Windsor Councilors Out Of Touch


By Tim Stewart

Many of us in Windsor feel there are a number of issues where the thought process is seriously lacking in the decisions being made by this mayor and council.

Voting on the same issue over and over again until attaining the desired result is a despicable manipulation of the process. Does Council understand the very poor optics of what they did with regard to the Huron Lodge caretakers?

They made a serious mistake in outsourcing the caretakers at Huron Lodge. They claim be working on a 20-year vision for our community, but displayed absolutely no vision with this very important issue. The collective vision is myopic and hypocritical at best.

Did any of Council take the time to talk to Huron Lodge residents or their relatives prior to the council meeting that determined the caretaker’s fate? How many of them supported the decision?

I have yet to hear anyone outside of council chambers support this decision. The delegations representing the community were a good barometer of the community disposition on this issue, but Council chose to ignore their wise advice.

No one is fooled by the rhetoric or political spin.

Thirty-five jobs in this community are gone. Those well-paying jobs will no longer be available for future generations of workers in this community. In the long term, Council has negatively impacted the unemployment statistics in this community.

The fact that no one is being laid off does not mitigate the damage done.

Councilor Francis has recently made comments about sucking and blowing. How can you ask corporations to bring good paying jobs to this community when this Council continues to outsource the good paying jobs that are already here?

By the way, Mr Francis, it is entirely feasible and perfectly acceptable to support a decision while at the same time questioning the process which brought about the decision. We expect to be fully informed by our councilors and mayor.

Our city has limited debt and healthy reserves according to most reports. Tough decisions were made to get us here. We get it.

That being said, we clearly do not need to cut to the bone. We certainly shouldn’t continue to do so at the expense of workers in this community.

Taxpayers will gladly pay reasonable taxes if the funds are managed responsibly, with real vision and with respect for the community at large, in an open and transparent process.

It should be noted that Administration’s numbers weren’t remotely accurate regarding the revenue/cost projections for both the WFCU arena and the WIATC/Adventure Bay. Now we are trusting their numbers for the Huron Lodge and Humane Society along with other budgetary decisions?

Where is the accountability?

Does Council understand how aggravating it is to watch them pour millions of dollars into the poorly performing Adventure Bay and discuss multi-million dollar underpasses while cutting the good paying jobs of our friends and neighbours?

Please don’t tell us about capital vs operating budgets. As noted by Councillor Francis on the 6 o’clock CTV news, there is but one taxpayer pocket.

A great many of the very taxpayers some councilors claim to be protecting are outraged at the Huron Lodge decision. Mr Payne and Mr Dilkens have recently and publicly suggested that they will answer to their constituents for these decisions in 2018.

Do I need to remind Council that they are answer to residents on an on-going basis, and not just every four years? Do I need to remind you that you work for us, and not us for you?

The arrogance displayed by some Councilors is offensive and unbecoming of the office.

Council will soon have the responsibility of making a decision about animal control services in our community. I sincerely and sadly doubt that any Councilor will fully understand the magnitude of the immediate, as well as the long term, impacts that removing the contract from the Humane Society would have on our city.

Significant gains which have been made in reducing the feral cat population will be lost in a matter of months as the colonies multiply exponentially because of the number of in-neutered/in-spayed cats that this would leave on our streets.

Will you again ignore the pleas of constituents to do what they “feel” and “think” is right? Will they do some serious research and display some vision, wisdom, and compassion? Will Councilors engage those citizens, experts, and professionals who better understand the issue?

All evidence points to Council not saving us any money while cutting an invaluable service that the Humane Society have been providing with great efficiency since 1970.

For those Councilors that might actually care about the animals, the wrong decision also guarantees a future of unnecessary suffering and death for these defenseless creatures. They did not ask to be left on the streets to fend for themselves. The increase in strays will be noticed quickly by residents and visitors alike.

Council has spent millions on swim meets and sports tourism. As has been stated by others, Windsor has treated our recent swim meet guests and athletes to a gold standard at taxpayer expense. Why then are they pinching pennies at the expense of those of us who live and work here?

Why the on-going effort to eliminate good paying municipal jobs in the community? Council promised to lessen our tax burden without cutting services. That has not been the reality. Services have been cut and taxes are going up 1.73%

Approximately one in six of us now live in poverty in Windsor and Essex County. This council has spent far too much time trying to shine on the so-called world stage while ignoring the true needs and pleas of the people who live and work here. Council is seriously out of touch with the people they represent and who pay their salary.

Change the conversation. Councilors should re-engage with constituents and stop the divisive politics immediately. We deserve far better quality leadership than we are currently receiving.

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About the Author

Tim Stewart
Tim Stewart is a regular contributor to Square Media Group. He is a resident and tax payer in Windsor, where he lives with his family. Email Tim Stewart