Thursday, May 11, 2006

Potholes are part of London's heritage, unless there is a sporting event going on

The $200,000 concrete carpet will likely go forth as planned just in time for the Canadian Women's Open, despite widespread opposition from the people who reside and pay taxes in this city. Council continues to call for public input, only to ignore the preferences of Londoners in favour of their own schemes. We can expect nothing less from a system where individuals are at the mercy of officials elected by a minority of voters, for a fixed duration, and their favoured special interest groups. Council of course wants to convince visitors - clearly not Londoners, who are well acquainted with the continuing mismanagement of this city - that they are doing a fine job determining the preferences of the masses. Don't be deceived folks - this city is a mess and under no circumstances should anyone relocate here.

Readers may recall the proposal put forth by Gord Hume to the Board of Control last month to repave a portion of Oxford Street leading to the London Hunt and Country Club, which is hosting the upcoming golf tournament. Although the section in question is slated to be torn up in a few years for widening and sewer replacement, the Board of control has for a second time recommended that the crumbling section of Oxford street should be repaired, right away! because "suddenly" that pothole-ridden stretch is more important than the other crumbling streets in London. Western Road and King Street, to mention only two streets out of hundreds needing repair, have been voted among the worst roads in Ontario for the last few years, but if Hume has his way this coming Monday, Oxford street will be "jumping the queue."

From today's London Free Press:

A public outcry over the city's plans to spend $200,000 to repave a section of Oxford Street West slated to be torn up in a few years appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Board of control backed the project for a second time yesterday, despite opposition from taxpayers who complained city politicians were more worried about providing a smooth ride for visitors to the Canadian Women's Open than spending money wisely.

Controller Gord Hume, who raised the issue last month, said his concern has always been the condition of the road, not the ride for Open visitors.

"It's a lousy road and staff are saying it's got to be done," Hume said.

"It's not and never has been (about the Open) and staff said that."
And this is what Gord Hume said when the project was proposed early last month:
The issue was raised by Controller Gord Hume, who worried the road's poor condition would leave a bad impression with the thousands of visitors -- including media -- expected for the golf event.

"I was on that road last week on a bus and you really get bounced around," he said. "This is a major route for the people going to the tournament."
And it goes without saying that city staff shouldn't be listened to anyway:
London should bid to hold the 2007 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, the city's community and protective services committee recommended yesterday. If council approves the bid Monday and the city secures the event, there would be an upfront cost of $50,000. But staff assured politicians the tournament would make money as previous tournaments have.