Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BUDGET PASSES

CONGRATULATIONS TO NDP WAYNE GATES FOR WINNING THE NIAGARA RIDING FOR MPP

Update: Jim Thibert was on hand for the local election coverge. This is the first time I heard this: Thibert admitted that the slots at the race track "weren't working." He said 84% of the slots market share was from the US. Went significantly down when US casinos opened.in Western New York




On Monday, February 10, 2014 Fort Erie Town Council voted unanimously to approve the 2014 capital budget. Unanimously. Even Mayor Martin cast a meaningless vote in favour of the budget.

Today, on the town's blog, the headline read:

LOWEST BUDGET INCREASE IN EIGHT YEARS FOR RESIDENTS OF FORT ERIE

Somehow, the four managed to lead the council into a budget that increases the taxpayers' cost by 2.72%. Many would say that is a great example of leadership, awareness and sensitivity to the prevailing economic climate in Fort Erie.  Of course, The Four's detractors will find a way to spin this to make The Four look bad.

Sorry, even the town website is giving council its props. 



Déjà Vue all over again. 


 When the Niagara Parks Commission decided to drop the proposed $150 million redevelopment of the Niagara Parks Marina located on the Niagara River close to Fort Erie, EDTC GM Jim Thibert called a press conference in January 2012.

"Citing that the decision is unfair to the developer, Warren DAC/Sentex Developments, Jim Thibert, manager of the Fort Erie EDTC and Ron Tripp, the town’s acting Chief Administrative Officer said they were hoping to gain audience with Tourism Minister Michael Chan and Minister of Provincial Parliament Kim Craitor, to further discuss this dispute which threatens the future of a $150-million redevelopment."

Two years ago the issue was brought up by Jim Thibert. What happened? Does anyone know? 

Now, two years later, the issue is brought up again. Interesting timing. Of course, council gave its unanimous endorsement to a resolution to approach the Niagara Region and the province to pressure the NPC to renew the development project.

I would guess that Jim Thibert does not think that anyone will remember the last go-around about the marina. Some of us do remember that there was a lot of local opposition because it was to be such a massive change to the scenic Niagara Parkway. Those who live near the proposed marina project were going to be severely impacted and they let the developers know that in public meetings.

UPDATE:  http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/4364273-fort-erie-calls-on-npc-to-revive-marina-project/



"Due to liability issues -- and the fact that it was losing about $40,000 annually -- the NPC signalled its intent to shutdown the marina in 2006. At the time, mayor Doug Martin and then-MPP Kim Craitor stepped in to voice their opposition and the marina was kept open. Working with the town’s Economic Development and Tourism Corporation resulted in a marina development company, Warren DAC, stepping in to take over operation of the aging facility.But when it came time for phase two, a planned $120-million redevelopment of the marina by Warren DAC, the project came to a screeching halt after the NPC declared the whole process invalid and kicked everything back to the planning phase in early 2012.
Craitor later revealed it was because the request for proposal process, which was jointly launched by the Town of Fort Erie, the EDTC and the NPC, was improperly executed. According to NPC rules, no external agency, such as Fort Erie’s EDTC, is allowed to be involved in the request for proposal bidding process."
Does that mean that the mighty Jim Thibert made a mistake? Sure seems like it. Why is Thibert always "making deals" anyway? Shouldn't he be concentrating on bringing in new business and economic development  to Fort Erie instead of trying to be Donald Trump without the comb-over? 

During my research I came across the Tourism page of The Town of Fort Erie.  It was titled:

BRIDGING OPPORTUNITY - CREATING SUCCESS

Three major developments were touted on the page. The Canadian Motor Speedway (just getting started);a major development at the Fort Erie Race Track (never started); and the marina (stalled.)

Hardly "creating success" as the page boasts. Remember this?

"Nordic Gaming/Fort Erie Race Track – Potential home to a new $300 million dollar destination attraction at the site of the Fort Erie Race Track. Initial plans call for a convention facility, water-park, indoor carting facility, hotel, retail outlets, commercial space, restaurants, golf centre, Niagara wine pavilion, and new grandstand and backstretch facilities. Designed to act as Niagara’s southern tourism anchor, the destination attraction will provide visitors to Niagara with still more to do. Complimenting the tourism amenities and gaming facilities already in place in near-by Niagara Falls, the Fort Erie Race Track destination will also act as the Southern Gateway to Niagara and will offer visitors a unique opportunity to re-visit the Niagara area and explore Fort Erie as a component of their visit to the region."

