(WINDSOR, ON) – Without question, the city’s mayor-in-waiting, Freddy Francis, scored a significant victory on October 29 when the Francis Council, aided with two new recruits, rejected filling the vacant auditor general position.
His brother Eddie, the city’s infamous failed mayor, used information on his Blackberry to drum up a case to rid the city of parental supervision a number of years ago. The tradition will continue.
The younger Francis made it clear, during a televised interview in the run up to the vote, that while campaigning for his council seat, he was unable to find anyone wanting an auditor general. The deal was sealed right there.
The win has considerable strategic value for Francis councillors, because they can move forward spending freely and unwisely with great abandon on monuments to the elder Francis, without anyone looking over their shoulders.
Currently in the hopper are a number of signature Eddie Francis extravagant projects. This includes a new city hall, already over budget, a massively expensive FINA swimming competition, and a Riverside Drive underpasses to transform the city.
It was hard for some pundits to hold back their laughter when it was suggested, by administration via a troubled report, that hiring an AG could produce a tax increase. This, as the Francis Council steamrolls forward spending tens of millions for the not-needed new city hall.
The old doll’s problems mirror those of the Essex town hall. Instead of tearing down the once gold palace, the country bumpkins, wise beyond their years, solved all issues with a meagre $6 million investment in internal and external upgrades, expansion, and new flooring.
The town now has a showcase building.
Of course, mayor-designate Francis knows there is no way the county can ever get away with being better than Windsor. This is why it must damn the torpedoes and proceed on with its foolhardy city hall project, and to lavish millions on out of town swimmers who consider the city’s new natatorium not up to their standards.
The underpass idea, as some pundits suspect, and they could be right, is an appendage to the money losing downtown pool and waterpark. It is being done in the hope it will have just enough glitz to put the city on the world map.
Unfortunately all other attempts have failed with the world often arriving in town to verify Windsor is not one of its favourite places.
This, speculate some, is the reason Freddy was not seen in press coverage of the recent Ikea store announcement. The famed Swedish company plans to open a mini store in the city at Walker and Provincial, about as close to the county as it can get.
It is simply a smack in the face to a city so unimportant it doesn’t get a full-size Ikea, like real world cities. Francis can be forgiven for not attending. There was no glory in that announcement.
It was also no surprise to see Freddy missing at the big Sutherland Global Services announcement. The telemarketer is setting up to offer students minimum wage jobs, and even plans to lure them with a possible ping pong table.
Francis probably avoided the place firm in the belief that Dilkens would embarrass himself. It is almost a guarantee, and the ineffective councillor, and now interim mayor, did not disappoint.
In the local paper, Dilkens was over the moon telling the paper’s readers that these, “… are really important jobs.”
Most likely, Freddy knows how Dilkens failed to keep Wipro, a Sutherland competitor, in the city when he chaired council’s economic development standing committee. It was shut down because of his lack of interest.
Wipro moved to Brantford in 2012, creating hundreds of jobs in the telephone city. If call centre jobs are really important, pundits wonder why Dilkens didn’t fight to keep them in Windsor?
It is also interesting to see how Freddy picks his time with Dilkens.
One notable event had the pair reportedly showing up at Joanne Gignac’s victory party. She ran as a Conservative in the Federal election’s Windsor-Tecumseh riding, but did not have enough votes to be victorious.
Sometimes Freddy will make a mistake with where he seeks the media spotlight, but he is learning.
Robert Tuomi can be heard at 8:30 pm every Monday evening and noon every Wednesday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor is broadcast every Monday and Wednesday to the Windsor and Detroit listening area and streamed online at CJAM.