Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

More Mail From Readers

Here are some very interesting reader comments:

1) "As the Michigan Department of Transportation celebrates the opening of the new I-75 Vernor ramp, major features of the Gateway Project remain closed. Direct access to the Ambassador Bridge from I-75 still isn’t a reality, even though the ramps have been completed for months. Please see the attached letter from the Detroit International Bridge Company to M-DOT requesting the opening of the ramps, for the good of the public, while we work on an agreement for our remaining differences.

2) This story (Ottawa's refusal to take Gitmo inmates irks U.S.) doesn't look like it is bridge related DRIC or otherwise but you don't snub the US on one thing and hope to get something else!

3) I've never done this but had to put in my two cents regarding the 400
Building Audit Report in answer to the "evil" Toronto lawyer who felt
he needed to educate us about the Municipal Act. ENOUGH IS

The City of Windsor has not yet received any "legal opinions"
regarding the 400 Building Audit. The self proclaimed "evil" Toronto
lawyer has simply presented arguments in favour of secrecy.

However, the argument that secrecy is a requirement is specious. It
takes Subsection 223.22(1) out of context with the remaining
subsections of that Part of the Act as if it stood alone, which it
does not.

First consider subsection 224(d.1) which states, in part, that one of
the roles of council is "to ensure the accountability and transparency
of the operations of the municipality,...."

Then look at subsection 223.19(1) which states, in part, "....Auditor
General who reports to council and is responsible for assisting the
council in holding itself and its administrators accountable for the
quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value
for money in municipal operations."

That is followed by subsection 223.29(3) which states, in part,
"...the Auditor General may exercise the powers and shall perform the
duties as may be assigned to him or her the the municipality..."

So far,it appears the Province is providing council with assistance in
its role of ensuring the accountability and transparency of the
operations of the municipality, through the office of the Auditor
General. Presumably, council would want to receive reports from the
Auditor General and would regard these reports as a duty of the
Auditor General.

Now, consider subsection 223.22(1) which is the only subsection put
forward by the "evil" Toronto lawyer in his argument. It does state,
in part, "The Auditor General...shall preserve secrecy with respect to
all matters.....".

However, paragraphs 223.22(2)(a) and (b) add further clarification by
stating, in part.."...the persons required to preserve secrecy under
subsection (1) shall not communicate information to another person in
respect of any matter described in subsection (1) except as may be
required, (a) in connection with the administration of this part,
including reports made by the Auditor General, or with any proceedings
under this part; or (b) under the Criminal Code.

*So clearly the Act provides exceptions to the secrecy, as may be
required, for the administration of this part (see subsection
223.19(1) ) and for the issuance of the Auditor General's report.*

In addition, subsection 223.22(4) and section 223.23 also clarify that
the Auditor General and any person acting under the instructions of
the Auditor General are not subject to the MFOIPPA and are not
compellable witnesses "in a civil proceeding in connection with
anything done under this part."

Lastly, the language in subsections 223.22(1), (2) and (3) of the
Municipal Act reflect and closely mirrors the language in subsections
27.1(1), (2) and (3) of the Ontario Auditor General Act.

So is the "evil" Toronto lawyer arguing that the Ontario Auditor
General's reports must also be secret? Will the KPMG report be
addressed to the "evil Toronto lawyer who will transmit the report to
the Audit Committee under solicitor-client privilege thus keeping the
KPMG report secret without blaming the Municipal Act? Stay tuned.

4) I Just read..........The Windsor Canal Project Business Case....what a pile of horse****!.....Do people actually believe this?

5) Of course, children are getting the short end in Michigan too. To balance this year’s budget, the state slashed aid to school districts by $296 per pupil, virtually guaranteeing greater class sizes, teacher layoffs and whole districts going bankrupt.

Also, I saw on the Huffington Post an AP story about the counties hardest hit by the recession. While California and Nevada counties dominate the list, it is still sobering to note that four of the top 20 hardest-hit counties are in Southeast Michigan: Wayne (10th), Lapeer (11th), St. Clair (12th) and Macomb (16th). Meanwhile, Michigan cuts revenue sharing to counties and local governments by 11 percent in the new budget. We can build a bridge, but we can’t support police and fire protection or maintain local services when they’re needed most.

