Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Edgar's Mayoral Style

All sizzle but no steak.

When I first got involved in Edgar's mayoral campaign the first time around, I thought I was dealing with a man of substance who would do great things for my hometown. A true Leader around whom Windsorites could rally. Instead...well you know how I feel. I got the burger on the right.

And thanks to Dalton McGuinty, he is around for one extra year in a four year term with no right of recall.

Darn, close but no cigar. Yet.

As I predicted in my BLOG yesterday, here come the Editorials exonerating Edgar (aka Eddie) for his absurd Pelissier Street remarks. Oh, Anne Jarvis did a column too except it was about walking kids to school---the "see no evil, write no evil" approach like Gord's past Saturday column. I can hardly wait for mini-Gord tomorrow to ignore the topic too!
  • "Make it the University President's problem to solve, not Edgar's. That's the idea. Have mini-Gord do a column along with Anne, Gord, an Editorial and a cartoon too. A full-court press."

I Blogged that yesterday. Nothing in the Editorial about it being the University students' fault and that the University President better do something about it so Edgar can go about handing out Keys to the City or have mind's eye visions. Not yet anyway. Perhaps Gord can help on Saturday.

But I really liked the Editorial today. It tells us exactly what Edgar's Mayoral style is and why this City is in such bad shape. Let me set out the relevant parts and I will fisk it. Forget the subject matter. It could be any topic. Just look at the concepts I will identify about his style of non-Leadership:

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis is taking a lot of heat for his comments Monday about the dangers of being on Pelissier Street in the early hours of the morning, but we're not sure why. [Clearly, the Editorial group has a major problem if they cannot grasp such an easy concept. I wonder if they actually read any of the comments on their Forum. Actually, they probably did.

    But then again, the Star has to downplay the subject and take on the task to save Edgar from his own absurdity. Just like a good Messenger would do]

    The concerns are real and the evidence speaks for itself. There have been at least seven gun incidents on Pelissier Street since 2003. Three of them have resulted in death. All of them took place in an area that has become synonymous with brawling behaviour and illegal weapon use when patrons spill out of downtown bars just hours before sunrise. [The problem has been around for years and what has happened to try and solve it. Other matters like canal and airport visions or running a border operation are so much more interesting than solving civic problems like sewage into the river or fixing roads and sewers or people being shot and killed or badly injured. Being an entrepreneur at taxpayer expense is so good for career buiding too]...

    That's why it's difficult to understand why Chris Edwards, executive director of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, would suggest Francis's comments were unfair.

    "I don't think that's helpful to the situation," Edwards said of the mayor's warning to steer clear of the area at certain times. "That doesn't get to the solution."

    [Why is this unfair? Oh I get it, direct criticism at another. Edwards correctly points out that Edgar's comment is destructive of the Downtown he was hired to re-invigorate and no solution was offered]

    No, it doesn't, but Francis wasn't trying to offer a solution at that point. He was responding to the community's concerns and the fears of residents who live in the area. In doing so, the mayor was addressing the real and present danger that exists for those who choose to be on Pelissier Street between 2 and 4 a.m. Especially given the historical problems that have plagued the area. [Of course he could not offer a solution. He does not have one after all of these years of inaction. If he had, someone would have asked why it had NOT been undertaken already!

    Exactly the problem with Edgar's non-leadership. When the problem re-develops, a strategy is needed to divert attention away from the fact that he messed up and did not do anything and the problem came back. Say something controversial so people will deal with that rather than his failure! Does it matter to Edgar that the Downtown has been badly hurt by his fear story when his personal credibility is on the line.]

    Edwards was correct when he said the recent incident "gives us an opportunity to talk about our problems." We anticipate he and DWBIA board members will take a leadership role in working with the city to resolve the issue. It's in the best interest of everyone to make the core safer. [Ummm shouldn't the Mayor and the head of the Police Services Board be in the lead? That's why he was elected wasn't it? Excpet when there is a tough issue then he is just one of eleven on Council. In that way as well, he cannot be blamed for anything happening down the road. Put the onus on someone else when the going gets too tough and grab the glory if everything works out]

    One of the possibilities floated by the mayor is to turn a section of Pelissier Street into a pedestrian mall. Another suggested by Edwards is to flood the area with light when the bars close, making it harder to commit a crime under the cover of darkness. Those and other solutions should certainly be discussed in anticipation of the streetscaping that begins in March. ["Floating ideas" not solutions is what Edgar is good at. Greenlink, canals, cargo shanties. Solving problems is something with which he has difficulty. I bet he saw a pedestriam mall in his mind's eye too. Time for a consultant who lives more than 4-500 km away to be retained. Imagine that, something so simple as increased lighting was not carried out even with past problems. I am shocked that he did not mention increased policing too but then who would be available when there are frat parties to bust]

    It's important to note that despite Sunday's tragic murder, downtown is undergoing a welcoming transformation. Youth-oriented bars are being turned into themed restaurants that will entice more mature patrons to the core, and there's an opportunity for independent retailers to return and reinvest in the heart of our city. [Oooops. Got to save Edgar if I was right about Windsor's new East End downtown being created]

    But at the end of the day, we can't fault the mayor for speaking his mind; it would be wrong to try to sugar coat it. This is a serious problem that must be resolved, and we have every confidence that it can be." [Change the debate. Ignore why people are angry and confirm again why subscriptions to the Star have been cancelled. Set up a strawman like the good Messenger the Star is. The fault is not speaking his mind but being stupid and damaging a key area of the City that is being re-invigorated as the Star pointed out only days before. It will be resolved as the CUPE strike was once Edgar gets out of the way!]

Perhaps the Star could interview Councillor Halberstadt as they did in December, 2007 and he could repeat what he said then:

  • "Coun. Alan Halberstadt said he supports closing bars at 3 a.m., though he's willing to look at other options -- such as restricting after-hours clubs to Ouellette Avenue.

    "I'm in favour of a 3 a.m. closing time, because trouble seems to brew between 3 and 6 in the morning," he said. "And I'd like to see a quick resolution to this.

    "But Pelissier seems to be the problem area. So maybe we could zero in on Pelissier."

Or perhaps the Star Editorial should have said this:

  • "Saturday's shooting doesn't appear to be random act involving strangers. The victim and suspect allegedly knew each other. The community, and particularly council, needs to know more about factors that led to this murder, and what realistic measures can taken to prevent further violence -- not just on Pelissier Street, but all streets."

Actually they did. In December, 2007!