Didn't the council of the day pledge some money towards this project? Why is this still on the 
town's tourism page? The whole tourism section needs updating. In one story, the Waterfront Park is described as "just steps away" from the public beach. Everyone knows that the beach near the Waterfront Park is not very good. The public entrance to Crystal Beach is a lot more than "a few steps." Of course, there is no mention of the National Historic Site, the Point Abino Light House, quite visible from Waterfront Park and Bay Beach.

 Who writes these brochures? 






18 comments:

  1. with all the money the mayor has wasted in the legal system suppressing the democratic process......sueing his own council and fighting 5 vote recounts(to say nothing of what his pal thibert has wasted).....there would have likely been no increase at all.

    These 2 have lawyers on speed dial, too bad our hard earned tax $$ pay for it all. Print this ninja`s.

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  2. The ninjas are reporting a supposed "dust-up" between Lubberts and Brady, the town planner. What really happened is that Donnie Lubberts pointed out the by-law passed during the Redekop Administration that states that, in order for a high rise condo to be built on the Bay Beach Properties, the whole process would have to start all over. That will not happen as long as the four councillors are in office.

    Can you see how important it is for the "other side" to change the balance of power on council? If they get the majority back, they will re-open the condo negotiations and we'll be back to Square One: facing a high rise condo on public beachfront lands.

    Never, in the history of Fort Erie, has the council stood up for the people like The Four have done. Some people at town hall don't like it because they've always done exactly what they or their handlers have wanted. Now, through The Four, the people are being represented, and "the others" can't handle it. They are losing their minds over it.

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  3. Your last paragraph is exactly right madam Editor.

    Town hall has always had a huge culture of doing whatever they want, mostly for their own gain or good and to hell with the other 29,500 or so of us. Get rid of people like Schlange, Rino etc and Brady pops up to replace them. The mainstream media was either on board and complicit or avoiding the controversy.

    Only with the coming of the internet has any of the real truth seen the light of day and the old clubbers like martin and his low life supporters are pissed that they cannot conduct business like their predecessors did and utilize tax $$ for their own purposes. You can see it anytime you ask of martin anything, he is not used to being questioned and his massive sense of entitlement after decades at the trough is offended.

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    1. We have a blog, a faux newspaper and what passes for main steam media in Fort Erie all dedicated to making four current members of council look bad. It is a direct assault on the will of the people who elected these guys. Town council needed to be shaken up; the mayor's office too. Although the mayor's race was lost by five votes, the four were elected by large margins. It shows anyone who has a functioning brain that the people wanted the town to go in a different direction. The Four have done much to fulfill that mandate. Those staff who chose to move on went to better paying jobs. It happens all the time. Some (cough-cough) Mostacci may have realized that the new power on council would not agree with his vision for the shoreline of Bay Beach. Others, like Salter thought that mistakes and bad attitude would be tolerated. Harry Schlange left the town shortly after his hiring as CAO. Then he came back. He left town after he left the CAO job and then he came back. So what? Helen Chamberlain is moving on to a higher paying job with the region. Who wouldn't?

      Ron Tripp has worked for the region, then the city of St. Catharines, then Fort Erie, then back to St. Catharines and now back to the region. He has improved on his career and good luck to him in his field.

      Staff has had a reputation in Fort Erie as having more power than the mayor or council. That was due, I believe in the fact that past councils allowed staff to direct the agenda because some of the past mayors and councillors were lazy. Even today, there is one councillor who does not read the package sent before every council meeting. It certainly isn't any of the four.

      And that's the big difference with this council: it has the power and the mandate to work on the behalf of the people.

      Too bad some aren't happy about that. Perhaps the town planner needs to look for other work if he feels harassed when he is schooled in council by-laws. How did that work out for Heather Salter?

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  4. I read an article on what the City of Port Colborne are going to be doing and have done in the past. Lot of forward thinking going on over there, and I read in the past that economic development has become a department of the city. Is Dan Aquilina, the City's Director of Planning and Development who also now oversees economic development the son of the late Sam Aquilina from Crystal Beach?

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  5. Who in there right mind would want to live a short distance downwind (as the crow flies),in this marina project, from the much vaunted Not4Nascar track that is going to pave all our streets in gold.