6) Just wondering if your deep inside sources could shed some light as to why
some of The Supply ECE's have not been called back since most of the city childcare centres do have their numbers back up.

Why are some still not being called back if they meet all the requirements to go back? What are they waiting for? Do employees lose their PRB's
if they are not called back after our 1 month break in service?

[NOTE: One answer given to me "I heard part of it was about the numbers not being up plus they were going to wait a see what impact early kindergarden was going to have]

7) Mr. Moroun is going to hold these clowns hostage. Edgar's arrogance to the Bridge Corporation will go down in history as the greatest mistake a Mayor could make. Stupid fool for messing with The Man.


9) For Michael Duben to go to Enwin and his duties being to bring together water and sewage treatment together it could only mean one thing: being able to sell the Utilities in the future, in my opinion. If his duties are to bring water and sewage together then he should have been assigned to the WUC not Enwin but incorporate with Enwin and WUC would mean that Utilities could be sold in bulk without citizens questioning the deal. Unless, of course, what they want to accomplish is eliminating citizens asking questions when rates are raised if you know what I mean

10) You may not have seen this survey from July (around the same time as MacLean’s)
24th out of 27

There are so many small things we could do as a city that we don t. and this list emphasizes it again

Its too bad We should strive to be the best 200 000 person city in N America to be the envy of all (after all we do have the best pizza and Chinese food – it’s a start)

11) Would be interesting to know more about that "proposed water & waste water project" mentioned in the announcement. Surely sewage treatment comes into play.

One of the Councillors has been tattling about property tax increases being placed outside of city hall through our enwin bills' sewer surcharges and then back into city hall through the "dividends". He probably knows more than he lets on.

12) Thanks for publishing those first two very important articles: A Reader's Swine Flu Idea and Aviva Community Fund Competition.

Regarding the vaccine, we just printed up a schedule of community sites for vaccination, at our office. Funny, I was at my doctor's office last week; he said he only had the shots for seniors, healthcare providers, etc. I said no problem.

I heard on a radio show that someone polled the general public and only about 40% want to be vaccinated. That's surprising. It will be those 60% of people who will spread the virus around.

Regarding the play on Bipolar Disorder, a friend and I are conducting seminars on Bipolar Disorder around Ontario, so I was quick to lend a vote.

13) you are right ... everything is strange

i remember the basic instinct that was involved in the 9-11 attacks ... people from outside our society observing us to take the action of using one of our own tools against us ... airplanes as torpedoes ... not saying that i admired what they did with that knowledge ... only that they were able to observe the opportunity to attack by looking at us from the outside ...

it was amazing to me, now i am seeing these things happen here in my town ... attacks

maybe these attacks will be beneficial in the long run ... maybe not ... a whole lot of change happening and that is uncomfortable for everyone ... not knowing, not trusting, experiencing the pain & anguish of being disrespected, stripped of all dignity, identity torn away ... i dunno

what i do know ... and know to my basic instinct ... is that HOW all that is transpiring is WRONG ... wrong for what it is turning people into (hateful enemies of each other) and wrong for what it is doing to our community (taking away our sense of community) ... it is unChristian to inspire this in mankind.

14) almost looks like duben is going to take over the sewage treatment from the city and over to Enwin in that announcement at your site today ... is that a possibility?

15) I haven't emailed you in a long time but I faithfully read your blogs each day. keep up the good work.

Well another banner day working for the City, we got 5 more local 543 lay-off notices today. That brings the total up to lucky number 13 so far. Guess the top mgmt got off easier as Ronna was kept and they basically didnt get rid of anyone except Duben. Guess they think they will save alot by laying off 13 mostly clerical workers. After all, everyone thinks CUPE makes the big bucks,

i'm surprised the Windsor Star isnt gloating over the 13 REAL people who are being laid off.

