Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tick, Tick, Tick

We're now in the 7th week since the infamous "motion from the chair" of Mayor Eddie Francis to initiate an audit from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs into the Windsor Utilities Commission. One of the main reasons cited by Mayor Francis when explaining his motion was the need for speed in this process. The public's mistrust in Council and the WUC was so critical that it was unacceptable to wait the stated 8 weeks before the Auditor General could initiate an inquiry. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs audit, we were told, would begin immediately, which was essential to restore the public trust in the WUC.

As noted above, 7 weeks later and all we have to show for it? :

Audit bid 'backward'
An update on progress of the audit was provided Monday in the form of a written letter from the regional director of municipal services for the ministry.

A pool of "pre-screened, qualified accounting firms" have already been contacted and were requested to submit a bid to conduct the WUC audit, according to the letter from Micheline Riopelle.

The process to submit bids closed Sept. 23 and ministry staff are evaluating the applications, she said.

Doesn't everyone feel warm and fuzzy knowing that the speedy and expedited process by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is progressing so well. As we head into next week with no auditor and no terms of reference published, the choice of a Ministry Audit as opposed to an Audtior General's Audit becomes exposed for nothing more than the political manouevering that it was.

Make no mistake, the terms of reference for this audit will make or break political careers in Windsor for years to come. While Councillor Ken Lewenza frets about watering lawns in Windsor with bottled water, the average citizen is still trying to figure out how to pay for this political fiasco.