Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, December 28, 2009

Page 3 Regrets

Not wishing to be sexist but the Sun newspaper readers in England get the Page 3 girls. We get mini-Gord. Who is better served by the media!

Bloggers like mini-Gord. Without him, it would be so much more difficult to write BLOGs. Notwithstanding how much he helps me, I just cannot take him seriously any more.

If his column is meant as comic relief, then it succeeds brilliantly. If it is meant to be a serious commentary on what is going on in Windsor, then it has failed!

I have absolutely no respect for a columnist who is still protecting a corrupt member of City Council who has committed what I believe to be an offence by failing to name him/her. I have even less respect for an Editorial Board who would allow him to do so. A "source" is not being protected; a criminal is and should have been removed forthwith from Council!

I wonder if "The Wife" will deal with this type of situation with the first students who enter her new St. Clair College Journalism School at the downtown site that the City sold to St. Clair for a dollar.

Take his column on PETU. Please.

Here is the big joke:
  • "The struggle, which pits the combative Mayor Eddie Francis and a cost-conscious city council against the Professional Employees Trade Union took an unexpected turn last week when PETU flatly turned down council's last contract proposal.

    Council wasn't expecting that. And it's safe to say PETU wasn't expecting council to refuse to negotiate any further -- effectively flipping them a big, fat bird just before Christmas.

    But what the heck did they expect from a council which faced down CUPE and won? The same taxpayers who forced council to see that strike through to the end are still unemployed, still broke and still fiercely opposed to anything that might lead to higher taxes."

Mini-Gord still refuses to read the facts that Councillor Lewenza pointed out in his Ward meeting and continues to spread the story that "council which faced down CUPE and won." He refuses to report to his readers, as do Gord and the Star as well, how much more the settlement cost taxpayers than could have been achieved early on.


How can they tell the truth now after all? It is too late. They are in too deep. They are forced to continue to spread the misinformation.

It would prove beyond any doubt that it was the pro-Union Councillors not the Mayor and his band of merry hardliners who had the interests of both taxpayers and CUPE at heart and who would have satisified both without the need for a bitter and divisive 101-day political war.

The "inspired leadership" of our "combative" Mayor would have been dislosed as a myth necessitating that he follow the path of Mayor Miller in Toronto and tell us now that he will not run for Mayor for family reasons!

Edgar failed with the CUPE strike as he failed with PETU by forcing them to unionize in the first place and failed in the Firefighters arbitration which mini-Gord ranted about in his column "Taxpayers getting hosed."

Mini-Gord just cannot see the connection or chooses not to:
  • "So as of this week, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has two bitter City of Windsor disputes in front of it: The bad-faith bargaining charges filed by CUPE during its summer strike, and the PETU dispute."

It may seem odd to mini-Gord that when Edgar is combative--Greenlink, CUPE, PETU, Firefighters--the City loses badly and expensively. When he seems not to be involved--WUC, Enwin, CUPE at the end, Transit Windsor--matters are resolved amicably and inexpensively.

His columns on labour relations do nothing more than try to give Edgar a "win" for the next municipal election. Clearly, they are setting up another CUPE-like war with PETU to try to salvage Edgar's sinking political career.

But it is his two 400 Building columns that absolutely destroy any credibility that he might have.


  • "400 audit much ado about nothing

    Nobody stole anything, and nobody screwed up any aspect of the project.

    So what's the big deal?

    Why has this project been so controversial for so long? Why have critics been demanding audits since 2005 and why did they take four years?

    And finally, why will it cost taxpayers more than $600,000 in audit fees to prove a building was only $686,000 over budget?

    The answers to most of those questions will remain a mystery, buried in the bitter relationships between people who have mostly departed from the city's employ (quit, fired, or lost the last election)...

    The weird aspect of this report, to my mind, is that had council executed this project in a manner that would have satisfied the auditors, a local contractor would have lost and taxpayers might have had to pay millions more for the building.

    I'd bet most taxpayers prefer the outcome that actually occurred. The part they won't like is how much it cost them to find out why the building was over budget."


  • "Taxpayers dodge a bullet

    The more you read of the auditor's report on how 400 City Hall Square got built, the luckier the outcome seems for Windsor taxpayers.

    As I wrote Tuesday, the massively detailed KPMG audit released Monday proves taxpayers should be relieved the $32- million project turned out as well as it did.

    The building is magnificent, there was relatively little waste for a government project of that size, and nobody stole anything that we know of.

    Past that -- man, what a mess. The building was completed in 2005 only after a three-year war of wills between a city council operating under misguided intentions and a small group of self-serving administrators.

    The RFP, the tender and the contract award were all disasters that could have erupted into taxpayer nightmares. Windsor narrowly escaped being tied up in court or an inquiry for years, costing taxpayers millions. The city might still be sued..."

What a change in attitude. Was the Editorial Board that embarrassed or did mini-Gord actually read the Report finally?

I was going to go through the Report in more detail but Councillor Halberstadt in his BLOG did a very good column on how badly the project was handled. Read it for yourself "Pistol Pete's Audit Conclusion Scary"

Then you can wonder why a Judicial inquiry has not been called for by now. It must be the old boy's network at play:

  • "Rather than defending his conduct, ex Councillor Carlesimo should be thankful that the audit committee did not recommend to Council a full-blown Public Inquiry."

Oh mini-Gord does not go the whole way; he cannot completely destroy his own credibility by setting out the obvious as Councillor Halberstadt has done. So he points out the mess and then tries to defend it, using language like "taxpayers should be relieved," "Council deserved to win," "I think taxpayers should cut him some slack on this issue" and "the source of the obsession was understandable. And forgivable."

He now has swallowed both of his feet. He can say in one column that no ciminal act was committed: "Nobody stole anything" yet flip flop and then say in another:
  • "councillors broke the law to get their way, and they're not allowed to do that. Municipal bylaws and provincial laws govern how contracts must be awarded."

Oh what the heck, now I understand mini-Gord's philosophy. If breaching the law can be "forgiven" in the 400 Building fiasco, so can mini-Gord and the Star be "forgiven" for not disclosing who on Council is corrupt.

What a newspaper we have in this town. Bring on the girls!