Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oshawa City Council’s Seriously Misplaced and Misguided Priorities

According to a page 11 story in the Sept. 28, 2007 issue of Oshawa This Week, the City of Oshawa has won one of 42 national marketing awards for its “World Cuisine Guide” that features a list of the city’s multicultural downtown restaurants.

This award was presented to the city by the Economic Development Association of Canada at its 39th annual conference in Saskatoon recently.

The guide is a “pocket-sized” pamphlet identifying 24 of downtown Oshawa’s multicultural restaurants detailing hours of operation, availability of outdoor patio, entertainment details, etc. and 10,000 copies of the guide have been distributed. A new guide showcasing Oshawa’s business services is in the works.


In Oshawa’s submission for this recognition, they were required to define their distribution system for the 10,000 copies. This would be a laugh! Did they say each of the restaurants got 500 copies to collect dust or did they mention a potential landfill site?

In the submission, they were also required to define their governance structure. I wonder if the city reported that Oshawa is now the largest city in Canada without municipal political parties with a general vote council whose member’s constituencies are twice the size of our federal and provincial government members.

Oshawa City Council is a real anomaly in civic governments in the country and undoubtedly the laughing stock of Canadian Municipal Politicians.

Unfortunately, we citizens of Oshawa must also be the subject of some national ridicule for allowing our conniving politicians to foist their self-serving contrivance on us.

At a time when staff propose tax increases in the order of 8-9%, which are apparently supported by the mayor, it's amazing we find some surplus funds to produce this free advertising for our downtown restaurants.

And city council approves these expenditures even though they continually voted to keep the public in the dark regarding the referendum question by refusing to produce information brochures on this much more important issue.

While the province was expending $6.8 million on its own referendum on electoral reform, Oshawa spent nothing and indeed the Mayor publicly stated that it was not city halls responsibility to inform the people whose opinion they were seeking…Incredible!

I’d think that the downtown area is so small nestled in a 3 or 4 block area that anyone would be easily able to locate these restaurants if they indeed wanted to visit the downtown. Those who work and lunch downtown already know the area like the back of their hand.

A city council bunch that cannot get their communication priorities even close to right hardly has the common sense or intelligence to make more important decisions for our city.

In addition, because of the profound disrespect they demonstrated to the Oshawa public in refusing us the background information that was required to make a valid plebiscite judgement, the city council and its civic administration should be disbanded.

In order to get our taxes under control in this highest taxed region in the GTA, we should all work at eliminating Oshawa City Council similar to the municipal amalgamation which was done in Metropolitan Toronto. This would wipe out one tax devouring superfluous and redundant level of government since all of the important work of local government is done at the regional level.

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