Clucking Ridiculous

Sound Off With Chris Schnurr

David Letterman once said, “There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.”

But Letterman should forgo the script writers and mosey on down to the dark recesses of City Hall to take in a council meeting or two as the basis of a new show.

Once again basements across Windsor were  aflutter as those myopic nattering nabobs with tin-foil hats in tow were busy sending their secretly encoded signals to some far-away galaxy in glee.

The object of their attention (the identified kind) was Mayoral candidate Drew Dilkens’ monument to ego – the downtown pool and water park with a name just as large.

“With higher-than-expected hydro costs blamed as the chief culprit, running Adventure Bay and the adjoining Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre is projected to cost $800,000 more in 2014 than the $1.3-million net cost budgeted,” reports Doug Schmidt (Windsor Star, August 6, 2014).

I guess the name is even too long for the Star reporter because he forgot the part, “Brought to you by the Windsor Family Credit Union.”

How could this be?  Wasn’t there a plan that was a detailed plan that made sense?

Weren’t we told in 2011 by Al Maghnieh, “The numbers make sense, the business case makes sense and I think this is something that’s going to completely make sense when it’s finished”? (Claire Brownell, Windsor Star, December 16, 2011).

Didn’t Dilkens say he wanted “to see business cases for the projects” before council made any decisions about their wish lists? (Jeff Bolichowski, The Windsor Star, March 21, 2011).

So it must have made sense.  He’s a lawyer.  He knows about these things I’m presuming.

Now hold on to your shiny hat you say, let’s be fair, “$380,000 is for hydro, with provincial rates having skyrocketed by 50 per cent from the relevant prices used at the end of 2011 when the original operating budget was estimated”  (Doug Schmidt, Windsor Star, August 6, 2014).

I suppose the plan that is a detailed plan with a business case that makes sense didn’t factor in what was widely reported a year earlier:

“This plan, released in November 2010, forecasted a 46 percent increase in residential electricity prices over five years (Ontario Power Authority).

And even if  this was overlooked, doesn’t Dilkens sit on an Enwin board – you know, that hydro utility the city’s former Auditor General wanted to look at before he was terminated?

Then again, perhaps it was discussed at one of the meetings he missed.  Or maybe the phone died.  Or there was a statue weeping somewhere …

And speaking of business cases didn’t the canal proposal have one?

Dilkens did say the canal plan looked “really good on paper” (Doug Schmidt, Windsor Star, May 6, 2009).

Mayor Francis pulled the plug on that stating “the business case didn’t add up,” (Doug Schmidt, March 4, 2011, Windsor Star, online edition).  You know, the one with the solid business case.

Clucking ridiculous!

But what about the wildly successful WFCU arena?

A week before the 2006 election Mayor Francis said profits at the arena would range from  “a very conservative $407,000 to $527,000 net”  (Windsor Star, October 24, 2006).

Yet 8 years later there would be an annual “$620,000″ deficit on a “go-forward” basis (Doug Schmidt, Windsor Star, February 28, 2013).

Ah, yes that solid foundation of success.


Insanity is jocularly defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Perhaps insanity should be defined as re-electing those more focused on the tin foil than the part they were actually elected to do:  Think.

So I have to ask, if this is the success Dilkens is building upon,  does that mean Building Success on a House of Cards?

Or should I say feathers?  A little more apropos, but I digress.

Dave, can I call you Dave?

An accounting joke?  Really?

If you’re reading this, I’ve got one better.

Call me – but give me a minute, I’m just encoding my last message to the outer limits of the universe.