London Ontario Canada

May 23, 2011

London, Ontario: Wired For The Future

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 1:28 pm

First off, how do I change the font in this damn thing? It is way too small for my liking. I still live in the ancient HTML days and that doesn’t seem to translate here. Oh well, that is not why I am here. We’ll have to make due.

Many things have inspired this train of thought. Train of thought is a little much. This is more a jumble of ideas and comments I have read, swimming around in my mind trying to formulate a concept. I am here to get them down before they swim away or blur into total incomprehension. I am just going to spew it out. We can sort it later.

I have been reading a lot lately about London needing an identity. Compassionate came up, but that doesn’t fly when you look at our homeless and poor. The Forest City is getting old, I guess, though I see nothing wrong with it. If we really need a new identity I think we should be setting a trend, not looking at what other cities are doing?

Where is Canada’s “Silicon Valley”? Or Ontario’s? Which city is the leader in internet technology? What city is The Blogging Capitol, The Gaming Capitol, The Social Media Capitol? Which city is THE innovation hub?

Many are aware there is a contest by Pepsi in which London had an Innovation Hub entered in the $100,000 category. It’d be cool to win that. I saw a video (wish I saved the link) that showed an existing Hub and yeah, that’d be great to have. $100k seemed a bargain. What with the city talking $100 million here and $100 million there, what’s $100K? The city should be backing this.(link provided later)

I read about a group of gamers who are trying to get a local meeting started. Cheers to them! I’ll stop in. (link provided later). London has a video game company, right? Fanshawe has courses in same?

I was reading a long (15 page) proposal regarding a 311 phone service for London City Hall. I got lost in all the legal speak but I think I got the gist. London could become the leader in municipal communication. Other cities could look to us for innovations.

People want free WiFi downtown. I want free broadband internet for all. Talk about an attraction. That aside accessibility opens the door for more creativity. (fight to eliminate bandwidth cap at the very least)

There was an article claiming London was 25th in tourism in Canada. I’d find it embarrassing if people bought that and wasted a vacation on us. The bad word of mouth publicity would do more harm than a misleading article could do good. If we want to be an attraction, let’s start with being attractive.

I don’t know the ins and outs.  As a simple, barely technological guy I see a lot of potential in being the hub of Canadian communication innovations. Am I wrong? Steer me in the right direction to read more on this. Offer your thoughts. Shoot me down. Whatever works to get talking about it.

I am sure this is not an original thought and have no intentions of spearheading a movement but would be eager to join one.

http://www.refresheverything.ca/pepsicommunityhub <– the Pepsi thing.

http://adoseofbuckley.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/london-ontario-a-great-place-to-live-but-i-wouldnt-want-to-visit/ <– London Tourism

http://blog.gamesdaypodcast.com/2011/05/hello-my-game-is-wing-night-aka-tiny-wings/ <– Games day May 26 at Palisades North.

http://brianraymond.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/are-we-that-broken-london/ <–Is London Broken?

http://lfpress.uservoice.com/forums/112027-who-s-london- <– Who’s London/Core Reaction

May 20, 2011

Photowalk From City Hall & Halfway Home

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 11:46 pm

I had an 11:10 doctor’s appointment. Mt doctor is over on Richmond at North of Oxford. I figured if I left at 10:30 I could get there on time at a casual walk. All was good when I left at 10:30. Halfway down the stairs I realized I had forgotten my camera, so back up I went. My dog was happy to see me so soon. This time when I went out I made it halfway across the parking lot before I realized I had changed pants and left my money in the ones laying rumpled on my bedroom floor. Back I went. I figure I had lost 10 minutes. This meant I’d have to walk at a brisk pace to make it on time. I was feeling too lazy for that, so I took a bus and got there 20 minutes early. Fortunately I had a fresh copy of London Metro.

Two things stood out in Metro. One was the back page and the Old Spice guy. It was well done and kept me amused awhile. The second thing was the full-page ad from Family Radio warning of the coming Rapture. Both ads must have paid for many issues. Good grab.

