More Odds Than Ends
By Robert Tuomi
(WINDSOR, ON) – Oddly enough a search for some odds and ends produced only some odds.
There is a growing consensus among some that the Eddie Bad Forever Squad, a squad that Windsor Star columnist Gord Henderson discovered and won’t reveal who its members are and which is said to be a pain in the neck of the rose city’s mayor, an Edgar Francis, who likes, possibly for political purposes, to be known as Eddie, might well have originated with the moms and pops who attended the public meetings for the mayor’s downtown EdgarPlex swimming canal.
At the meeting most of those who came to speak were effectively disenfranchised because the city’s inward and selfish council elected to ignore their concerns.
If anyone tells you that Windsor’s dysfunctional council doesn’t hurt Windsor’s chances to win new plants and jobs tell that anyone to call Gerard Anderson President of Detroit’s DTE Energy.
On May 27, 2012 on a panel moderated by journalist Carol Cain and broadcast on Detroit Public TV he admitted to be surprised at how closely investors look at government and government performance.
If Anderson is right, and why wouldn’t he be, the way Windsor council operates, what with the king of non-integrity Al Maghneigh on board and the building of white elephants without business plans or market studies, Windsor must be turning investors away in droves. It probably is given the mayor has only five active economic development files all at 80% completion.
Speaking of investment, how many jobs are really going to be coming to the Windsor airport’s maintenance hub if it ever “takes off?” The mayor bragged in the Windsor Star on March 21, 2012 that Premier Aviation, the company that will run the facility, “advised him its plan is to ‘ramp up aggressively’ with hiring and training programs. He expects between 250 to 300 direct jobs will be created over the next two years.”
This begs the question, "How do you like the ramp up so far?" It isn’t happening and the number of jobs is suspect.
Premier operates a much larger hangar in Rome New York. At 379,000 sq ft. it is about three times the size when compared to Windsor’s and is currently doing repair work for Air Canada. How many employees does it have? Last year, on August 5, 2011, The Rome Sentinel reported that the place “currently has 108 employees.”
Get out your calculators because a good math question might be, "How many employees would a repair operation need if one three times its size has 108 workers?"
At its May 28, 2012 meeting the rebel on council, ward two’s Ron Jones, in a discussion about what to do about the old Grace Hospital site, lamented that the drama there has gone on for far too long and that residents need relief. Jones might not realize it but he just indicted himself and his fellow inwards on council. Council did agree not to give the mortgage holder more time to pay down the tax arrears.
Without question, Jones is right on one thing, residents need relief – relief from the inward and selfish council who sit and watch the old hospital deteriorate and take no action.
At the meeting it was good to see disgraced, integrity-challenged councilor Al Maghnieh back in good form. He even had a question. Right now Maghnieh is one of the highest paid people in the city.
All he has to do, since they removed him from all city work, is attend two or so council meetings a month and that could even be reduced further if councilor Hilary Payne has his way. He wants Maghnieh banned from sitting at the council table during its executive meetings. If successful, that would mean Maghnieh will only be allowed to attend, as a member, at city council’s twelve or so meetings a year and would be elevated to one of, if not, the highest paid person in Windsor, by hourly rate.
Since most council meetings rarely last more than an hour and he makes a base salary of $28,000 and change, his hourly rate will be about $2,400. Nice work if you’re honest enough to get it, as they say.
There in the centre of a photo spread showcasing the attendees at the Herb Gray Harmony Awards published by the Windsor Star on May 26, 2012 was a distinctive photo of the region’s economic development outfit’s head abecedarian, Ron Gaudet, and three of his staff wearing their Sunday best, or what looked like their Sunday best.
Hopefully their attendance at the event, which had nothing to do with economic development, was on their dime and not the taxpayer’s. Although without an Auditor General will taxpayers ever know?
Fundraisers claiming to be from Windsor Regional hospital have been calling local businesses to raise money. The only problem is that they are not from the hospital but rather an Edmonton-based publisher of a kid’s activity book.
Apparently the telemarketers claim that 100% of the money collected goes to the hospital. It doesn’t, it goes to the activity books.
For more of the Rest of the News listen to CJAM 99.1 Monday evenings at 8:30.
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