They came in with a head of steam: fire the CAO, take back the civic centre, ditch the economic development office and finish our glorious new water plant. Not since Fidel and Che, have such principled radicals come to power. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for them to get comfortable with the status quo.
The CAO got the boot and with him all paralysis at City Hall magically … didn't change one bit. As far as anyone can tell, management is still afraid to make decisions and council is either blissfully ignorant or purposely kept in the dark.
Next, council shuttered the business resource centre. Pretty much every two-horse town has someone in an economic development and marketing role, but not us!
How can we attract industry to this town if we don’t even put a team on the field? Look at the businesses starting up in towns all around the region. We’re not even trying.
Our downtown is riddled with vacant buildings and it’s killing business. Councillors must avert their gaze as they drive past that ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly building on West Street when they go to City Hall. Other cities force development through punitive fees and incentives, but City Hall seems content to just let things slide.
But the water! OMG, look at the nice, blue water! (Curling, just take my word for it.) To great fanfare we opened our $50-million water fountain only to watch most of the precious H2O pour out of every crack in every street. It’s a shame too, since in 2014 we laid down the most asphalt in the city's history. Whoops.
Why aren’t Curling and Mount Moriah getting blue water yet? Surely we built enough capacity into the new system even with 20 per cent more leaks, right? Surely we built it with enough capacity to grow the city, right?
The Civic Centre still doesn’t have a sponsor, or any sense of direction for that matter. The fire department didn’t know that the pumper truck is too old or how to put on those hazmat suits. We’re sitting on a report for that dangerous intersection at Union Street, but we won’t take measures to deal with it. Hello? Is anybody out there?
I’m not hearing any new ideas from this council. In fact, I’m not hearing much from council period — the mayor seems to do all the talking.
I’m holding out for a hero: is there one man or woman on council willing to kick the hornet’s nest and get this city moving?
Jim Parsons, Corner Brook