All went well at the doctors, no surprise. I was just there about a week old sore throat. He gave me a script for some anti-bodies and off I went. I strolled up Richmond to the Shoppers Drug Mart at Dundas, knowing they had a photocopier. They did, it made crappy copies and when I told the clerk he said he would let someone know. It was only $1.13, but he should have waved it. I was getting copies of my Bukowski letter so I could give one to City Light Books. I figured they’d appreciate it. It wasn’t a big deal, but he doesn’t write any letters anymore. I sold the original on eBay years ago. I got about $600us for it. That was back when American money was worth +50% Canadian. It was a good time for Canadian eBayers. I figure a copy might still sell but since I sold the original I wonder if I have the right.

From City Lights I walked up King, though Citi Plaza and back to Dundas, making my way to City Hall where I wanted to take some photos. I did that, then decided to do a photowalk home.

Approaching City Hall from on Wellington at Queens. The view from City Hall is much better than the view of City Hall.


There were very few good views of Reg Cooper Square. This peak from the east front of City Hall was the best, but misleading. The planters look like they have greenery in them, but they are actually empty.

Gratuitous artsy shot.

See the emptiness.

Here’s a couple courtyard shots. You can see the disrepair. It’s hard to see the grass growing between each tile, but I assure you it is there.

Here’s some fine greenery. Unfortunately it is only because nobody cared for it. I have to assume this was intended to be used as a flower garden. Perhaps at one time it was a fountain.

Aha! There’s the grass. It only seems to grow where it isn’t supposed to.

This shot was supposed to show the filthy windows, but the camera didn’t capture it. All it really shows is business isn’t booming at The Wedding Room. There are 11 units, and I think there were maybe 5 in use. I didn’t take notes. Looks like a few good offices City Hall could utilize.

Speaking of City Hall…. Unit 1 caught my eye. It looks so temporary with the paper signs tapped up. As you can see this is the office of London’s  Risk Management Department. You can also see the sign on the door requesting it be closed securely, thanks. I thought of helping out by removing the wedge of cardboard, but figured they must have their reasons.

This shot is deceptively nice, tough it is obvious the planters are empty.

I am not one to act as an art critic, but I did have to wonder if the artist planned on the rust?

I Liked this shot. I don’t think I ever noticed that smokestack before.

Central Ave between Wellington and Richmond. Closed for the weekend to accommodate a road hockey event.

A little mishap at Hyman and Wellington. It didn’t look like anyone was hurt. I wondered why the ambulance parked blocking Hyman and backing up traffic. It didn’t seem necessary. They did pull forward a bit and waved at the cars to pull around. Problem was the accident and ambulance made it hard to see around. I thought of directing traffic, but figured these guys knew what they were doing. I have faith in professionals.

I shot this row of houses just because I like this row of houses. This is Pall Mall, east of Wellington.

North of Pall Mall on Waterloo. It is easy to forget this park is here. Weather permitting, whenever I go by there are usually people making use of the tennis courts.

I wonder if this guy gets paid extra because his job sucks?

Walk along Oxford there was a guy putting up a sign at a house with freshly washed window. I suggested to him he give the city a call and see about getting the gig cleaning the offices unused beside City Hall.  There’s there sign. I figure they could always use a plug.

The sign says it all. tailgate sale, truck sale, whatever you want yo call it. Yard sales, church sales, tailgate sales and auctions used to be a passion of mine. If I am out walking I’ll be sure to stop by here on June 4th.

This is a sad sight. It seems this office was always here.

It was around here I lost my glasses. At least, this is the last place I recall wearing them. I need them to see the display screen on my camera. I didn’t notice they were gone until I was at the newish United  Supermarket on Adelaide north of Cheapside. I went in to get a flyer and realized my missing glasses when I wanted to read the price sticker on a loaf of bread. Too bad. I liked those glasses. I have others, but I have had those longer.

And home I went. Not the best of Photowalks but there you have it. I hope you liked the pictures.

May 15, 2011

Beer And Clothing On The Campaign Trail

Didn’t Hunter S. write a book about that? Not sure. It’s Sunday. I am lazy. Lazy Sunday. Not an uncommon view. I am watching The Comedy Channel, Twittering, answering emails and reading blogs and articles. I awoke with that title in my mind and awaited for words to come to fit it.

