Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Understanding Councillor Jones

Sometimes I have to admit Councillor Jones confuses me.

In this story, what does the Ward Two Councillor say:

  • "Farhi property won't be taxed until 2010

    The city remains the owner of prime property at Riverside Drive West and Bruce Avenue more than three years after it struck an agreement to give the land to London investor Shmuel Farhi as part of the WFCU land deal, according to land registry documents.

    Farhi will not pay property tax on the 1.75-acre downtown site, valued at about $2 million, until at least April 2010 under an agreement with the city...

    Farhi was also expected to bring forward development plans for the site...

    Ron Jones, councillor for Ward 2 where the Farhi property is located, said...he is also weary of the site's fate remaining unknown.

    "Certainly it's prime property. I'd like some indication what the plans are for that property," Jones said. "People ask me about it and I don't have answers for them."

    Farhi said he believes he is under no obligation to present anything to the city in terms of plans for the site."

Does he have a similar attitude towards the Ambassador Bridge Company and their homes in Sandwich. You decide:

  • "The vacant houses are now an eyesore and a hazard, says Jones, and he'd like them torn down, too.

    But, he said, "I can't do it in good conscience without a plan. I want to know if what they're doing has the best interests of Windsor."

    He wants a public forum for the bridge to present its plan for the site and for residents to ask questions."

  • "Jones... made no apologies for his insistence that the company clearly outline its plans for the abandoned homes it owns near the bridge should council ever greenlight their demolition...

    Jones said the company's applications needed to provide more detail and greater assurances the area will be permanently greened following demolition...

    "The people have been inconvenienced in those neighbourhoods with the homes being boarded up. It's a safety issue. It's an eyesore. Property values have dropped," said Jones.

    "I'm not being hard-nosed. I'm not being hard to get along with. I want to co-operate with the bridge company, I want to co-operate with the residents who live in that area."

    Jones said he would even ask council to waive rules so bridge officials could make a detailed presentation of their plans..."

To me anyway, he seemed much more strict towards what the Bridge Company must do.

He wants detailed plans from them even though in other demolition cases "the grass did cut it." In fact, some house demolition Agenda Items even went "On Consent" with no Council discussion at all.

All he wanted from Mr. Farhi was an "indication" yet he will not accept what the Bridge Company has specifically told him that they would do with the properties.

Then at Council the other week the Councillor said this:

Is this a big change in attitude by him?

No more dares for the Bridge Company to go to the Clerk's Office and apply for the demolition permits. No more attending by the Bridge Company at Council merely to be shot down but rather meeting with the Councillor and the residents to work out an arrangement. No more "in perpetuity?" No more agreeing on his Five-Point Plan that he never told us publicly what it was all about. As I Blogged before:
  • "Now Councillor Jones was even more definitive. If the Bridge Company complied with his FIVE-POINT Plan, he would not object to the demolishing of the homes. The only problem, he did not tell anyone what those 5 points were at the meeting! It has to be a huge secret that somehow the Bridge Company must guess or they are out of luck!

    It must be so bad that he was embarrassed to tell what the points were to the residents at the meeting. Perhaps he was concerned that he night get booed the way the Mayor was at the East End Arena! It was the first time I ever saw Ward 2 people angry at the Councillor. They were incensed when he mentioned his condition at the meeting. They had no interest in Council process or his PLAN. They just wanted the homes demolished."

The residents should be so pleased that the Councillor is so concerned about them and wants those houses torn down "with all heart." Or does he? Could he he just worried about the political heat he is taking over supposedly being one of the people preventing the homes from being torn down? Again, you decide.

What bothers me though is the seeming caveat about "procedures" at the 1:12 and 2:04 minute marks. He also talked about the ways of overturning a by-law at 1:35 but put the responsibility on other Councillors to act, not himself.

Why should they do something and not the Councillor or his Wardmate Councillor Postma since the homes are in their Ward after all? I assume that there are several ways of doing so WITHOUT the Reconsideration that he mentioned. Why doesn't he show the courage he talked about?

I trust now you understand my state of confusion.