Wrong Man For The Job

Header-image-TuomiBy Robert Tuomi

The city’s lacklustre mayor may not be so lacklustre after all. It appears he has quite the agenda, and the nice thing about it is the members of city council have no clue about what is going on.

They simply rubber stamp whatever new scheme he brings to them and, by doing so, continue the ongoing process of removing themselves from critical city business.

Latest in a long line of aberrations is Council allowing Dilkens to set up his own economic development unit. This simply means the hapless mayor will now have full control over something he is not very good at doing.

It also means the councillors have conveniently removed themselves from one of the most important files in the City’s history.

Drew Dilkens listening to tax payers.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Drew Dilkens.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

At its March 7 meeting, the councillors, no doubt, smacked their lips at their good fortune of being removed from another task. Oddly enough, with Dilkens at the rudder, the need for a council is diminishing steadily.

It was most apparent during the so-called budget debate, which was heavily orchestrated and the document so complicated the councillors had little idea of what it contained. Most celebrated is how they completely missed the city reneging on its promise to allow downtown merchants to encroach on city sidewalks for free until 2018.

If they missed that, the question becomes, “What else did they miss?”

Now, without a whimper, these same responsibility adverse councillors are turning economic development over to a man who suffers from having no parental supervision. Dilkens generally reports to no one.

However, he is probably the worst person in the city to have anything to do with development of any kind. The fact he puts up with the leader of the regional office admitting to having no training, experience, or skills in his chosen field is a modern day civic travesty that speaks volumes.

What is known about Dilkens is he is the king of frittering. When he was appointed chairman of the city’s former standing committee on economic development he managed to fritter away an opportunity to become a true hometown hero by doing right and bringing more jobs to the community.

Instead he abdicated his responsibility by having meetings with no agenda, some that lasted a mere three minutes or less, or even that were cancelled completely. Rarely was an economic development item even on the agenda.

It was such an embarrassment to right thinking people, and they know who they are, the committee had to be dislodged from its responsibility and, basically, put out of business.

Now, the man behind that outrageous mess will run economic development out of his office. It is pernicious, mostly because he will be out of sight of the duly elected council and, if history is any guide, will ultimately produce no results.

Dilkens is a loose cannon. He has exactly the wrong kind of temperament needed for such a critical assignment.

The fate of the city rests on the development of its economy and Dilkens has shown he is not up to the job.

It should be a full task in which all councillors are knee-deeply involved. The office should report to the full executive committee of council and should not be solely the domain of Dilkens. What is also bothersome is this new office is really nothing more than an indictment and an admission the Windsor Essex Economic Development outfit is not doing its job.

Windsor needs a council willing to stand up to the mayor and his silly ideas. But, by not doing so, it just proves that Council is as useless as Dilkens.

Robert Tuomi can be heard at noon every Thursday co-hosting Talkin’ ‘Bout Windsor on CJAM 99.1 FM. Listen on demand to previous episodes or catch the discussion live and join in. It is also 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

2 Comments on "Wrong Man For The Job"

  1. Robert another great article on our ineffective mayor and city council, who seem to be sitting on their hands and doing nothing but letting Dilkens run wild. I know that when Dilkens was the committee chairman he cancelled meetings stating there was nothing to talk about even with the highest unemployment in Canada. The new jobs that were created came from Chrysler adding the new vehicle which also created feeder plant jobs. The Windsor development committee had nothing to do with the new added jobs. I am still amazed that the new city council members are not outraged at the goings on that ineffective mayor Dolkens is doing to our city. We the taxpayers must stand up and not re-elect the same city councillors back into office in the next election. We as taxpayers must show them that we will not stand for this type of non-action from our city councillors.

  2. Doug Charles | 11 March 2016 at 14:59 |

    I am also concerned about this new economic development office under the mayor which will eventually cost 1/3 of what they may supposedly save by outsourcing caretakers.

    However my other concern is about how this economic development office will help him fill his mandate to carry out the Francis agenda. Developed behind the scenes, and without the implications being fully apparent to council, was part of the Sandwich South Secondary Plan and the Economic Revitalization Community Improvement Plan finalized in 2012 but now starting to come to fruitition before its time. The plan was to be invoked if the population and economy warranted it in 10 to 20 years to develop the are around the airport.

    We’ve seen attempts with Premier Aviation, the FedEx hub, the Samsung solar farm, and now the hospital including the extension of Lauzon Parkway. The parkway itself is expected to cost $175 million, and although nice and convenient not affordable when the city is so far behind in maintaining the current infrastructure. The overall bill of an est. $220 million will be a boon to developers but a detriment to the overall development of the city.

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