As you should know by now I have my eye on the campaign trail. That will require, of course, getting out and about. If I recall correctly the place to reach the most people at one time is in a bar/cafe/restaurant/tavern/pub….you get my drift, though golf clubhouse would be my 1st choice. All of these usually require a drink. I don’t drink anymore. I’ll have to get used to all those scenes without the lubricant. It not that I don’t drink at all, but you cannot even say I am a casual drinker. My guess is, occasional is the best description, but the occasions are rare.

When it comes to clothes I used to classify my fashion choice as “golf ready”. Even Hunt Club golf ready. Not that I’ve been. I don’t even know if I’d like golfing at a course like the Hunt Club. I prefer casual settings. Golfer ready for me was nice slacks and a polo shirt, always socks and slip on shoes. My wardrobe has depleted so I have to start giving thought to rebuilding it. I hope all this campaign stuff doesn’t require going beyond the golf ready look too often. I can fill out a suit okay, but they make me feel uncomfortable. Mostly I think, because they are required to give off an impression. Being comfortable is the best impression as far as I am concerned.

The campaign trail. Occasional beers and appropriate clothing, I can handle that. So far so good. The initial days were exciting. Quite a few people typed their support and interest. Now there are a couple. I am not surprised, shocked or disheartened. I mean the election isn’t until 2014. People have their own long-term plans. This is new to me in a way. I can’t remember the last long-term plan I had. I was more for living for the now. Just surviving. Now I have a spark of life and an outlook that I can make a positive difference.  3 years isn’t long and seems like an appropriate time to study for the job I am going for. Or I could look at it as a 3 year-long job interview. Either way I have 3 years to present the me I want to be. Through education and getting out there and communicating, I might just get there.

May 11, 2011

Ward Councilor: Politician or People’s Voice?

Background….

Just a  few days ago I was pondering my future. It looked pretty bleak. I am 55 years old with no defined skills. I have been looking for a job “forever”  to no avail. Think about it, even if I had specific qualifications I’d still be bumped out by youth. That’s just the way it is. I wondered if there is a grey area for old guys like me. Seemingly unemployable, yet too young for Canada Pension. Starting in July my income reduces because the school year ends and my son will be 18 in October. No more Child Tax Credit like as soon as they turn 18 (or get out of school) it’s a given they have a job. In this case, he still has another year to go to get his grade 12. I think the support payments end too, but I am not sure. I was looking at having to find someone to take him in and me going to a rooming house or something. My son and I have lived together for the past 12 years in this apartment. It is the longest I have ever lived in any one spot and the only place he really knows. That makes it home. Neither of us have a desire to move, let alone be split up. Like I said, bleak.

Foreground:

The Federal Election rekindle my interest in politics which lay dormant for many years. I just didn’t really care. It seemed it didn’t really matter so I just voted the usual. For Municipal elections I picked whoever seemed the most human and less political, but did only enough research to figure that bit out.  Harper scared the hell out of me and moved me from not caring to only caring. I read and read, talked on blogs and FB and read some more.  The events of 420 in Victoria Park got me blogging because nobody else seemed to be outraged by it, at least not enough to write about it. It was like there was a gag order out, but I didn’t get the memo. After the election I had little to blog about, so I turned to municipal politics.

Then I found Twitter. I went there not really knowing what it was really all about, but knew enough to know it was a good place to flog my blog. I quickly learned Twitter was more than that. I less than a week I connected with a number of people who, 140 characters at a time, became important to me. Somehow Twitter, or really the Twitterites inspired me to read more and find more things to blog about. I also have to credit the London Free Press and their Core Reaction/Who’s London forums. I am not sure if they are serving the purpose intended, but it gave me a place to write and I felt I was doing some good with my comments. I found myself championing for the poor. No surprise since I could wear that moniker for the pat 5 years or so and looked like I’d be wearing it forever.

One day on Twitter I found myself in a foul mood. I was depressed by the bleak outlook and started moaning live about it. My Twitter friends were supportive, some offered job links. Mostly they just talked to me and put up with my moaning. They helped me become determined to find a job and I started to think what job I could qualify for enough to have a decent chance of getting. I even Tweeted: I need a position where I don’t need a resume and don’t need specific qualifications.  I don’t know if I joked about it or someone else did, but “run for office” came up. Thinking federal or provincial was out and the municipals are a few years away. I thought if I could hold out for 3 years….maybe….

