Email to the mayor and councillors

I’m beyond frustrated and angry with our municipal leadership.  Just sent this email to the mayor and every councillor.

To the Mayor and City Councillors of Windsor ON,

Subject: Wisdom, compassion, democracy, vision and fairness

The subject line of this email describes a number of things many of us in this community feel are 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.  Do you understand the very poor optics of what you just did with regard to the Huron Lodge caretakers?

You have made a serious mistake in outsourcing the caretakers at Huron Lodge.  You claim be working on a 20 year vision for our community but you displayed absolutely no vision with this very important issue.  Your collective vision is myopic and hypocritical at best.  Did any of you 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 personally have yet to hear anyone outside of council chambers approve of this decision.  The delegations representing the community were a good barometer of the community disposition on this issue but you chose to ignore their wise advice.

No one is fooled by the rhetoric or political spin.  35 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 you have negatively impacted the unemployment statistics in this community.  The fact that no one is being put to lay off does not mitigate the damage done.

Councillor 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 councillors 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 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?  Do you understand how aggravating it is to watch you 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 this evening on the 6 O’clock CTV news, there is but one taxpayer pocket.

A great many of the very taxpayers you 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 you that you answer to us on an ongoing basis, not every four years?  Do I need to remind you that you work for us, not us for you?  The arrogance displayed by some of you is offensive and unbecoming of your office.

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

Significant gains that 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 un-neutered/un-spayed cats that this would leave on our streets.  Will you again ignore the pleas of your constituents to do what you “feel” and “think” is right?  Will you do some serious research and display some vision, wisdom and compassion?  Will you engage those citizens, experts and professionals who better understand the issue?  All evidence says that you are not saving us any money while cutting an invaluable service that the Humane Society have been providing with great efficiency since 1970.

For those of you 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.

You have spent millions on swim meets and sports tourism.  As has been stated by others you have treated our recent swim meet guests and athletes to the gold standard at taxpayer expense.  Why then are you pinching pennies at the expense of those of us who live and work here?  Why the ongoing effort to eliminate good paying municipal jobs in the community?  You promised to lessen our tax burden without cutting services.  That has not been our reality.

Approximately one in six of us now live in poverty in Windsor-Essex.  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.  You are seriously out of touch with the people you represent and whom pay your salary.

Please change the conversation.  Re-engage with your constituents.  Stop the divisive politics immediately.  We deserve far better quality leadership than we are currently receiving.

Thank you for your time and consideration

Tim Stewart

Windsor ON

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About Tim Stewart
Born in Windsor-Essex in 1961. I have lived most of my life in Windsor ON except for brief stays in Lasalle, Paquette Corners and Harrow. Currently residing in Walkerville with my wife Susan Christian.

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