(WINDSOR, ON) – The closing, and possible closing, of more meeting and convention facilities in the city is just another in a long line of indictments against ineffective councillor, and now interim mayor, Drew Dilkens. So far, the Croatian Club on Tecumseh Road East has been shuttered.
The Teutonia Club, on Edinburgh, is considering an offer for its property. It told the CBC, on October 6 last year, it has been, “… seeing a drop in attendance over the years.” So far, it is still accepting bookings.
Oddly, city hall prides itself on the lack of accomplishments that have marked the political career of Dilkens. On its website, it boasts he, “… spearheaded the creation and implementation of the new Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.”
In reality, many of the city’s convention attraction problems, and possibly meeting hall closings, could be attributed to Dilkens himself. Instead of fortifying the organization, he actually shrunk it; like he shrinks so many other things.
While he was setting up TWEPI, as it is called, he seriously reduced the staff’s workload, removing convention attraction as one of its duties. Now commercial enterprises offering convention space pay taxes, but get nothing in return. Of course, they shouldn’t feel slighted.
The whole modus operandi of the flighty mayor is to have all taxpayers pay taxes and get nothing in return. Since he arrived on the scene, the city has suffered the loss of parks, pools, community centres, and arenas. The very fabric of the community is being put asunder by him and the remnants of the Francis Council, and its two new recruits.
Collectively they still control what’s going on.
His biography on the city’s website is a little less than frank. It features his membership on Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, but fails to mention how he ran the former standing committee on economic development right into the ground.
Things were so bad under his leadership the committee, which endured considerable indifference, included meetings with no agendas or that lasted three a mere minutes. Eventually, it had to be put out of its misery and was folded into planning.
These days, it is rare to see an economic development issue on the amalgamated committee’s agenda, despite the city suffering the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
There are those who think, and they could be wrong, that by absolving the tourism promoters from working hard to bring conventions to the city, Dilkens has actually added to Windsor’s rising unemployment levels.
What Dilkens did not consider in his draconian move was that conventions bring people into the city, they fill hotel rooms and restaurants and, in general, allow visitors to get acquainted with Canada’s most southerly metropolis.
It is possible Dilkens was wise beyond his years and didn’t want to take the chance visitors might see how he and the Francis Council are trying to crush the city into oblivion, and make it much less than it has been.
Of course, there is his big accomplishment, the poorly planned downtown money-losing pool and waterpark. The pool is too small for swimming events, like the FINA second tier event he will host at the east end arena next year, at a cost of $21 million and counting.
Humorously, the waterpark is alleged to be a premier family attraction. Dilkens, in contradiction, describes it differently.
On January 18, 2014, he admitted to the local paper that he’d, “… like to say that this is like a mini-Kalahari.”
He should have went further and told the paper that, during his watch, he is striving to make Windsor a mini-city with few amenities.
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.