So me being me I started thinking, without research, what I thought of the duties of Ward Councilor. My kneejerk was to write it off because they were politicians and I just can’t be a politician. It’s a game I don’t know or agree with the established “rules”. I am not big on spin or saying one thing and doing another and “playing politics” on a Municipal level. That’s what I thought of when I thought of Municipal Government.

Since then I have delved into cyberspace and started reading about what’s going on in our city and what a councilor’s responsibilities are. It came to me that one doesn’t HAVE to play the game to get the job done and maybe the people are finally fed-up with politics in City Hall. Maybe they were ready for something a little different. Something like transparency, no spin and the truth, even if it hurts. I started seeing the position of councilor less political and more representational. I always said I couldn’t be  salesman, but I could certainly be a representative for a product I believed in. As councilor one represents the people living in said ward, the product is truth.

What are the qualifications for the position of ward councilor? What is the job description? The job description seems easy enough. Take the voice of the people to City Hall and vote accordingly. The qualifications? The ability to listen and report. I can do that. Seems like the biggest qualifications are listening and talking. This all led me to imagine myself applying for the job of ward councilor.

I cannot be a politician, but I can be a ward representative. I do not see it as a part-time job or Full-time. I see it as a life choice for 4 years. I see it as an eat and sleep 24/7 job. I read up a lot in the past few days. I know now that Ward 4 is called Carling as a neighbourhood designation. I know things like there are 52% females in this ward. I know that of the employed 52% are males. I know the bulk of the income is low and most people live in apartments and many other 2006 stats. I know the borders and am learning some of the issues.  Not stellar knowledge, but not bad for a couple of days. I say this to establish I am a fairly quick study.

Future:

What would I do as councilor? Well come on, that’s a hard question to answer so early in my education. But, since one policy would be to answer any question as best as I could at the time, here it goes:

I would study every chance I had so I was prepared for most questions. If asked something I didn’t know or was unsure of I would study that so as to answer as quickly as possible.

I would try to eliminate battles of words in meetings and stress the need to get to business, not posture and worry about sound bites.

I would not use the car allowance because I would be riding the bus or walking. I would be walking or busing all over the ward talking to constituents of all walks of life asking what I, as their representative, could do for them and their families. I would also help them understand exactly what I was allowed or capable of doing in City Hall.

I would be transparent. Really transparent. No lies, no spin, no politicking. Just honesty.

Since I feel councilors are overpaid for talking and listening I would donate a portion of my salary to a needy cause in the ward. Something that benefited the less fortunate.

I would be accessible. I would continue to blog, Twitter and Facebook. I would be able to be reached by email and phone and whatever methods available.

I would try to “lead” by example and hope other councilors dropped the pretenses and just get on with the job. It is not about position or power or a stepping stone to other appointments, it is about representing the people of your ward.

I would be at every meeting, every vote and I’d sit on whatever boards I felt I could benefit.

I would stand up for London and Ward and work in their best interests, not my interests and not special interests, but ALL interests.

It wouldn’t matter if I think you need a new walkway (as an example) all that matters is that you think you do. My job would be to present your view to city hall.

I am 55 years old. I have lived most of my life in London, out for a year or two in the late 80’s working in Toronto and travelling the country in my teens. I have lived. I have not lived as if I would be under the scrutiny of the public eye. I was not guarded and patterning a life. I just lived. I have experienced much. I have worked a multitude of jobs, mostly in some form of public service. Retail, bar tending, cab driving, computer repair…. all involving dealing with the public. I have empathy, I understand and care about people.  I believe I would make a very good representative. I hear Nancy Branscombe is “the hardest working” councilor of the bunch. I would like to earn that distinction.

Does this sound like I am campaigning? Well I guess I am. Please accept this as my letter of intent to apply to the citizens of Ward 4 for the position of Representative in the 2014 Municipal Election.