    Bill Miller is selling his small palace nearby on the river, one can only assume because it is realized by people in the know that this ``zero carbon raceway``(BS!) will impact those who live nearby with both noise and pollution. To say nothing of property values plummeting.

    Like Bay Beach with it`s inherent problems, who will spend huge $$$ for property in such a situation.....

    Unlikely this marina project will get off the ground but it would appear Thibert is working hard at forming the illusion of doing something for his sunshine list salary and riding high on the Liberals propping up the horse track for another year, barring of course their minority government failing. You can mostly thank Kim Craitor for this as it certainly was not JT`s influence with his ``screw you banners`` that had the Liberals digging deep to finance another year.

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  6. Looks like thibert was hanging out with the Liberals last night. Maybe he has finally figured out how the game works. Libs in power means you are a Liberal, for now at least, if you want Queens Park to keep the track open. Must have been tough for that huge ego to eat a little crow as I doubt he was there to thank Kim Craitor for all he has done.

    Now if we can only get his idiot twin brother DM to figure this out.

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  7. Tim Hudak blames "union activists" for the PC loss. Cry us a river. Wonder what ulta-PC Doug Martin thinks about this and the ninjas' trashing of Tim. Of course, they blame Ann Marie Noyes for the loss, going back to the repudiation of Sandy Annunziata for the mom back a couple of years ago.

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  9. Just watching 'n' reading.February 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    He joined the Kinsmen Club.

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  10. Greg and his budies have done some heinous things to me and others in this community. Hopefully, some day it will all come out. You might notice the link on the right to a blog called "Immoral Minority." The writer of that blog has been through hell becuase he has exposed Sarah Palin as a fraud and a grifter. He has been accused of crimes; had his job threatened and he has suffered from numerous attacks from supporters of Palin. I have been a fan of his for several years and he is aware of what is happening to me. We are kindred spirits in many ways. Started out trying to give the truth to the people and have been subjected to a lot of pressure for it. Jim Thibert was able to sue me because he had the go-ahead from his hand-picked EDTC lame duck board to use taxpayer money to do so. What I said was no different that what has been said on blogs all over the world. Right now, I'm enjoying the irony of hearing that Jim shows up at Liberal functions - not as a star, but as one of many. Better yet was Wayne Gates' victory in the riding. Neither Martin nor Thibert have any sway with the NDP right now. Greg Bonito being allowed to join George McDermott, Rick Shular and others in the Kinsmen Club is rather pathetic for that fine service club. After hearing of Martha Lockwood's attempt to get the Kinettes to give poor Tim Whitfield some money, makes me wonder what's going on there.

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  11. Dear Editor I have never been a member of a club Kinsman or otherwise so it is my hope that you will correct the record .

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  12. You wonder what's going on here, you never know what is going on

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  13. Sorry, George. I mistakenly thought you were a member of the Kinsmen Club. I did not mean any disrespect for the club, except to wonder why they allowed Greg Bonito to join. Perhaps they have not read his various blog postings. (Of course, he uses a number of aliases because he's a coward.) He does not represent the ideals of a service club. He. like some of his cronies, do not understand confidentiality or respect someone's privacy.

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  14. The interview last night with M. Thibert was incredulous. The Gov't lead money was spent on a company from the States and their result was to produce a report that JT states will make the track self sustaining in five years...The moderator asked in some manner how when the tracks are always heavily subsidized?. My question would be if its that simple why has there not been a plan to do this before. When you have a facility that size you must look at some diversity.Does no one over there have any imagination?

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  16. The only reason Bonito sent that letter to the editor was to shine a light on himself. He takes self-serving to a whole new level. I was a long-time member of a service club and I was imoressed with the work they did for the community. It was not all about "Look at me, I'm in a service club!" It was a lot of hard work and following a strict code of confidentiality and caring. we helped many people in the community anonymously. Only members knew who those people were. I once found myself in dire circumstances and the club voted to give me some money. I am eternally grateful for that. The only reason I am not still a member is that I worked the night shift for a couple of years and could not attend meetings. I still worked the occasional bingo. The information about the gift to me was let out by a member who had a personal affiliation with a local politician. Other confidential information about me and others has been made public with the help of people who are bound by their jobs to not reveal such information. This is what the ninjas are up to: following people around; taking pictures of trucks; etc. It's so bad that two friends can't even go to lunch together without Crystal Beach's Mrs. Kravitz calling it in to the ninjas.

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