Tuesday, November 13, 2007

$50,000 down the sinkhole

The sinkhole in the downtown core remains and yet city council yesterday voted to pay a consultant $50,000 to prepare a report on "the feasibility" of a performing arts centre. Property taxes and debt have been rising every year since Anne-Marie DeCicco-Best was elected Mayor, and the infrastructure isn't getting any younger, but with the exception of only Paul Van Meerbergen, council agreed to the plan, including councillors that found little support for the project from residents in their respective Wards.

Of course the project is "feasible" in so far as a good chunk of taxpayer money would be paying for it and taxes can always be raised again in the name of making London a Creative City. There is nothing to consult about because ultimately it's a political decision whether to spend other people's money on bread and circuses - the emphasis here being on the circus part. As is usual with such reports prepared by consultants paid to do a job city staff is already getting paid to do, the findings will be used to sell the idea to public.

Maybe more sinkholes will finally shake Londoners out of their complacency. Trouble is, a municipal election is three years away and that's plenty enough time for Hume and his supporters to plunge the city into further debt.

Leading the push for a centre was Controller Gord Hume.

"London is the only city its size in Canada, and I'm told in the United States -- but I don't know that -- that doesn't have a performing arts centre," Hume said.

While there's a cost to building a facility, doing nothing also has a cost, Hume said.

Such a facility is crucial if London is to attract and retain creative people, he said. "The leadership starts in this council."

[..] Coun. Cheryl Miller said Londoners shouldn't have to choose between an arts centre and quality public works. "We deserve both," she said.
And Londoners who voted for the current council - with the exception of those who voted for Paul Van Meerbergen - get what they deserve, meaning higher taxes, more sinkholes and less money for tickets to the JLC.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a London residential tax-payers' association? Anything that represents the people being ripped off by the Council? I lived in London for eight long, long years, and have to say the smell of corruption and the sight of incompetence was pretty consistent there. A PAC is just a farce. Ask almost any city of comparable size what their deficit on such a facility is each year. The total deficits across the country would build London a PAC. They are a sop to the hundreds of layabouts and welfare bums that call themselves "artists". Now if those "artists" could be taught how to use a shovel, maybe London to aspire to being the most pot-hole-free city.

Richard said...

I hope that's an old photo, because I recognize that pile
of shopping carts from about
four years ago! That's the park
across from Adelaide and Kipps Lane!

MapMaster said...

Dad… is that you?

basil said...

Anonymous:
"The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense."

Yeah, let's get dainty at the PAC. Fuck the potholes - potholes are for those who leave their yogurt out overnight to get culture.

We will get what we deserve: sinkholes and a white elephant to house stars too washed up to fill 1/4 of the JLC, and a place to waste Canada Council grant(your tax)money on art sinkholes. That's what we deserve for electing these culture fascists who will ignore or squash local culture to build ivory towers tall enough that cities of comparable size will be able to see it from afar.

Richard:
That photo is from Greenway Park about 3 years ago after they dredged that section of the river.

Elaine said...

There must have been some wicked weed in that bong they were sharing.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Business/2007/11/14/4654148-sun.html

Core businesses extol creative feel-lfp

Usher said the number of metal trees will grow to 80 and LDBA will also contribute $10,000 to the planting of real trees. He said the mural on the King Street face of Galleria London has also attracted national attention and he promised it would be the first of "many more to come." -lfp

In an interview, Usher said much of the pessimism about downtown revitalization has vanished.-lfp
We haven't had so much to celebrate in a long time and we are working hard to keep the momentum," said Usher.-lfp
Mainstreet manager Janette MacDonald said the downtown is taking on a creative atmosphere that will draw investors-lfp
********************
Not a hole lot of reality bouncing around in their pumpkins, is there?