I do not have official sites set up yet. That’ll be a while and there is plenty of time. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter as thatguyinlondon. Keep an eye on this blog for other random articles, but mostly for updates on my campaign.

As soon as financially possible I will be setting up a website. I will also be dropping the thatguyinlondon blogger moniker and Twittering under my given name.

May 8, 2011

Bend Over London, Here It Comes

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 11:11 am

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/05/06/18115121.html?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4dc59f8474264a95,0

I told myself to never write angry. It is sound advice but I feel if I wait until I am not angry about this, I’ll never write.

We have all read about Mayor Joe’s big-ticket dreams. A new $100 million City Hall. A $100 million 401 project. And who knows what else he is dreaming up to put his stamp on London. Of course when those amounts are bandied about any thinking person will ask, where is the money coming from? Well, if Mr. Maloney is correct, it is coming from the people who can afford it the least.

Take from the poor and give to the rich. That’s compassion all right. Did I read somewhere London was up for a Compassion Award? That made me lol, then this. I’ll certainly be sending this article to whoever is in charge of that award. Compassion? What is compassionate about screwing over the people most in need. Who does Joe think he is? Harper? Next thing you know he’ll be wanting jets and jails. Is this how he is going to suck up after trying to trash the Conservatives pre-election? http://canadians4compassion.org/campaignupdates/news:11 Okay, so it’s not an award and I had it all wrong, but the point remains that as far as I can see London is far from compassionate.

Sorry….I can’t do this. I can’t write about this. I get sick to my stomach. I read the Core Reaction and see people commenting on how to improve London. Improve it for who? Once more people are put out on the street, literally, then what becomes of them? Keep an eye on the suicide rate, Joe. I suspect it will increase. The headlines will read: Another Homeless Person Found Dead: Good Riddance.

Go ahead and read the article. Share your comments. Maybe I can talk about this in bits and pieces without feeling like I just got kicked in the balls. I wasn’t an AM fan, but then again I wasn’t really paying attention then. In my opinion, if it wasn’t for Tim Best, she’d be sitting in that chair right now. You got lucky Joe. Enjoy your one term, if it lasts that long. I’d sure like to see the results of a city-wide vote of confidence, if we the people had that option.

Let me toss this one in here too http://www.lfpress.com/news/whoslondon/2011/05/06/18114726.html.

Look at the average incomes. I’d like to see the high and low that made those averages. It makes it look like all Londoners are living comfortably. I guess that is only the Londoners City Hall cares about. There should be another category: Percent of population nobody gives a rat’s ass about.

(this is the first article I went back and edited. Because I wrote any I got some things screwed up. It likely still screwed, but there you have it.)

May 5, 2011

London City Police: To Serve and Protect

As you may well know I had a major issue with the London Police sending in 25 “peace officers” to first start, then dispel a “disturbance” in Victory Park on April 20, 2011. Historically a peaceful gathering of pro-cannabis activists, this year had a dismal turnout of about 200 (over 1000 last year) in part due to the crappy weather, in part to the threats published in the London Free Press that “arrests will be made”. Arrests were indeed made. 5 that I read about. 25 “peace” officers made 5 arrests in a gathering of 200 people.  It took 3 or 4 officers to pin one guy down during the arrest. Another video showed maybe 4 or 5 officers arresting another person, one was definitively laughing.  See videos here.

That was then. Let’s jump forward a couple of weeks. The LFP’s  London Idea Hub or is it Core Reaction? Maybe Who’s London? Perhaps User’s Voice? Whatever it is without, seemingly, a real name has much input from locals about the loiterers at Richmond and Dundas. Let’s not get into all that here, but let me point out that just 1 uniformed officer posted at that corner would be a step in the right direction of at least getting the loiterers to move on. Am I right?

It would appear not. Though London had a surplus of police to send to a peaceful gathering of pot smokers in Victoria Park, they do not have the resources to send an officer or two to look into a report about a possible crack house that was in the process of doing a booming business. In the LFP story Drug-trafficking complaint wasn’t considered a priority it seems the police were to busy with “competing interests” so said Deputy Chief Ian Peers. Read the article. It hurt enough reading it the first time with all the excuses and backpedaling Peers did in such a short article. The point is there were enough police on 420 to hassle peaceful demonstrators and there were enough to “protect” Harper from demonstrators in London South. There are NOT enough police to patrol Dundas and Richmond (just one specific area among others) and NOT enough police to send to investigate a 911 call from a concerned citizen about a very active crack house. I am sure there are many more stories, but just this bit is scary enough.

