Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, December 07, 2009

Is The Bridge Company Terrified Now

Do you think this is the Bridge Company's secret plan: Let Edgar huff and puff and perhaps he will blow their houses down just like the big bad wolf?

The "inadvertant" CUPE-type, City Hall leak delivering Edgar's silly ultimatum publicly and Hilary Payne's Press Release have blown up in Edgar's face and pretty much destroyed any credibility he has on the issue:
  • "The Mayor's statements today are a further example of the bad faith the City has been exercising throughout this long controversy.

    The Canada Transit Corporation (CTC) has always been prepared, and are now prepared, to demolish all the buildings they have purchased and to grade and grass the area. The City has consistently refused to issue demolition permits for the buildings now boarded up...

    At the OMB prehearing held Tuesday December 1, 2009 CTC advised the City that it is committed to working cooperatively and requested a third party mediator, within the OMB process established at the prehearing, to sit down with the City, CTC and BUHDAG to resolve this situation.

    The Mayor's attempt to make the present degradation of the neighbourhood the fault of anybody but the City is simply a gross distortion of the truth."

If you, dear reader, believe as I do that the City is working with the Senior Levels to prevent the Bridge Company building their Enhancement Project, then you would treat as I do the latest "demand" of Edgar (aka Eddie) with the contempt it deserves.

Why can't Edgar just pickup the phone and call the Bridge Company? Why can't he speak in a civil manner rather than with ultimatums and set up a meeting to resolve this matter quietly? I know Edgar is terrified of Dan Stamper and Paula Lombardi intimidates him but perhaps Matty would tell them both to be nice! Why is there the need for such high drama? Does Edgar have to prove something to the Senior Levels?

Was it really necessary for Edgar to call them names like a kindergarten child rather than act as a mature leader of a City, once at Council and again in the Star? That would tell me what kind of a "fair hearing" I would get in front of this Mayor and Council. None whatsoever.

It is all so predictable that it is tiring already:

  • citizens used as pawns again by Edgar (remember the area of mass destruction previously?)

  • citzens want to express their feelings to Edgar and Council

  • Edgar freaking out because he would be blamed and Windsorites would hear attacks on Council and the Mayor, not the Bridge Company by West End residents seeing their community destroyed by the Demolition By-law

  • refusal to allow citizens to speak

  • Edgar attacking the Bridge Company while they are not present calling them Blockbusters in order to egg them on to appear at Council

  • story in the Star "Messenger" to threaten the Bridge Company "City has power to stop blockbusting by bridge company"

  • Edgar ultimatum

Almost as scary as his threatened, pretend lawsuits against the Senior Levels to stop the building of the DRIC Road because Greenlink was not chosen. That is unless his friends need him to sue because traffic is down so much that they cannot afford to build the road at thsi time and need another stall.

Here is something interesting. Go back and read the column by Annie "House by house, neighbourhood dies"

A fair reading of it would suggest that she has sympathy for the people caught in the Bridge Company/City squabble. Read it all the way to the bottom. I would have thought that her conclusion would have been to allow the homes to be torn down. Instead, we got this line:

  • "It's time for Windsor to draw a line in the sand, deal with the bridge and protect its residents."

HUH...was that really her conclusion? What the heck does that mean? It is completely out of character with the rest of the column in my opinion and her writing style. She had just quoted a resident attacking Council's actions. Did she just get tried of writing and threw in this proposed resolution? Quite bizarre.

Or maybe it ties into her column today "Neighbourhood reborn in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge." She is playing "straightwoman" for Edgar who will hint about this tonight at Council to get Councillors onside and to allow residents to dream of a great tomorrow, another one of Edgar's mind's eye visions. Heck, he learned about this technique from DRIC in Delray. Try it on a few Sandwich residents to shut them up.

Back to Edgar:

  • "Council demands meeting with bridge over derelict housesM

    Mayor Eddie Francis has warned the Ambassador Bridge company to meet with council “forthwith” and state its plans for the homes it has bought and left vacant on Windsor’s west side, or the city will take action.

    “The abandoned condition of these houses has had a destabilizing effect on the neighbourhood. Another term that comes to mind is ‘blockbusting.’ This is unacceptable,” Francis wrote in a four-page letter sent Thursday to Detroit International Bridge Company president Dan Stamper."

Just wait a minute Edgar....the Bridge Company is complying with YOUR anti-demolition by-law. They would love to tear the homes down but you won't let them. How is that Blockbusting? In fact as I Blogged before:

  • "Wasn’t it Councillor Postma who introduced an anti-blockbusting bylaw? She admitted that the Interim Control Bylaw did not stop blockbusting as some thought it would but that it had the opposite effect."

