Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Golf tournament visitors forced to manoeuvre around potholes:
Welcome to London!

From the London Free Press:

There will be no $200,000 welcome mat for visitors to this summer's CN Canadian Women's Open in London.

City council last night rejected a proposal to spend the money to repave a section of Oxford Street West already slated to be torn up in a few years for sewer replacement and widening.

[…] Board of control backed the project for a second time last week, despite opposition from taxpayers who complained city politicians were more worried about providing a smooth ride for Open visitors than spending money wisely.
Controller Gord Hume, who had stumped for the repaving in magnificently inconsistent fashion ("This is a major route for the people going to the tournament"… oops, I mean "It's not and never has been (about the Open) and staff said that."), shrugged off the defeat with the "don't come running back to me" grace of a failed grade school class president candidate:
Controller Gord Hume, who raised the issue, shrugged off the vote and reiterated his concern the road is in bad shape.

"The road is drivable, that's not the issue," Hume said.

"We'll continue over the next few years repairing and patching it and keep it up the best we can."
As an aside, Free Press reporter Joe Belanger commits a gross error in factual reporting near the end of the article that almost escaped my attention:
The city is operating under a $30-million capital spending restriction, which limits spending on major projects.
In fact, the current council is operating under a self-imposed cap of $30 million in new debt for capital spending. Capital spending for 2006 is budgeted at $78.39 million. Another demonstration of the quality journalism to be found in the Free Press.