If you live here in Winnipeg, you are aware that Mayor Sam is getting some serious competition for the job of running this little berg in the prairies. I am not going to comment on his competition at this time, and I am certainly not endorsing her, but I wish to share some thoughts on Mayor Sam. But first, I will share a story:
I believe that the Crystal Development proposal is respectful of the Fort Garry gate, and at the same time brings much needed population and economic development to the downtown area. The apartment building does not preclude the development of a park and interpretive center on the site of the fort, and it would add to our tax base instead of consuming tax dollars as the Friend's proposal would. This is an important issue to me as a tax payer and resident of Winnipeg, and I would urge you hold your ground in the face of misleading media coverage, and do what you know is right by opposing the proposal to extend the deadline for the Friends of Fort Garry.
I'm not sure if the jealousy factor is actually jealousy or just a giant inner child wanting to come out, but it is clear that Sam wishes that he was a big city mayor. He wants all of the big city toys. He wants an IKEA and is willing to bend over backwards to make sure we get one, without bothering to plan for infrastructure to accommodate it. He wants a helicopter because all of the big cities have one. Never mind the cost, or the police officers we could put on the beat with that money. He wants an LRT. No .. a BRT. No .. an LRT. Yes ... definitely an LRT. Much cooler and big-city-like than a BRT. And what's with this bizarre obsession about a waterpark?
He wants all these things whether they make sense or not, process be damned. Maybe some of them do make sense, but we don't know because Sammy danced right by the due diligence part of the process, going straight from idea in the noggin to implementation. No master plan. No grand vision for the city, (like Chris Leo says, in a Sinclair column that's not nearly as bad as the one that prompted my earlier post.) Aside from general maintenance and flashes of fiscal conservatism here and there (property tax freeze, garbage collection outsourcing) his tenure has largely been a random mish-mash of ad hoc development and sprawl.
We now officially have a legitimate contender for the job. I have very few good things to say about the organization that she left, but I welcome the competition. Maybe if you throw a businessman with no plan and an NDPer in a press and squeeze really hard, some actual ideas will drip out the bottom. Maybe even a vision of some kind.
not looking very promising on the ideas/vision front so far:
She also refused to say whether she will raise property taxes, refused to say whether she prefers bus rapid transit to light rail transit and refused to offer her opinion on the stadium deal. She said she will consult with people during the campaign before she makes specific promises.**update2**