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.