St Valentine’s Day Massacre Windsor Style
By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – In the land of no accountability, the mayor of Windsor appears to be king.
Okay, so that is the way it is going to be now that the mayor has nicely had his famed and adoring sycophant columnist at the Windsor Star, a fellow known as Vander, put the facts, or lack of them, on the table in a scathing attack on democracy February 14, 2012.
It was Valentine’s Day no less and this is the worst attack on anything since the gang of criminals inhabiting Chicago back in 1929 took it upon themselves to rid their lot of a few rival gangsters. It put noted crime boss Al Capone, who was thought to be behind the killings, on the map.
The end result caused the band Paper Lace to seek fame with a song about Chicago and the continuing gangster violence there. Its immortal “The Night Chicago Died” talks of how a mother prayed.
In Windsor today, many are praying for democracy in the city. No doubt there could be candlelight prayer vigils to lament what is happening in the city.
Some called the Chicago event wholesale slaughter and now Vander wants to be the guy who slaughters democracy in Windsor. A nice accomplishment and who can blame the non-thinking man’s sycophant for this assault on decency.
What Vander does not understand, and why should he, is that good fences make good neighbours and that good audits make responsible politicians. But, of course, Vander’s job is to get the city off of its intense interest in audits that followed the unleashing of the Auditor General (AG), unceremoniously thrown under the bus for reasons that are not to be mentioned in polite or other company because they remain unknown and unavailable for public scrutiny.
Vander is doing nothing if not challenging democracy. He has an apparent unwillingness to understand that there is a price to democracy and it is the price of audits. He finds that audits are just too expensive by half, quoting the mayor, an Edgar Francis, who he says said “You want an audit? Fine – come in and audit everything.”
Of course, what Vander termed as “a frustrated Francis” challenged the community to “put it all out to tender. And tell me how you’re going to pay for it.”
There. There is the sticking point, the price of democracy. The cost of audits is not an expense, it is a pillar of democracy and anyone, like Vander and the mayor, who claim to be against it, claiming cost, are nothing but a clutch of un-democracts.
Every year the largest corporations and even smaller public-owned companies spend millions on audits. It is the only thing standing between a company that can do what it wants and responsible management. It is parental control in the best way.
Corporation executives know that they operate with other people’s money and the auditors come in to make sure that things are okay. This is not to say that all corporate executives are criminals or that these audits reveal much, but without them corporate shareholders would be flying blind.
It is the same argument for municipal audits. It is not so much that they reveal wrong doing as it is they reveal right doing. One of the published reasons that the deposed city AG wanted to review the file of the EdgarPlex acquatics centre, which put Vander in an incredulous state given it has yet to be built, was to make sure the mistakes made at other city projects do not get repeated. An ounce of prevention in the form of an audit is a small price to pay.
If there is nothing to fear, why, most city hall watchers wonder, is the mayor so against audits with his condescending audit everything approach?
What is most shocking is that the mayor did not have a back-up plan, a way to slip another AG into place once the current one was disposed. Certainly if the AG was performing poorly, in unspecified areas, the mayor would know this and, to show the leadership that the community expects, would have a replacement lined up and ready to go.
What is suspicious in this is the coming election which is not all that far away and which seems to be controlling the mayor’s actions. Is he worried and concerned that the results of an audit could have a bearing on the election’s outcome? With just over 50% support in the last election it could mean a loss for a mayor who seems to not have the best job prospects.
With no plan “B” one can only expect that the process to find a new auditor will take some time, about a year at best to effectively neuter the new person. Is this, some are asking, a nice way to keep the public uninformed about what is really happening at city hall and set the stage for an unopposed election run for the mayor and his do-nothing inward council? Time will tell.
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