Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Joint Council/Library meeting

From the sound of today's Windsor Star article, it doesn't sound like there were too many surprises other than the Mayor and Councillor Brister, amongst others, having an increasingly difficult time making this a political issue about Councillor Halberstadt.

Congratulations to the Library Board members for standing up for what they believe in, despite the politics and games. From what I hear, the City would be very happy if the Library Board members all resigned in frustration, thereby necessitating a takeover. (It should be noted that the current Library board was appointed by a majority vote of this council's Striking Committee)

Anyone else notice how it seems to be alright for Mayor Francis to refer ominously to in-camera items like severance and personnel matters, implying that there are dark and sinister activities going on behind closed doors at the Library? I seem to remember the last time a Council member mentioned something from an in-camera meeting we were treated to one of Councillor Lewenza's trademark tirades along with editorials from the Star and musings from "The Cheerleader". Can we expect the same for the Mayor?

Don''t hold your breath.

Library Board member Ray Guillet wins the "Telling it like it is" Award for stating what is obvious to most people, except Council:
"At a joint meeting all the participants are equal," Guillet told councillors at the end of the session. "I did not feel like a joint participant. I feel I have been reprimanded, lectured and talked at."
Don't feel bad Mr. Guillet, the Federal Government, Provincial Government, County Council and numerous other organizations would probably agree with you.

I've got a suggestion. Why don't we compare the performance of the Library Board and the Windsor Essex Development Commission over the last 5 years. Lot's of interesting rumours floating around out there about the WEDC. Hopefully Windsor's future Auditor General will make this dysfunctional organization a priority target.

One final note. I still haven't heard from the Mayor or Council why the Library budget was initially targeted for a 7.1 % reduction. I'll have more on this later. I'm preparing a post demonstrating the various increases and decreases across City departments along with a breakdown (from the City) of the suggested ways the Library could operate with a $700,000 dollar reduction.

Update: AM800 Commentary - Closing a Library - by Teresinha Medeiros (The commentary is also located in the right hand sidebar for your listening pleasure!)