Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The complicated calculus of special interest management

An outside facilitator will soon be paid an unspecified amount from this year's budget to decide the fate of Thames Pool. Leaving aside for the moment the legitimacy of using forcefully collected revenues to pay for recreations not necessarily enjoyed or desired by the majority of people paying the bill, taxpayers in London can only question why they are paying city staff to hire outside facilitators to do their job.

No one disputes the aging Thames Pool needs to be upgraded and improved.

But some residents bristled at earlier plans, which would have reduced the 50-metre pool to 25 metres and eliminated a deeper diving section.

Those plans, say city staff, were rushed through because work had to begin this year if London was to get $1.8 million from Queen's Park, more than half the projected $3.3-million cost.

But with an Ontario election approaching and residents upset, London West MPP Chris Bentley, a Liberal cabinet minister, announced in late August his government would provide the money with no strings attached.

Now city staff want to hire a facilitator to hold at least four meetings, some of them open to all and others to seek input from interest groups such as adults who swim laps to prepare for competition.

[..] The old plans would have replaced a free wading pool with a fee-based splash pad and add a one-metre-deep pool with a sloped entrance to make it more accessible for children and people in wheelchairs.


Elaine said...

They have how many useless overpaid people who do nothing at city hall, and they want to hire an outside facilitator to make a decision.

Couldn't they get one of the human rights watchdogs up off their fat asses, and take a gander at the pool, and say 'fill it in' or 'fix it.' Not like they are doing any useful work for having their snouts in the trough.

It is getting beyond insane when you have a whack of grown ups sucking off the tit of the taxpayer, and not one of them, is bright enough to make a decision about a public pool.

eng said...

Those who can't attend the meetings will be able to voice opinions online.

And it will be vigorously freeped.

Elaine said...

...wow that is something, a black hole opened this morning and almost swallowed up the city.

Do you suppose it has something to do with global warming? It has to be that, or that jc is pissed off at all the drinking and sins being committed down there every weekend.

Anonymous said...

Its the dark abyss of hell trying to suck Downtown London from out of its dilapidated misery. It's Halloween so it makes sense.

Elaine said...

Do you suppose they could cut a deal with the outside facilitator,for the Thames pool, to advise them on whether they should fix it, or just leave it for a downtown tourist attraction?

I don't go down town that much, but if I decide to, I don't want to have to worry about the earth sinking in beneath my feet. If it were me on council, I would vote to fix it. I suppose we will have to wait month or two until they can get a meeting together, and hire someone to tell them what to do.

I wonder how much a great big mother of a hole like that will cost the taxpayer to fix?

Elaine said...

I bet those glowtardians who live downtown are just loving this. No hydro, and they get to play survivalist for a few days. I can see them now pulling out their big pails of rice to cook, and tearing the kitchen cabinet doors off, ready to burn them in the bbq they dragged in off the balcony.

Anonymous said...

It will cost millions to fix. In Toronto last year a major intersection had a sinkhole and it was closed for 3 months. Killed business in the area for months. And it was a suburban intersection--not a downtown one. Safe to say that downtown will be a ghost town for a long while.

Elaine said...

Someone could make some money off it though. For the next few weeks people will want to go down and look at the hole in the ground.

If someone wanted to sell hotdogs, it would be a good spot. If I had a cart I would be going down there. "Hole hotdogs, two dollah!"

Have a London hole festival and ask everyone to bring a cup of dirt to help fill it in.

Lots of things you could do with that hole if London just had some creativity mojo kicking around.

Elaine said...

If London city council had have been thinking, they could have let on a metorite landed right in the middle of our town, or a ufo missed the landing strip.

...oh no, boring old London had to tell the world our shit pipes are falling apart, and the city will soon be balls deep in raw sewage. That ain't going to bring anyone to town.

Mike said...

Just drop a performing arts center on top of it; problem solved.

Elaine said...

.....do your magic Mike, and give us a hole story.

Lisa said...


We think alike. See my post, coming soon.

Elaine said...

I am thinking, and kind of concerned.

Do you think there would be anyone working down at London city hall that would have been bright enough to put money away for an emergency?

It is not every day your city is sinking into a very large shit hole, but stranger things can happen.

I hope this doesn't mean I can't have my free tree that officer Gloria Glowtard promised me a few weeks back.

Lisa said...


Why save for an emergency? That's what welfare is for. I expect we will see an increase in council's cries for more money from the province in the next few months. It's simply not fair that maintenance of water and sewage systems interfere with spending that would otherwise go to arenas, libraries and public art.

Satan willing, you will have your free tree and a boulevard that supports it.

Anonymous said...

Here I thought the giant hole in the intersection was the NEW swimming pool they wanted for the residents of the core. Silly me. That's what I get for paying attention to the wrong thing.

The Thames Pool is just another of their wonderful ram it down your throat without asking ideas this city seems famous for.