Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT BAY BEACH AGAIN

Didn't want to do it, but it has become necessary as, once again, the Bay Beach Properties are in danger of being given over to private development (high rises.) Of course, this concept will be introduced again all neatly wrapped up in a one hundred grand consultant package brought to you by.....the same consulting firm that was used to justify the building of a twelve story condo tower on public waterfront lands in the first place.

Damn, we thought that the Master Plan for the Bay Beach Properties would take into account the desires of the people who live in the area who have been fighting, through legal channels, the former town planner's dream of a wall of condos along the shore of Bay Beach. At least ten years of struggle to save the last waterfront parcel on the public sand beach from private development. What does it take to save a potential parkland for the people? We know that the current council was elected by and for commercial interests. The campaign to discredit four duly-elected councillors was hatched amongst the very people who helped elect a Chamber of Commerce-centric council. Rather than being ashamed of the lies, misrepresentations and lawsuits against The Four, the new council revels in its ignorance and lack of innovation, thinking that "boring" is a good council meeting. 

 Wake up people.  They haven't gotten the bill for the $400,000 over budget from water main breaks this winter.  It is a common held belief from those at 1 Municipal Drive that the grand reckoning will come in 2017.  They all know that the fixes and catch up will be double digit tax increases the likes of which our town has never seen (even under Martin). 


Kris DubĂ© wrote an interesting piece in Bullet News this week. It must be read very carefully to really understand just how dangerous this new process can be to those who wish to keep the Bay Beach Properties in the public's hands.



 "The Town of Fort Erie's solicitor, Ed Lustig, said since Palmer was retained by the municipality and not the developer – council is legally free to move ahead with the Planning Partnership to begin a master plan for the area.
“My view was and is, at the present time, there is no conflict of interest,” he said at Monday night's council-in-committee meeting.
Lustig also said the firm has agreed to place a 'Chinese wall,' between Palmer and the rest of its team – an information barrier used in business settings to prevent the exchange of communication that could eventually result in a conflict of interest.
Palmer had not been previously contracted with the Molinaro Group – nor is he working for them on any projects currently, according to Lustig.
Another perceived conflict would be if the Planning Partnership is called as a witness in the ongoing legal matter, said Lustig. 
If this does happen, which Lustig said at this point would only be speculation, the municipality's argument would be that it gave the Molinaro Group all its approvals before they backed out of the agreement on their own, which is all contained in public documents. 
All of the planning decisions that were made were supported by the town, the majority of town council,” said Lustig.
On Dec. 31, 2013, the Molinaro Group backed out of its partnership with the Town of Fort Erie to build a 12-storey condo building on the south side of Erie Road after the majority of council voted not to grant an extension that would additional time to allow for more units being sold by the developer."


A so-called "Chinese Wall" is a method that law firms and other consultants use to avoid conflict of interest accusations. It is supposed to work, but it seldom does because there is so much interaction within a firm between employees. Can you imagine that Ron Palmer (late of the C.A.U.S.E. Study of 1996; the Bay Beach Consultation that gave the go-ahead to the Molinaros where he was the lead person; and now the Bay Beach Master Plan) is not going to be influenced by his previous recommendations? Any person who can help write the C.A.U.S.E.  Study that gave Crystal Beach a blueprint for a "hidden gem" that should acquire and keep as much waterfront property as possible and then recommend that the town give a high rise developer the last piece of public waterfront property in Crystal Beach is not to be trusted to come up with a master plan for that property. 

Is there no other consulting firm in the province that doesn't have such an incestuous relationship with the Bay Beach Properties? 