Hey Joe, Can You Spare Me $100 Million?

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 9:07 am

I read in The London Free Press that Mayor Joe wants to spend $100 million on a “Gateway Project” out by the 401.

About 25 hectares of land – from the Costco store, south of Hwy. 401 on Wellington Road, to Dingman Road – would become home to a 500,000-sq.-ft. retail and commercial plaza.–Norman De Bono

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t $100 million the proposed price tag on Mayor Joe’s new City Hall? Are there any other $100 million projects in the wings? How many $100 millions does have to spend? Now maybe it’s just me, but $100 million once sounds like a lot. Two $100 million expenditures sounds like twice as much!! I am no math major, that’s true. So my numbers might be off.

Joe Fontana was elected Mayor primarily because he said no tax increases in 4 years. I cannot see that possible with a $100 million here and a $100 million there. Even if that kind of money did grow on $6000 decorative trees, wouldn’t it be better spent helping the 1 in 3 who live well below the poverty line or if you are of the majority who seem to think “screw those low life bums”, that money could be used to fill pot holes to save the city from being sued by drivers who cannot see 10 feet in front of them.

If you were Joe Mayor and actually had $100 million(or two) to blow, what would you spend it on?

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.

Background:

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.

April 23, 2011

Building new City Hall part of mayor’s core vision

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 9:53 am

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/04/22/18056911.html

Since the LFP chose to not allow comments on this story, I’ll repost here with my comments and leave plenty of space for you to leave your own.

LFP: With a summit on the downtown’s future looming next week, Fontana is pitching the pricey project — a source of debate for years — as a catalyst to trigger millions in private development in the core. – LFP

(How can building a new city hall trigger millions is private development? The only way I can see is whatever construction company gets the job will have millions to spend. And will that construction company be a Joe supporter?)

LFP: “This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

(“He”  being Joe. Of course it is once in a lifetime. Do you think you’d get a chance to do it twice?)

LFP: Details? Few have been offered, but Fontana says council must decide by this summer its plans for city hall — and he’s prepared for criticism of his idea.

(Good thing you are prepared for criticism, Joe. I bet you’ll get plenty, starting here. No details yet but only months to decide. Way to plan ahead.)

LFP: It’s been estimated construction of a new city hall could hit $100 million, a huge bill made all the more eye-popping considering the mayor’s push for spending restraint and tax freezes. But Fontana counters that the construction costs make sense considering what’s already being spent on the aging city hall. Asbestos removal at the 40-year-old building could top $20 million, and the city spent $2.2 million last year leasing outside office space for squeezed-out staff.

(Could hit $100, but how many projects come in under budget, especially when the city is footing the bill? Spending $100 million so you don’t have to spend $20 million can only make sense in politics. As for the $2.2 million for renting outside space, how about reducing staff in city hall?)

LFP: Spending millions to maintain a city hall that some consider inadequate is a bad idea, Fontana says.

(Who considers it inadequate? Joe doesn’t like his office?)

LFP: An alternative he lays out involves building a new city hall that could be “leveraged” to create an even larger project that would bring institutions and private companies into the core.

(Like say a convention center or an arena such as the JLC?)

LFP: “We have an incredible opportunity. Let’s start setting the table and see what it looks like,” Fontana said.

(As in spending thousands to do studies that in all likelihood will be ignored if they don’t show the “correct” results?)

LFP: This is clearly Fontana’s priority with the so-called Downtown Core Summit — something of a brainstorming exercise between politicians and the public — set for next Wednesday.

(An exercise is correct. An exercise in futility, perhaps. The public may be able to speak, but will council listen?

LFP: Fontana’s arrival at city hall has clearly shifted those gears, and he’s made continued downtown renewal a priority.

(Is that why the police were called to arrest peaceful demonstrators in Vic Park on 420?)

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