Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, December 10, 2009

To Grass Or Not To Grass: That Is The Question

DUH! It's the CUPE leak and Back-to-Work Protocol near riot repeated.

As you will see, we are right back where we were before the leak but matters are delayed for months, just like with CUPE. Moreover, I have learned that a number of Councillors had no idea what was in the Mayor's letter to the Bridge Company that threw everything off the tracks. We were lucky there was no near riot when residents were again not allowed to speak.

Is it just me or do you, dear reader, see a pattern developing of very bizarre behaviour that is quite scary from City Hall? Leaks and an inadvertent distribution seem to be a pandemic there. What a way to govern.

How long will it take for the parties--Ambassador Bridge, residents, City of Windsor--to agree or not on the Bridge Company proposal supported by residents to tear their homes down and grass the area.

Perhaps 30 seconds, maybe less. So why the big drama Edgar-style other than to stall again.

Edgar (aka Eddie) got very offended at Councillor Halberstadt because the finger was pointed at him and his silence button at Council. Edgar just cannot handle any hint of criticisim. Yet the button on the City's sound system worked perfectly at Council. Residents were silenced for the second week in a row. Windsorites were unable to hear about the deplorable conditions they are living under because of the City's anti-demolition by-law. Imagine hearing from resident after resident for about 1 1/2 hours.

City Solicitor George Wilkki's/City Planner Thom Hunt's memo was hilarious. The sky will fall, the sky will fall:
  • "The repeal of by-law 20-2007 Demolition Control by-law would most likely result in massive demolitions and ultimately the gutting of the Olde Sandwich Towne Heritage Conservation District. As a result there would be very little need for the Heritage Conservation District and its associated official plan amendment and zoning by-law amendment...

    If council is prepared to repeal the Demolition Control By-law, then it should also repeal the Olde Sandwich Towne Heritage Conservation District Plan and its associated official plan amendments and zoning by-law amendment...

    It is the strong recommendation of the City Solicitor that Council not hear delegations of petitioners with respect to repealing the Demolition Control By-law until the appeals currently before the Ontario Municipal Board have been resolved. "

Whew, that should prevent residents from being heard just about forever. I wonder if the new outside lawyer retained by the City over this, Chris Williams of Aird and Berlis, had any input into this memo. By the way, does he reside more than 4/500 km away from Windsor? (He did go to law school here at least) Was there no one local to hire?

So where are we? The parties have agreed to mediation, just as they did before Edgar sent out his toothless Ultimatum. I don't get what the point of the whole exercise was. Maybe it is just as simple as Edgar doing his best to keep the Senior Levels pleased that he is stalling off the Bridge Company.

  • "Last week, Mayor Eddie Francis gave the bridge company an ultimatum to meet with council before mid-January or face further, unspecified action, but following Monday's meeting he said the city's "preference is to try and find a resolution as soon as possible."

    While the bridge company has stated it wants its homes torn down and turned into a "green corridor," the city has argued it won't entertain the idea until the bridge company submits that in writing."

I am sure that once the parties agree to whatever they agree to, an agreement can be drawn up that the parties can sign. Who knows Council may still turn it down even then!

One political thought I had. Councillor Postma is in deep doo-doo. Her Motion was absurd and clearly would have failed due to the City Solicitor/Planner's sky will fall memo. That has hurt her. If there is no mediated solution, then the hearing is scheduled for 19 days in front of the OMB right before the election. It will demonstrate that the Councillor was powerless to achieve a result for the area. It would make it very difficult as the story hits the press every day for her to be re-elected. Each story is a sign of her failure.

As for Councillor Jones, his "in perpetuity" will come back to haunt him as well.

Oh there will be a lot of people running against those two Councillors unless there is a quick solution! We may well see new faces in the West End. And that might not bother some people too considering a certain "friendly" leak from Council.