Apparently, with all the fuss about Windsor being a sports destination, one of the city’s councillors checked out the basketball nets at the Forest Glade Community Centre and complained, January 26, about their condition to the local public broadcaster.
Although Councilor Irek Kusmierczyk thinks the ill-repair of the nets is not acceptable for a city park, he really should consider his ward lucky. At least it has a community centre, something the Francis Council likes to strip out of other neighbourhoods.
Kusmierczyk, one of the non-robots on Council, even told the broadcaster he is questioning, “… council’s investment in a sports tourism officer, considering the condition of facilities in neighbourhoods like Forest Glade.”
He opined, quite logically, before the city starts, “… investing in this sports tourism and before we invest in high-profile sporting competitions for the city, we really need to take care of our neighbourhood amenities.”
Unfortunately, the councilor has no idea of the power of glitz and how the current ineffective interim mayor is chasing world sporting events, to have them plunk down in Windsor at considerable cost to taxpayers.
Mayor Drew Dilkens touts the economic benefits, but as an economist he’s out of his league, if not his mind, as well. Miserably expensive events do not an economy build simply because they, like the mayor, are nothing but flashes in the pan and do not deliver enduring economic benefits.
Windsor needs sustainable economic development, not fits and starts at any cost. As odd as it may seem, the mayor is parading around with millions burning a hole in the pants pocket of one of his three piece suits. He is squandering it on a swimming competition measured in days, operated largely by folks from out of town. It is a sure way to kill the multiplier effect.
At the same time, he hires a person with no known capabilities in marketing to promote the city as a sports tourism destination. His new hire is a baseball player involved in sport training, not tourism. They are not the same.
He also thinks because Windsor has a small town arena it should be on the radar to host a Memorial Cup. The event most often goes to London simply because the council there built a big city arena with double the seating of Windsor’s which, thus, generates double the profits. Windsor also built a swimming pool too small for even mediocre competitions and has to deck the east end arena out with a temporary pool.
However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not the one or two that will soon be built under Riverside Drive, at considerable not needed expense.
Word is Windsor Stadium will soon become somewhat of a mini-construction zone, no thanks to the city. The local paper reported, January 25, about Windsor’s AKO Fraternity working to raise $10 million to revitalize the almost de-activated stadium; that has been looking as un-loved and uncared for as the basketball nets about which Kusmierczyk is upset.
The AKO group will turn the place into a multi-use sports facility without a cent of taxpayer money.
It is quite unbelievable, in a Ripley’s sort of way, to have Windsor’s mayor squander $21 million in taxpayer money to host some foreign swimmers for a few days while the real heroes of the city are pulling well above their weight to raise money to make the city better.
What is even sadder is the flighty mayor running around saying the city is a premier sports destination when he knows he is not investing in its sports infrastructure but the gone-in-a-second glitz.
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.