16) "As Mayor Eddie Francis briefed reporters Tuesday night on the latest round of shrinking the municipal bureaucracy, some of Windsor's most senior civil servants were getting word from their bosses about whether they still had a job with the corporation."

Looked at 23 jobs - CAO, 4 General Managers & 18 Executive Directors. More in coming weeks. Affected people being notified tonight. No packages as result of the cuts tonight.


17) Once again only one side of the story is presented. What about the huge severance expense?

18) "Windsor Auditor General cut today"

Of course he/she wasn't cut as there has never been one. Same thing with the rest of the cuts today. Not one person was cut. No wonder there were "no packages as a result of the cuts." What a sham.

Now let's have raises for all the ones left behind because they have so much extra work to do after these cuts! And let's add up all of the savings from the exercise!

Makes me sick to my stomach.

19) "paying for what we didn't send them?!" Garbage! Almost sounds like the Saudi's last week thinking that they want to charge the U.S. for the oil they, the U.S. ain't using because what's left of the economy is fast tracked for the landfill.

20) What kind of blueprints do you need to make the tunnel a one time only car wash? He isn't seeing or thinking the obvious! As simple as the drive-thru at MacDonalds!

21) I just read your latest blog about a new radio station. I can hardly wait to reprogram my dial! Firing Melanie was a huge mistake!

Let the airwave games begin!

22) bet the scoundrels that work in various positions throughout the city are enjoying your slight break from blogging and thus acting as city watchdog. While the cat’s away....

23) we voted 99.9% in favor of the [OLRB] charges

24) at least Eddy and council know that we will not tolerate his actions and we will stand up to him no matter what.I would say that the feelings were a little hostile at times as many of us are still very angry. The only thing that I'm afraid of is that HE AND HELGA are planning the next strike at this very moment.

I'd still like the taxpayers to know how much it cost them for this strike. The figures in the paper are totally out of wack.

25) Moroun has been silent of late but I bet a dozen of crack eggs he knows what Granholm said!

Keep on crackin' from your end Ed! One of these days we will get to the chickens and have ourselves a roast!

26) (NOTE, this email was sent the day after the CUPE OLRB hearing] I was scouring the paper today and yep, once again Ed...absolutely NOTHING....but seriously does it surprise you?

27) No Windsor Star surprise there..

I can't wait to hear about the Town Hall meeting for Ward 4 though

28) [RE CUPE meeting] The mover of the motion had the last word, and summed it up perfectly for me: "I'd rather lose fighting".

29) Just wanted to let you know that your latest articles were being passed around at the [CUPE] meeting last night by some members.

30) Great article today. But you don't have to beg. The people will vote to pursue the bad faith bargaining complaint. We are all in such sorry shape after what has been done to us. Sent to the streets by an inept mayor's gamble that his few short classes in law were enough to justify his treatment of human beings. Even now there are strange followers that believe in his capacity to make decisions. Not so many any more though as the truth of what he has done flows across our community. Reality sinking in for the followers who egged him on thinking, truly believing he was "doing the right thing" when all the while he was reeking havoc on an already hurting community. Further demolishing our economy...

You are right when you say that it is not about winning or losing the complaint, though the OLRB's ability to assign cost could be a consideration for some. Assigning lost wages is another. It really is about the blinders that the mayor has had on all of our council & all of our residents that we need this complaint to be reviewed and seriously considered at the OLRB level. Future of an entire
community rests with this complaint given that we cannot recall the mayor. He asks that we all continue to blindly follow him into hell.

31) Good blog. Just to let you know I will be there on Thursday night. I will be voting yes to go forward with this. Edgar needs to be held accountable for his actions.

32) I remember my dear departed Dad telling me a story about when he worked at Singers Sewing Machine Plant (during WWII they made war machines). Anyway, there was a worker who never missed a day of work and was always on time. His reward was, believe it or not, an alarm clock. I remember laughing for ages. My point is……. The City of Windsor has the same management mentality from fifty years ago.