...Now for the Rest of the Story
The Council meeting of February 7, 2005 produced an outstanding wealth of interesting information. There was, of course, the obvious. The obvious being, the issue of our city’s foolish and inconsiderate threat to deprive our children of their swimming pools. The supersonic, pass the buck, capitulation by council was predicated on the administration’s efforts to head off a sound dressing down from a very angry crowd of Parents. In fact, even after gaining back their children’s pools, many in the gallery were just as angry at being denied their chance, in what some of those present stated in colorful language, was to tell our feckless council just what they think of them! Of concern to many people, regarding the wealth of interesting information that came forward is the wealth of interesting information that was not reported in the media. After the pool deception, the gallery was still standing room only. These people were there for one reason, and that was to address the budget and governance. That is were the wealth of interesting information came from. What was the media focused on? Did we miss the media report regarding the news or the reiteration of the $37 million hydro money coming back to the citizens of St. Catharines? Did our media report on the treasurer not wanting to discuss the $37Million hydro merger money, on camera, even though the presenter had already informed us that the hydro machinations where already wide open to the Citizens of Hamilton! Was there a media mention of the unnecessary $40thousand added to the two-way traffic study? Did our media sniff out the fact that this fictional $40thousand shows up as a tax cut? Was that an unreported deception or just a magic show? Did anyone read a report on the plaintive cry of one of our senior citizen’s request regarding donations being handed out to charities etc., that the taxpayer has no choice but to pay? Since many believe that it takes more people on council to protect democracy, is this one of those budget items that should go on the ballet every three years for everyone to decide? You know, like a plebiscite! Some people might have been interested in one presenter’s lucid suggestion on how to solve some of the downtown parking problems. Some people might have been interested in the $400K annual give away of staff parking in none other than prime locations. How about Councilor Disher’s dismay when she discovered that Kitchener, Ontario had four enclosed swimming pools, while our administration threatens to close our one and only. Makes one wonder what her response would be if she discovered that property taxes in Kitchener, Ontario are actually lower than here in St. Catharines. Surely the media will not take as long to focus on these matters as it did with the long standing dirty little secret of citizens suffering from brown, stinking, and staining drinking water. Parents will take care of councilors that threaten children. What the rest of us were there for was to unmask the elephant that Mr. Wilks so thoroughly, valiantly, and accurately described. Wilks was right! While the media focused on the flashing mouse they remained blind to the presence of the elephant, the search for truth, and the desperate act of citizen’s self-preservation.
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