Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Now THAT'S leadership!

Voting to raise the bus fare by a little, and decide at the last minute to raise it a lot... and we are suggesting that is "leadership"?

"Swandel’s unexpected motion — which involved no report, no committee process and no official comment from Winnipeg Transit or other city staff — was lauded by some councillors as “real leadership,” while others expressed dismay." Wpg Sun 11/16/11

If you're thinking this is a bit of a stretch, I'm with you. Leadership would have involved finding a way to have ALL citizens pay for a LRT system, not just the people who currently ride. Good public transportation is a measure of a city's health, and a direct way of determining how a city feels about and respects it's citizens.

This is a lot of things, but it's NOT leadership. Leadership might be something like the Notopfer stamps used in West Berlin after the war to help rebuild Berlin. If you were mailing a letter, an extra 2 "cent" (pfenning) was required to have it mailed out of Berlin in addition to your regular postage stamps. Since EVERYONE mailed letters, this was a good way to raise capital to assist in rebuilding the destroyed city. Leadership? A far cry better than what we see here.

Leadership would have had Swandel insist on an immediate action plan to secure land and right of ways for an LRT system, with firm dates set to obtain the land via purchase, expropriation, or other means. Existing rail right of ways as concessions for taxes on other properties the railway is taxed on and other creative methods to finance these acquisitions could be vetted. A firm timeline to complete the planning and purchase of a rail passenger system, tenders, and so on could have been proposed, but her in Winnipeg, getting an extra .20 cents out of peoples pockets is the best we can do.

It's akin to "We want another $50 a year to do a better job recycling. We don't REALLY know what the money is going to go to, but we want the $$$ regardless.

Simply, we can't trust these clowns. We find out that PP & D is giving Center Venture funds from a slush fund they've been collecting from permit fees that were supposed to be available in slow times to cover the staff the hire to keep things going (albeit VERY slowly) during the busy times. Ahh... so you collect money and tell us it's going to THIS, then you decide you really want to put it to THAT instead.

It's a shell game, and City Hall hopes no one is watching the fact that it's fixed. The pea is swiped off the table shortly after the game starts, they move the shells around long enough that no one is paying attention any more, and before you know it, the increased Transit fares are paying for water pollution plant upgrades.

We have a lot of things in Winnipeg, but I wouldn't say "leadership" is one of them. If we had seen some leadership in the past 20-30 years, and even now, we wouldn't be in this infrastructure dilemma that seems a bit like Gilligan's island... lotsa plans and cockamamy ideas, but we never get off.

1 comment:

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