Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Why The Daycare Debate Would NOT Be Deferred

Now Marion Overholt will get the answer to her question of Edgar at Council on Monday about why the haste and why the daycare matter could not be deferred to March 1 for consultation in the community.

Some of my readers got quite upset when I wrote this at the start of the Daycare debate
  • "I am sorry but save your efforts. In Windsor at least, there is no point in fighting. Petitions, distributing flyers, attending meetings and going to Council won't help.

    It's a done deal already. Don't bother going to City Hall because the hardliners and penny-pinchers are in control and hammering CUPE is their re-election meal ticket.

    And CUPE leadership has allowed this to happen and the CUPE members have allowed them to get away with it."

I was right after all. This started quite some time ago as Ms Warsh told us, provided you read the Echo:

  • "Warden Nelson Santos thought the issue should be deferred until a joint city and county council meeting is held.

    "There's a whole world of information that we need to get an understanding of," said Santos.

    Warsh suggested this matter had been in the works for approximately five years and that there had been consultation over that time. She said the correspondence had gone to the county CAO Brian Gregg.

    "We did consult five-years-ago. We did talk to people and get ideas," she said. "We are under no legal obligation to consult with the county but we have done that."

County people had a consultation 5 years ago. What's wrong with them? Couldn't they figure out what was going on waaaaaay back then. Couldn't they predict the huge unemployment crisis which would reduce daycare numbers or that the Province would introduce full-day SK/JK? Geez, parents should be furious at them not the City Administration since the County politicians should have been able to read the future 5 years ago according to what Ms. Warsh said. There was no need to talk to them again after all.

Five years ago, that is an interesting time period too. Around this time Edgar (aka Eddie) started complaining about PRBs the reason for the 101 day CUPE strike:

  • "Standard & Poors noted that a "healthy budgetary performance" was partly responsible for the good news. The city's outlook remains stable.

    But the bond raters warned the city will have to deal with a growing burden posed by rising post-retirement benefits that have left it with a future liability of $170 million.

    "Windsor's large post-retirement liabilities ... are among the highest compared with its peers," the report said.

    Mayor Eddie Francis said the city will have to find a way to deal with the burden. One way is to stop providing those retirement benefits for new employees, while grandfathering them for current employees."

But what has that got to deferral you might ask. Why would the City want a political war over daycare with the County and parents over a short 30-day period?

Edgar told us in today's Star. It was a done deal already. He HAD to have it over and done with or else:

  • "City eyes tax freeze

    Mayor Eddie Francis said council's goal this year is to bring in another budget that will see no net tax increase for Windsor ratepayers.

    Going into Monday night's five-hour debate on closing municipally operated daycares, Francis said preliminary budget documents prepared by administration had already taken into consideration anticipated savings from the shutdown of those facilities.

    The closings are targeted for Sept. 1, affect 125 union and non-union positions -- seven of those are currently vacant -- and net $743,572 in annual savings for the city..."

Over 100 people have their jobs at risk and childern's lives have to be disrupted so that Edgar and the hardliners can have a big budget win before the next election. Look at the savings that can fund Phase III of the Lufthansa study or that can be used to pay an outside lawyer to beat up on the Police for their next round of labour negotiations.

Now wonder as Chris Schnurr wrote:

  • "After vigorously defending the massive increase in 2007, Mayor Francis is now suggesting we phase this in over the next 10-15 years.

    Mayor Eddie Francis, also a WUC board member, missed Thursday’s meeting because he was overseas, but agreed Friday the water company may have to look at a more gradual increase.

    The mayor took the lead in pushing the 86 per cent hike in 2007.

    “Right now this community cannot handle a 10 per cent increase,” he said. “You need a more realistic approach in what’s required. You are not going to resolve the infrastructure deficit in one or two years. Maybe there needs to be a 10- to 15-year plan and be balanced in people’s ability to handle this.

    He’s right – the community couldn’t handle an 86% increase the Mayor is responsible for deferring for “political” reasons in 2005; and they can’t handle an extra 10% now each and every year for the next 3 years.

    And now, in an election year, he acknowledges, “maybe” a phased-in approach is best.

    My hero."

Unlike with daycare, in the WUC case, Edgar wants public consultation:

  • "The public needs to come out and hear about this. How do we do this in a way that's reflective of the realities in the community."

You see, where the entire City can get angry at you, then things have to be done gradually and after consultation. But when it is only 425 children involved and a few CUPE female workers, why who cares.