Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Slight of Hand Elections

A magician gets you to believe you saw something by drawing your attention away from the thing he doesn't want you to see. I have a brochure here that seems to be about the same. Thing is... it's not from Dean Gunnerson.
The "I work for YOU" guy in our 'hood has out done himself. A glossy hand out coming to the door going on and on about... NOT voting for Sam! Instead, Harvey wants you to vote for Judy and Tony.
Harvey! Wake up! Did you miss the memo? The NDP dumped you! Run YOUR OWN campaign!
Harvey will come to your door, sit on your deck, agree with how bad the garbage situation is in the 'hood while blaming cuts by "City Hall" and then in his brochure, tell you that the Water and Waste department has served us well for 70 years!
OK. I DON'T like the Veiola deal (whatever it might look like), but c'mon Harvey, "Served us well"? Really?
Let's review. We get our water from a lake through an aqua duct that was paid for about a hundred years ago. We don't treat it except for adding fluoride and a bit of chlorine. We have some reservoirs and pumps, (some of which are as old as the aqua duct) and we get water pumped through pipes (many of which are a hundred years old and seem to leak fairly regularly) to our homes. We flush into pipes that were also installed in 1910, and simply cannot handle the capacity of today's demands... and we replace them... when the fail... sometimes two or three times (like on Ellice about 8 years ago) When we replace the water lines, sometimes we forget that we live in a place where it freezes and the pipes aren't buried deep enough (like on Moray about 8 years ago).
Our waste systems are also quite deficient. We dumped sewage into the river after a big rain for most of my lifetime. We stopped doing that. (or so we tell people). We didn't upgrade, so it was forced upon us (at great cost). It's the type if system where we can have one guy turn off bolts on a pipe without knowing if it was under pressure (and full of sewage) until it's too late, the bolts are off, and the sewage is flowing freely. Our well trained Civic employees. Not everyone can work there. You 'gotta be qualified.
Should we talk about the garbage scenario? Ever been to Brady Road? Now I'm old enough to tell you about Springfield Road and Saskatchewan Avenue dumps, but not old enough to remember Westview. Basic loads from homeowners were free, and there was a dump located in proximity to where you lived. Now I used to go to the dump pretty regularly and never had the sort of flat tires I enjoy now, and I try to go to the dump as little as possible. The place is badly run. There is clearly no attempt to get the wood with nails or shingles off the driven area. We pay by the ton to dump our debris, the cost of which was OUT OF CONTROL before BFI opened a dump in Rosser.
Go there with a toilet and ask where to dump it for recycling. No clue. More well trained staff.
The W&W department recently gave us these big black garbage cans that stink to high heaven with our garbage "stewing" inside them in the summer. The tall foreheads told us to put our garbage cans on the other side of the lane, and never bothered to look at a lane in the winter and see the impossibility of that. They had to go and renegotiate the contract. We never did hear what that cost us.
Drive a lane in the North End. Auto bins overflowing, and not a transfer station anywhere to be found. Don't know what a transfer station is? It's a place with REALLY big bins where you can dump your stuff. IN Minneapolis, you can take your water bill (as a homeowner) to the transfer station 4 times a year and dump for free. Maybe if people in Winnipeg had the option we wouldn't have so much illegal dumping, but there is NO plan to "fix" the problems we have. Why fix it? It works... very well... or so the tell us.
Ever hear about the City not getting paid for water? Don't pay, and it goes on your taxes. If you have a legitimate complaint or concern about billing, too bad, it goes on your taxes. They don't need to negotiate or offer customer service, they are a monopoly.
The W&W department ISN'T good, or healthy, or efficient. STOP with the lies already. Like every other department, the entrenched mentality of "this is how we do it" stifles ideas, growth, and improvements... and YOU dear citizen... you keep your ideas to yourself, or send them to 311... who will not pass them on, and W&W won't respond.
Trust me. I've tried.
Harvey. It's time to go. The doors to your right... you know the way... the NDP showed it to you, and in a few weeks, so will the residents of Daniel Mac.

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