Remember when the Star wrote this in February, 2008 to try to justify Edgar's plans. What a joke then. Even more of a joke now, looking back:

  • "Many west-end residents are frustrated by a city council decision to extend a land freeze in Olde Sandwich Towne until January 2009.

    It means they can't tear down, build up or improve their properties, and it leaves them feeling like they're living in limbo.

    Some say the extended bylaw is a heavy-handed attempt by council to block the Ambassador Bridge Company from buying up properties that stand in the way of its expansion plans.

    Others argue the decision hurts ordinary citizens far more than it does the bridge company. They say it prevents struggling business owners from sprucing up their neighbourhood, and it encourages drug dealers to move into the growing number of abandoned buildings that now dot the landscape.

    We understand all these fears, but we also believe the city is doing what it should to preserve and protect an integral, historic part of our community."

Edgar knows exactly what the Bridge Company's plans are or doesn't he ever talk to Councillor Postma who has been working with the residents on this issue and meeting with the Bridge Company. She would not dare act without his approval.

Why couldn't Council agree with the simple request of residents:

  • "The bridge company has told residents it wants to tear down its homes and “beautify” the area with a “green corridor.” Payne and other residents are urging the city to agree."

Not our Edgar

  • "We want to hammer out an agreement so the parties will live by their commitments,” said Francis. Otherwise, he added, those same residents will be back demanding answers from the city if the proponent doesn’t follow through with what it says it will do."

What is so hard to understand: grass the area as the City has agreed with other applicants, even those whose demolition permits were allowed on consent ie without discussion at Council.

You see it is really a double standard being employed. Councillor Postma told us already "The grass ain't going to cut it." The Council meeting is all a sham. The purpose is to try to transfer the blame from Edgar to the Bridge Company. And to keep the Senior Levels happy with Edgar.

The City wants to prevent the Bridge Co. from moving forward. That is what Edgar's hammered agreement is supposed to do. Just like Councillor Jones' in perpetuity demand.

And accurate but narrow Edgar states:

  • "Francis said council is willing to entertain the proposal but insists the bridge company follow the proper process. He said the only application the bridge company has ever made is for the demolition of six Indian Road homes in May 2007."

Why make an application considering what I Blogged a year ago. Time passes so slowly when one is in agony:

  • "We have seen recently both the Councillor and perhaps her Wardmate relax their position somewhat. She appeared to be ready to allow the Bridge Company to tear down their homes. Councillor Jones said:

    •“I would like to see the bridge company come to city council and say here are our plans," Jones said. "They might be surprised at the help they would get from the people who represent this area.”

    If I was the Owner of the Bridge Company, I would graciously decline the enticement by the Councillors. I do believe that the Bridge Company would be surprised but not in the way that they would have expected after the kind invitation to come to Council.

    It is no wonder that Councillor bristling Brister is terrified to appear on John Fairley’s interview show. He was able to get from Councillor Postma what would happen if the Bridge Company came to Council.

    The answer is: nothing.

    The Councillor at least was honest in saying that she was not sure that her Wardmate, Councillor Jones was in favour, nor was she certain what a majority of Council would do. With respect to the Mayor, she said that his position was that the Bridge Company should bring a proposal to Council to have it discussed.

    They have already tried to do that but no Councillor had the decency to extend their presentation period for more than 10 minutes and accordingly they were not able to show their plans prepared by the University’s Green Corridor Group. What makes anyone believe that anything would change?

    It seems to me that this is just an attempt by the Councillor to placate her Ward residents by telling them that she is trying to do something. However, when the Majority of Council turns it down, she is off the hook. It did not appear from what she said on Face-to-Face that she had done any lobbying with the other Councillors to gain their support for what she wanted to do.

    In any event, if it is so important for the area, then it is up to the Mayor to contact the Bridge Company. After all, my recollection is that the City Planner has said that Administration would turn down their request for a demolition permit until after the CIP was completed."

Here's the truth. And it tells me why Edgar cannot hope to be another Matty Moroun as he desperately wants to be but with my and your taxpayer money instead of his own:

  • "The Ambassador Bridge is a very strategic company — they don’t do anything unless there’s a purpose behind it,” said Francis."

That is absolutely correct. Moroun did not get where he is today by having mind's eye visions the way our Mayor does. He risked his money to get where he is today, by achieving results, by taking the risk.

Edgar will never understand that, not by the hair of his chinny chin chin.