It looks like there will be an autumn bumper crop of oddities in the once rosy city. At least, judging by the ones which have already surfaced.
Comments on social media continue to condemn interim mayor Drew Dilkens for his expensive plan to spend $1.5 million to string Christmas lights in Jackson Park. There is considerable mystery about how this plan was hatched.
Taxpayers remember being told, back in January, when the city’s budget was approved, about how scarce money was in the city, so much so a tax increase was a must, to add to the city’s already high taxes. A mere seven months later and $3 million appears out of the blue. Now it’s $1.5 million after public disgust.
This amount is about equal to what the city would bring in with a 1% property tax increase. It causes some to wonder how much other money exists, particularly given that the city, in its annual report, found out it had a $33 million dollar surplus last year.
Co-incidentally, or possibly not, two Paul Davis trucks have turned up in a parking lot across from city hall. The company specializes in “recover.” Are the Paul Davis’ workers in town to help the mayor recover from the criticism of his big Christmas lighting spend?
There is some credibility to the thought. The trucks say they are from Toronto and York Region. It is a common modus operandi of the Francis Council to hire consultants from 500kms away.
Speaking of the new city hall, a curiosity has appeared on the northwest corner of the fourth floor. For all intents and purposes, it seems to be a grand elevated viewing stand which looks out of place with the architecture’s smooth lines.
Such balconies are common for both monarchs and despots. Is this one being prepared so mayor-in-waiting Freddie Francis will have his own unique place to address his subjects? Or, is the city trying to match Chicago’s Sky Deck?
There, the adventurous can walk out on a glass floor extending from the 103rd level of the windy city’s Willis Tower. It is a tourist attraction. Is this an attempt by the Francis Council to cheat fate and compete with Chicago?
Will tourists abandon thoughts of going to Chicago and settle for a fourth floor walk-out in Windsor?
Apparently there is no rest for the constructors erecting the new hall. A report to city council on July 10 said construction of the new municipal palace was on time and on budget. If things were going so smoothly, why was a crew working on the new building on statutory holiday Labour Day?
Under Ontario law the workers could qualify for time-and-a-half for their holiday hours. If the project was on schedule and on budget, was holiday work really required?