London Ontario Canada

April 28, 2011

The Most Brilliant Idea Ever?

I am a firm believer that there are no original ideas, but  got this one and to ME it is original, so I am just going to go with that.


Joe Fontana wants to build a new City Hall.  It will cost (he says) $100 million. The discussions I am seeing involve questions like: Should a new one be built? Should they just fix the old one? Where is the money coming from? (Apparently a great deal of Fontana becoming Mayor is due to his pledge of zero tax increase).

My Brilliant Idea:

It’s not original. It is “stolen” and reworked. You know the TV show Extreme Home Makeover (or whatever it is)? We have an Extreme City Hall Makeover show. Huh? See where I am going with this?

Why do businesses donate to a home makeover? Mostly advertising and a bit for goodwill. Here they can have both. Certainly London has enough major construction companies to pony up a chunk of their advertising budget to donate to rebuilding City Hall.  Dare I suggest even the unions kick in? But not just the big dogs. Small businesses should also want to get in on the action, they have advertising budgets too. Advertising companies have advertising budgets. Let’s invite them too. The local media could have potential National Exposure (advertising dollars). The A-Channel (or maybe the new Sun) could take it and run with a series of shows. How hard can it be to put together a “reality” show? The list goes on.

What’s in it for you? The citizen?

You get a new City Hall (likely better than the one you’d get for $100 million), at a cost of ZERO tax dollars.

I call this Tax By Choice. This particular tax is in the form of advertising dollars. You got advertising bucks? Pony up, if you want.



  1. can’t access the link on homeless and the Poor. please repost with link.

    Comment by j — May 5, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  2. I am just using City Hall as an example. It is was got me thinking about Tax By Choice and the massive amount of money businesses spend on advertising.

    Hey, I am just a guy talking out loud here. Here’s something else I wrote you might be more interested in: Homeless and the Poor

    Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 4, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  3. Downtown_London Downtown London
    Help the SYN CENTRE receive a Pepsi Refresh Grant! Downtown London, London Arts Council, London Heritage Council,… The Story

    Here’s another tweeted example. Pepsi is offering up advertising money to the tune of $100K. Again, I am not trying to take away from these other initiatives, I am just saying look, the money is out there. My main point it is out there, but not in everyone’s pocket. TBC! (Tax By Choice)

    Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 3, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  4. Here’s a tweet from today:

    LFPress London Free Press
    Chatham teenager helped raise $13,489.05 for Bell’s Kids Help Phone during a morning walk in Tecumseh Park. The Story

    Our economy sucks but a kid can raise $13K during a walk in the park. Good on her. To the point of this article, if she can do it, why can’t a city?

    Please note I am not using this story to detract from her efforts (or her friend who got the wee one-liner mention at the end of the article). It is all great and wonderful that she is doing something for others.
    (on the other hand, maybe the neighbours ponied up the dough just to get her out of their faces. “Okay, okay! Here’s $50, just go away!”)

    Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 3, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  5. Are you kidding me? In this economy?

    Comment by j — May 3, 2011 @ 6:39 am

    • I really appreciate your responding and beg for feedback of any kind, but I don’t get it. “Are you kidding me? In this economy?” Sure that gives me lots to think about, but too much. Narrow it down some or offer some more detail. Yes, the economy sucks. That is true. Yet big and small companies alike are still spending big advertising dollars. I am just offering them up a different place to spend them.

      Come on, Hutch. Give me more. Is the economy card the best ya’ got?

      Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 3, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      • my point being is that in this economy, even businesses have to be careful with their advertising dollars. i for one, don’t have the budget to pour money into a spanky new city hall, and could not justify it since there really is nothing wrong with the one we’ve got. the millions that would be spent on it could go to much more worthwhile projects, like say… hmmm… more stupid metal trees downtown maybe????

        seriously! why not spend that kind of money on dundas east of adelaide? decent housing there or perhaps getting a grocery store or two in that area so the people there don’t have to buy their essentials from mini marts at exorbitant prices? or why not spend that kind of money on infrastructure replacement so we don’t get more sink holes from malfunctioning, antique water and sewer pipes? or to pay people to pick up the trash that floats across the streets with the slightest breeze?

        how about spending money on making london a “destination” that people would actually want to come to for more than just a few hours once in a while to see some 16 year old pop-phenom that rushes in and then retreats back into his charmed life without looking back? too many things in this city are focused on that kind of crap, and not everyone can “afford to play”. have you ever taken the time to see those on the outside looking in just wishing they could enjoy it? and i’m not just talking jlc events either – just looking in at the “good life” that not a lot of people here can afford. let’s spend that kind of money to
        make london a place that the ENTIRE demographic can enjoy and be proud of.

        what we don’t need is to spend money to house smug pols and city workers so they can sit comfortably and ignore the real issues on the real streets. take a walk downtown on a saturday night. i did last weekend and i was just so darned proud to see my tax dollars at work paying a bunch of jack-booted police just itching for a fight. kind of reminded me of the vic park debacle from a few weeks ago and it just warmed the cockles of my heart! geez. pretty soon we’ll all need to get a permit issued so that we can go and sit in the park and not get charged with trespassing.

        frig buddy, get a grip on reality and see where the money really needs to be spent.

        ‘businesses should spend money to build a new city hall…’ is that the best you’ve got?

        Comment by j — May 4, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    • Hey man! I agree with you. I am a bleeding heart. I think EVERYONE should get at least a loaf of bread and some peanut butter every day. FREE!

      Maybe I wasn’t real clear, which comes as no surprise. I just fling it out and hope the reader can sort it.

      I DO NOT agree with spending the money, on a new city hall or metal trees. I am saying, let businesses (that can afford it and choose to) donate their resources (in the name of advertising) so that we (you, me and any other tax payer) won’t have to pay. Tax By Choice or Opt-in Taxation. Or call it what it is: Doing the right thing because you can, without screwing over the “little guys”. (heck if there was a Paypal “donate” button to press for some projects, I might even forego a loaf of bread a few times and donate $5. By choice)

      So there…I got that too. Now don’t be made at me. 🙂

      Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 4, 2011 @ 8:52 am

      • are you serious? “business that can afford it” wouldn’t waste theit money on this kind of stuff. THAT is why they CAN afford it, because they know what they are doing, and because they are vigilant. and they are viable because there is no waste like this kind of stuff. wtf is “opt in taxation”? i DO NOT OPT IN. would you? this whole idea is screwing the “little guy” no matter how big he is, because the whole new city hall thing is ludicrous. can’t you see that? a loaf of bread may not be much to you, but it is to a lot of people in this city. a loaf of bread may be a bus ticket, or part of the rent, or something else important. wake up and smell the coffee or the humous or something. WE DO NOT NEED A NEW CITY HALL! what a waste. can’t you see that????????

        Comment by j — May 4, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

      • Yeah, I’m serious. I am seriously think I cannot write or you cannot read correctly. I don’t think we need a $100 million city hall either. I think if that kind of money was spent it would be better spent housing and feeding people.

        And NO. I doubt I would be one opting in and if I did it would be very little. Businesses spend all kinds of money on advertising, let them advertise by building buildings. Branding in itself is huge money.

        I thought I would get input on this concept, but I didn’t expect it to be so totally misunderstood. You really have me questioning my ability to string sentences together.

        Comment by thatguyinlondon — May 4, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

      • “I think if that kind of money was spent it would be better spent housing and feeding people.” EXACTLY!!! thanks for that at least… so, what are the real issues? poverty perhaps? why not spend “advertising dollars” to deal with that? I AM NOT a bleeding heart, just a pragmatic one. i don’t do paypal, and don’t do “opt in”. that is why i have succeeded, aand why i can contrivute in other ways (and i do significantly) and also that is is why i question what the city needs. math. plain and simple. keep it up. get the word out there! thanks!

        Comment by j — May 4, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

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