Windsor Residents Removed From Democracy


Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

The city of Windsor’s bureaucrats are not attracting a lot of sympathy from taxpayers in their attempts to curtail a Markham developer from trying to convert the ghost town-like Chatham Street into a beehive of retail and commerce.

A number of posters hit the keys and weighed in with their comments to a story published on the public broadcaster’s website on February 16. What they say reveals how many people are seeing right through the workings of Windsor’s civic administration.

WindsorCritic had appropriate and due criticism of the startling fees new businesses face. Windsor, the critic wrote, “… is a little piss ant city in Canada with no money … and yet they charge an arm and a leg.”

As for a reference point, Critic brought up the unsavoury deal with local charities.

A current court case moving along among the wheels of justice has plaintiffs allege the city over charged charities running money-raising bingo events. If the city loses, it will have to square the situation, something it doesn’t seem to want to do.

While Critic had zeroed in on Chatham Street, the demise of which has been largely publicized by The Square, not one of the other posters mentioned the new fees that some restaurateurs are complaining could end the summer patios that make the city so liveable. Although, no one should be surprised, the city has to get money wherever it can.

After all, it has to feed the voracious appetite of the FINA machine that will come to town for a week in December to chew up and spit out some $21 million for a short swimming competition. It is money needed, it would seem, to make flighty mayor Drew Dilkens worldly significant.

This in a city, JPS’ Muse observes, which has, “… a ridiculously high opinion of its own worth and status at the moment. A run-down welfare town trying to pretend it’s on par with Toronto.”

Actually, few locals probably have an interest to being on par with Toronto. Some have been lucky enough to escape from Hog Town. The real problem is the city’s irresponsible council members think they can spend their way to personal glory.

Another poster, King of Wishful Thinking, opines the whole Chatham Street debacle simply illustrates Windsor, “… does not belong to the citizens anymore.”

Truer words were probably never spoken.

In fact, posters to a story in the Windsor Star on February 16, about the hiring going on for the FINA event, are more than upset City Council no longer approves spending under $100,000. That is now in the domain of the administrators, who operate with limited to no parental control.

Some commentators were also upset about people invited onto the FINA gravy train being hired without tender or apparent job postings. It just shows what can happen with an out of control council that has no control.

The city is run by administrators, plain and simple. And, because they report to no one, they can pretty much do as they please without the neutered councillors breathing down their necks, as would happen in a democracy.

How Windsor became a place of non-democratic standing is quite simple. It was all part of the grand scheme of failed former mayor Eddie Francis. He nicely used a number of changes to remove councillors from most of the responsibility they once took for granted.

Nothing will change until the council takes back the city.

That may never happen. It would take courage, something the councillors have in limited, if any, capacity.

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.

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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

7 Comments on "Windsor Residents Removed From Democracy"

  1. We wonder why we are not seeing new business come to Windsor, our ineffective mayor and city council are not enticing new business. The business taxes are to high along with the utilities which Windsor controls the water surcharges. Our city council has failed the residence of Windsor and in my opinion the majority of them should not run for re-election. I cannot believe that our city council is so blind to let ineffective Dilkens spend 21 million dollars on the FINA games that will do nothing for our city. My questions to our city councillors is when will this ridiculous spending end, and when will they do what they were elected to do and stand up for the taxpayers of Windsor.

  2. robert tuomi | 18 February 2016 at 10:07 |

    J Max, thanks for the comment. However, the key word is “Some,” as in some have escaped. The point being, from what I have observed, there are many in this city who do not want their city to be Toronto. One of them is JPS’ Muse and I accept his comment as valid, being it is his comment.

    The problem, and this may be a repeat, is a council unable to tell the difference between what Toronto is and what Windsor is. They are not the same. Toronto did the heavy lifting to be what it is, a marvel of the world. Windsor wants to be a marvel without any heavy lifting or even light lifting.

  3. — What? Mr. Truomi said, “Some (Windsorites) have been lucky enough to escape from Hog Town (Toronto).” This kind of ridiculous comment amplifies the small-minded bias of the writer. It is impossible to respect a writer who spouts irresponsible drivel. Let’s try to understand you, Mr. Truomi: You say people are “lucky” to “escape” Toronto. And your shallowness reaches its nadir as you whimper that Canada’s greatest city is “Hog Town.” So, people are lucky to “escape” one of the greatest cities in the world.
    — Mr. Truomi, you don’t make your city better by insulting another city. In about 3 hours one can drive from Windsor to Toronto and enjoy the multitude of fantastic things going on there.
    Windsor is a wonderful city, but it’s too good for such a nitwit as Robert Truomi.
    ::

    • First thing, Jimmy, the author’s name is Tuomi.

      Second, have you spoken to every person who has left Toronto to ascertain if they considered if they were escaping or not? I didn’t think so. Plus, the author, Mr Tuomi, uses escape in a metaphorical application. Sorry if it was beyond your comprehension.

      Lastly, thanks for reading.

  4. Marny beale | 17 February 2016 at 10:35 |

    Courage – not in the DNA of this crowd.
    Does anyone understand why no one seriously challenges the “mayor”?

    • colleen callea | 17 February 2016 at 19:53 |

      the reason they dont is because THEY R GUTLESS TROLLS

    • Doug Charles | 18 February 2016 at 09:33 |

      Bill Marra gave the answer last week when he said something about politics being personal. The four decent councillors can stand up, be voted down, and then forever be excluded from perks for their community.

      Gignac went to Ottawa to speak on our behalf because she seldom speak about anything important.

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