Sunday, September 26, 2010

Winnipeg votes for a mare

Sure, I know... it's Mayor. Ever been to the track? Got odds on a "sure thing", placed your vote, I mean bet, and the "sure thing" was a dud... your moneys gone, and your mare came in so far back you've already made it to the car before it crosses the line.
WePegger's are in that sort of situation right now. Let's start with Sam.
I liked Sam. Please note the tense, (no silly, not my tense muscles... PAST tense) Sam is a business man. That makes him a GOOD candidate. That said, Sam as the incumbent has made some bad decisions in the past 6 years. In 2004, he was elected Canada's first Jewish Mayor. So what? Winnipeg seems to have a lot of firsts when it comes to Mayors. Worst suits was Bill Norrie (as well as worst fiscal management and biggest dud) (No, I didn't miss the "e" at the end of dud), first woman Susan Thompson, first openly gay Glen Murray, and to the lament of Lillian Thomas, we failed to elect the first Metis Mayor in Danny Vandale.
Who cares? The question is, "Are you any good at being Mayor?"
Sam started with a no nonsense approach or so I thought. I liked some of his ideas... But lately, not so much. I don't know if there's a "connection", but his deal with Asper (pick one) for the project (pick one) that's way over budget and short on details like "will Winnipeggers have to cough up any MORE money?" go unanswered. When you ask Sam "Will you raise taxes?" He says he needs to see a report from the Heavy Construction association. Man, THIS gets my blood boiling. You don't KNOW the condition of the City Sam? Where have you been for the past 6 years? ANSWER THE QUESTION!
The recent rush to install bike paths that really aren't bike paths with no real consultation and no real planning or impact studies is another one that is a major strike against Sam. Assiniboine Ave is a mess, and the City lawyers (since the residents and businesses weren't listened to, they sued the City) argue that they don't have to consult if they are only changing the direction of traffic on a street. I wonder how Sam would feel if they started shuffling street directions around his ball park. His silence makes me believe that he is either a coward, or that the bike coalition has pictures of him doing something naughty.
Winnipeg has been outsourcing things. Garbage pick up, soon water and sewer, parking, yet the City workforce has GROWN under Sams watch. Why? Winnipeg has too many people doing too little work.
The different department heads are masters of their own little worlds, and they answer to...well, not to citizens. Maybe EPC?
I had a friend (he passed) who took phone calls from Sam. My friend was referred to as the real mayor by Sam himself. My friend worked very hard in his neighbourhood, and had a stake near (well right at) one of these new bike paths on Sherbrook. Sam would have had himself a new one torn if he tried to wash his hands of what's going on on Sherbrook right now. This just WOULDN'T HAPPEN. He'd of embarrassed Sam, regardless of their friendship. Sam is (again) being a coward.
He's sitting pretty smug. He's pretty much a shoe in, and I think he's become complacent, or arrogant... I'm not sure which.
I LIKE his LRT ideas. Winnipeg needs a better public transportation system. An Elevated rail is the way to go, but lets review here. Under Sams watch, the Oak Point Rail line has had land sold off and developed, the bridge was available for the City in 2009, and they didn't buy it. Can you imagine having a straight contiguous parcel of land available and NOT jumping on it? LRT, BRT, whatever... the City is run by clowns! A straight stretch from the new Ikea location to Polo Park (and beyond), and they don't want it. I think a tram system would work well, elevated on the medians of Pembina, Main, Henderson, Portage, Regent... we have no freeways, so the major connector routes should get trams, monorails, or some other form of rail, but I can tell you, trains are the way to go. Sam had a number of years to work on this idea... and we hear about it now? Heck, I'm still waiting for his "smart light" promise where we were going to synchronize traffic lights.
I've become less impressed.
Judy, Judy, Judy. An NDP hack who served the North End for 15 years. While there, she never really had the chance to do much for her area, (crime riddled) except vote along with her "leaders" instructions, and NOT support any tough on crime bills. Now she wants to convince us we need her to solve our crime issues by making more community programs available. Don't we already have a plethora of Community Programs available? Judy wants to spend more money on rehabilitating gang bangers and teaching them skills. How about NOT giving them welfare cheques and making them work? The NDP way is to coddle them to the straight and narrow. I'm sick to death of these lefties and their kum-by-ya fireside singing believing everything is going to be ok if we just give them a hug.
Judy wants to raise taxes. JUST 2% a year.  Winnipeg will soon stop paying interest on the debt Bill Norrie and his crew borrowed an eon ago. That's a BIG chunk o change, and it's FOUND money. What's that ear marked for? Winnipeg doesn't need a tax increase, we need fiscal management. Judy won't provide that. No NDP government ever has, and a Leopard can't change it's spots.
Protest votes.
Brad Gross. He has a web site, but it just sends you to his Real Estate web site, making me believe he's in it for publicity. Not the worst idea I've ever heard if publicity is what you want, but not really honourable in my eyes.
Rav Gil. All his eggs are in some "Crime Free Housing" basket, or some strategy he saw or read about in Edmonton. He personally has re developed houses in the North End, selling them to low income people, making home ownership a reality for... who is he trying to kid?  His "renovations" weren't philanthropic... he made money on them. (and so did his 26% loan guy who was kind enough to "give" these people mortgages on Rav's "renovated properties".
Oh my. What to do.


  1. The re-assessment doesn't mean increased revenues because the mill rate is decreased by an offsetting percentage. So on average property taxes remain the same. There is no 'found money' from property taxes, revenues remain flat unless taxes are increased or other sources of revenue are found.

  2. Thanks Durski. Corrected. Welcome here.