Next Step, Crowdsourcing Windsor Services

With a Billion dollar infrastructure deficit looming, a resident suggested that Windsorites should take up a collection for the services they desire.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

With a Billion dollar infrastructure deficit looming, a resident suggested that Windsorites should take up a collection for the services they desire.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

(WINDSOR, ON) – It is possible, reason the reasonable pundits in the city common sense stuffed at the bottom of her backpack, Candice Huckle is a Francis council operative. If so, was she was called on to be the city’s Johnny Appleseed, to sow the seeds of the city’s destruction? At least, the destruction of its taxpayer’s finances?

Huckle posted a rather potentially revealing comment after a story in the local paper, on the last day of October, about the plastic ice returning to Charles Clark Square. According to her post, Huckle wants all the haters, those who hate the artificial ice and want real ice, to, “… put their efforts into fundraising for the rink they want.”

Patricia Thompson was quick to see the flaw. It is a significant one.

Scolded Thompson, taxpayers, “… already donated Candice, in their yearly Municipal Tax Bill.”

What Thompson doesn’t understand is, in world city Windsor, yearly taxes hardly cover the financial ambitions of the Francis Council, which are enormous; $21 million for a swimming competition next year, no less.

And taxes will hardly put a dent in the possible $80 million for a new, not needed city hall. Repairs could be done for a fraction of the cost.

Anyone who doubts this can simply drive out to Essex to explore the marvellous $6 million transformation of the once Gold Palace into a state-of-the-art, 21st Century municipal building. It is a vision that leaves some speechless, or causes others to aimlessly walk around asking, “How could this be?”

Taxpayers shouldn’t be naïve.

Windsor is in such perilous financial shape that spending $280,000 on an Auditor General could cause a tax increase. Thus, to avoid it, anyone wanting anything, like properly maintained roads, should immediately start the process of getting a hat passed around amongst taxpayers.

Despite some of the highest taxes in the province, it just isn’t enough for the city’s tax and spend council.

Huckle’s suggestion is probably the tip of the iceberg. It could be the first salvo of an orchestrated program to get taxpayers acclimatized to paying taxes and then paying again for services.

She probably knows that, if this new form of politically motivated charity doesn’t start, taxpayers will be forced to pay massive tax increases to, among other things, maintain the administration in its high spending lifestyle.

This month, it is showering thousands of dollars on itself for a recognition dinner. To some pundits, the quick thinkers, if the administrators are having problems recognizing each other they should just head down to a dollar store and buy some cheap name tags, the ones with a sticky substance on their reverse sides, and a few gold stars. The stars could be affixed to the tags of outstanding performers.

It would be much, much cheaper.

Actually, the whole concept of fundraising, to pay for civic services already paid for by taxes, is a stroke of brilliance by the usually sharp as a dull pair of ice skates Francis council. It easily solves its financial problems and will not result in a tax increase.

The councillors can walk around holding the line by holding out their hats, and in one case her bonnet, every time they see a resident. Residents should get used to seeing them and to offload the change in their pockets or purses.

Those on fixed incomes can easily give up a few meals every day and pass the money over to their smiling world class councillor.

It is even possible, but probably not practical, the odd compassionate councillor might reward them with a boiled sweet or two. At least they can suck on it and pretend it is food.

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.

About the Author

Robert Tuomi
After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields. Email Robert Tuomi