeting
- “A special meeting of Windsor City Council has been scheduled for Thursday October 16, 2008 at 6:00 p.m., Council Chambers, Windsor City Hall. The agenda will include a Border Update. Please note that TV Cogeco Cable 11 will broadcast this meeting LIVE.”
Someone obviously went to a lot of trouble to have this event televised so presumably this will be a big extravaganza in which the Mayor will tell us about Son of Greenlink which has already been rejected by DRIC.
Expect to see Parsons Brinckerhoff in attendance, probably making a presentation with all of the errors made by DRIC being pointed out in great detail. I wonder if David Estrin will dare show his face as the City’s lawyer. If so, I am sure that the Bridge Company lawyers would like to see that as well.
I would have liked to have given you a lot more information by calling up one of the Councillors and asking the question about what is going on. However, I decided that there was no point in doing so. I doubt if they have seen the Agenda for the meeting yet. Unless they are loopy!
I note that the Agenda for the October 20 meeting is to be posted today but no time is given for the Agenda for the meeting on the 16th to be posted. I wonder what else is on the Agenda or are we to be surprised by that as well.
I wonder if Delegations will be permitted to speak at the session. Probably not because Eddie will not want to hear himself being blamed for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and stalling on 15,000 jobs. Nor will he have the nerve to listen as he is being slammed for still spending thousands on another rejected Plan. He would be so busy interrupting people with his Points of Clarification as delegations spoke that the "kill" button on the PA system would be worn out by evening's end.
Oh well, I assume this is the justification for months more of more stalling and delays. The big question of the evening is whether or not our Mayor will threaten litigation. By the way, on John Fairley's show, Councillor Valentinis made it clear that nothing will happen as far as a decison being made for litigation for months and months and months from now so don't take anything said seriously.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Mr. New Detroit Mayor would you please watch what you say so that Messrs. Sutts and Francis don’t have to clarify the record again to let people know what is going on. Remember, they were forced to do so by your predecessor.
We learned from a Free Press article on the ninth that:
- “Clifford Sutts, Windsor's lead negotiator on the tunnel, said he had not yet heard of the Harris proposal and declined to comment on it. He said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis is awaiting a call from Cockrel on the issue once Detroit's new mayor settles into office.”
Yet you claimed, Mr. Mayor, in a Free Press article on the eighth:
- “A big part of the deficit stems from Kilpatrick’s failed attempt to sell Detroit’s half of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to raise $65 million, a proposal Cockrel said is dead. Cockrel said he has spoken with Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis about a modified proposal where the two cities would enter into a joint management agreement.”
You better clarify immediately exactly what you mean by that Mr. Mayor. I expect that your conversation with our Mayor took place some time ago but who knows. On September 18, you said
- "As it stands at this point, the tunnel deal as we know it is dead," Cockrel, who will be publicly sworn in as mayor Friday, said during a news conference at Detroit city hall. "But I think there is still some potential there.
I've already had some preliminary discussions with Mayor (Eddie) Francis about that. I look forward to continuing that dialogue."
I note that Mr. Sutts did not say that he had not spoken with anyone from Detroit, just that he did not know about the Harris proposal
Who needs another accurate but narrow answer about what is going on with the Tunnel deal.
EDDIE’S WAY OR NO HIGHWAY
I find it interesting that the City and County seemed to have agreed that poverty is an issue for our area and to work on a solution.
- “Windsor and Essex County councils agreed Wednesday on several new regional initiatives -- including development of a broad-based anti-poverty plan.”
Moreover, it finally appears as if our Mayor understands that infrastructure jobs can be the way out of our economic dilemma:
- "Instead of plummeting from $230 million in 2002 to $158 million this year, Windsor's debt would be nearing $300 million, with punishing interest rates crippling the city's capacity to respond, including investing in labour-intensive capital projects."
Accordingly, one might have hoped that he would back off of his ridiculous opposition to the Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project and the DRIC road to the Ambassador Bridge so that 15,000 or more high-paying infrastructure and spinoff jobs could be created. At the very least at the Joint Councils meeting, one would have expected that Eddie would have looked at some way to work out an arrangement with respect to the Manning Road construction so that some jobs can be created to give hope.
Not our Mayor. Oppose, oppose, oppose! And the heck with new jobs.
- “Burton's comment that the city shouldn't be putting up roadblocks to county projects like the widening of Manning Road didn't go over well with Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis.
Francis said the city has the right under the environmental assessment process to comment on road projects in neighbouring municipalities.
Francis said the city supports widening of County Road 22, E.C. Row Expressway and Manning Road, but objects only to the timing of the work, to ensure the Highway 401 extension to a new border crossing is completed first.
"We're not against Manning and E.C. Row. We are against the sequencing," said Francis.
"We can disagree without being disagreeable."
Essex Mayor Ron McDermott said the congestion on County Road 22 and Manning Road needs to be corrected sooner rather than later "when half of us will be dead."
That’s it. No jobs. They did not bow down to Eddie’s wisdom.
CREDIT UNION SHOULD DEMAND ITS MONEY BACK
The subject of the Windsor Essex Development Commission and its future should have been one of the issues that was discussed at the Joint Councils meeting.
The City, County and the Woodslee Credit Union are major participants in the Windsor Star magazine that is going across Canada and have contributed significant sums to the ongoing operation of the WEDC.
The Development Commission some might argue is doing terrific work these days:
- They had a nice trade show in London, England the results of which no one has yet chosen to tell us
- “The Windsor-Essex Development Commission's website -- www.choosewindsoressex.com -- took a first-place award at the Economic Developers Association of Canada's annual Marketing Canada Awards”
- With the proactive and supportive stance of the WEDC, a Michigan-based information technology company opened up an office here with one employee although they hope “to add between 15 and 20 employees within the next year or two.”
To be honest though, who needs them. We ought to scrap the organization, refund the money given to support the group and let Windsor’s Mayor do all the work. He does it all now anyway.
After all, the Mayor just returned from overseas after talking to the Red Bull people in London and then he went to Germany to talk to the onion importers. Mind you, I don’t remember hearing the results of that trip either.
- “The mayor said that he will also use his brief trip overseas to visit Frankfurt, Germany, and hopefully advance the establishment of a perishable food distribution centre in Windsor, a proposal he has been pursuing for almost a year.
"There have been a lot of steps taken on developing a business case," Francis said. "This trip is an opportunity to meet with the people in Frankfurt and determine the next step."
Now, his office handles new business opportunities for local companies. Here is the press release:
- “Lockheed Martin Seeks Business from Local Aerospace and Defence Companies
Mayor Eddie Francis wishes to advise local companies of an opportunity from the Consulate of Canada in Philadelphia, PA. In partnership with the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. the Consulate requests applications from Canadian Aerospace and Defence Companies interested in doing business with Lockheed Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2). The companies who are selected by Lockheed Martin will be invited to meet with MS2 on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at MS2’s facility in Moorestown, New Jersey. Successful Canadian companies will receive an executive overview of MS2’s ongoing projects and requirements and attend one-on-one meetings with engineers and project managers responsible for vendor selection.
Applications must be submitted by Friday, October 10, 2008. Please contact the Mayor’s Office for an application if your company specializes in the following: green power; defense-related companies, R&D or SME with capabilities for next generation; Technical Innovate Products, using COTS; and Training.”
Who needs a Development Commission with Eddie on the job! Just keep your mouths shut business people and you can get in on the new business opportunities through Eddie's office. It looks like he will control that now.
Let me see now, with my $25 pro rata refund of the Estrin legal fees, my share of the DRIC project reimbursement and money back from the WEDC extravaganza, I might be able to cover part of my increase in taxes.