More Money For FINA But None For Parks

“It’s a crazy thing to rip out a playground and have no game plan for replacing it,” grandparent Gary Graves told the Windsor Star in an August 18 report. As The Square has reported before, playgrounds are being pulled from city parks on a regular basis.

It is all part of the usual nonsense of the Francis Council and its war on regular folk; a war to reduce amenities in a city once known for its roses.

Mayor-in-waiting Freddie Francis admitted that residents, “… angry over the prolonged absence of playgrounds in their parks have been calling asking: ‘Why don’t you keep it until there’s a replacement?’”

The removal of amenities pock marks the city with what appears to be mini war zones. In reality these are badges of courage for the councillors, who want to show taxpayers who is the boss by declaring the park equipment removed was no longer safe.

They are camouflaging the fact they have no back up plan to deal with a situation which is devastating neighbourhoods.

Years ago The Square reported on the toddler who, one day, when brought to her neighbourhood park, found only sand. The play equipment was pulled out and gone. The taxes her grandparents pay in this neck of the woods are reportedly over $6,000 a year but, apparently, not enough to keep parks functioning.

It all comes down to bad choices.

The Francis Council, in its pursuit of glitz on the world stage, chose to turn its back on its own taxpayers, the people who pay its wages, in favour of supporting a rich, foreign swimming outfit.

All of the money given to FINA produced nothing tangible and nothing long lasting. It was supposed to be an economic development particularly benefitting the hospitality industry but, since the December FINA minor swimming championship, restaurants continue to close. Even national chains, as The Square has reported, are reducing their local footprints.

Despite the high cost and negligible results, the city is pondering chasing yet more FINA diving events.

There are some intriguing dollar amounts mentioned by the Star.

The cost to upgrade one park is $261,550, about what taxpayers pay to host one FINA diving event. The cost to replace all removed units, about $4.3 million, is close to the official city cost for the FINA December event, although actual costs have yet to be released.

Bringing back playgrounds, explained recreation and culture manager Jan Wilson is, “… not something we have the funds to do.”

It is always money in Windsor. Millions available for FINA, nothing for the children.

Will Windsor’s councillors have the guts to say no to FINA and start re-investing taxpayer money in their own city? Or, will they continue to throw it away?

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