BUFFALO FINALLY GETS IT

The once ugly waterfront of Buffalo is being transformed! Finally, the city woke up to the potential of its vast waterfront. The latest effort is the Buffalo Harbor State Park. From the article:

"A greenspace turned destination, the first phase of Buffalo Harbor State Park is nearing completion. Crews are currently putting the final details on a nautical themed playground, pavilions, shade structures, and landscaping just in time for warmer weather."
Wouldn't something like this be nice for the waterfront side of The Bay Beach Properties? Notice that it is a state park, like our provincial parks. It will not be sold, privately developed or taken away from the people because it is protected by its state park designation. Our Bay Beach seems to be up for grabs to developers despite the will of the people. I suggest that people in other parts of the town look at their favourite local park/playground and then imagine it being given over to a high rise developer despite the efforts of the residents to keep it in the public hands. How would you feel if your kids' soccer field became a high rise development? 

The people of Crystal Beach have welcomed the South Coast development on Ridgeway Road because it fits in nicely with the character and tone of Crystal Beach. Lots of cottages are being bought and rehabbed and there are new builds in empty lots all through the Beach. Take a look if you don't believe me.

June 13: Crystal Beach Community Garage Sale. 8:00 AM - ?

Followed by Best Behaviour in the Park free band concert at Queen's Circle starting at 1:00 PM. The Crystal Beach Firefighters Association - Fort Erie Station 6 will have food and drinks on hand. Proceeds will be used to add a new swing feature to the Cpl. Albert Storm Playground at Waterfront Park.

24 comments:

  1. This is going to sound like an episode of "House of Lies" by the time its over. Get ready to have the wool pulled over your eyes folks, its go time again.

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  2. On another note: Ron Tripp says that the region "is the victim" in the Helena Street Spill. It has been confirmed that the run-off from the spill entered the lake. Yet, the region is the victim.

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  3. After the last time when things were handled so badly by the Mollys they are sure to be more sneaky and complicated this time if they persue development near the water as before. Chinese wall indeed. Maybe the old cone of silence will have to be wheeled out from the old Get Smart TV series for some of those types who are sure to be more discreet this time around. They should build away, overprice the project and tax the $hit out of the buyers if thats what they want, just not on public land and especially not on the lakefront. JT's got a bunch of acres all cut to muddy stubble just waiting for some money and something to build on it.

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  4. CorruptionFighterMay 8, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    Let's give the best beach for miles in any direction away again, because an insider few want to profit by it............and yet again most of the east enders will be all for it because that same insider few say so.

    Greed trumps the greater good of the ignorant masses once again (and the delivery is truly juvenile without much intelligent thought).

    Only in Fort Stupid could this level of lunacy get a toehold let alone thrive. Wake the f*ck up people, these relatively few people are ripping you and your kids off for their financial and or personal gain and some don't even live or are from here.

    Our Focus your Future....B@llshite.

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    1. I can't believe that the Bay Beach Properties are in jeopardy again after all these years and the fight by the people to keep the property in public hands. I was just going through stored summer clothes (like one day it's spring and the next day we're in the dog days of summer,) and I cam across my now over five year old yellow "Keep ALL Bay Beach Lands Public" tee shirt. It is stained up from wearing it while serving ice cream at a snack bar, but I guess it will be needed once again to remind people that we have said it in every way possible: we do not like our public waterfront property given/sold to a developer. Period. It is parkland and it belongs to the people. It is a major drawing card to bring people to Crystal Beach which has been named as one of he best beaches in Ontario. Certain people, who have already promised the land to a developer, want to use the Master Plan as a way of justifying the ceding of the beachfront property. People like Stephen Passero who wants the property to provide a "return on the investment" of gaming money, but does not expect any other public recreation area/park to do the same.

      We know that there was a deal cooked up somewhere; we just don't know who sold their soul in return for the Bay Beach Properties. We do have some very good suspicions. Attention must be paid, folks.

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  5. bay Beach promoterMay 8, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    It is a shame that when Bay Beach keep it public had 4 votes that could have designated it parkland. Now we are back to square one, Redekop and Lubberts are the only two votes we can count on, not sure where the others stand. Just looked into the Times which referred to strategic plan is now ready for public input: Is the council now calling themselves Council Champions, they have to be kidding, are we in grade school again?,

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  6. Its interesting to think thr "towns lawyer" has said there is no conflict of interest using a past promoter of the beachlands give away to provide stratigic input about how the lands should be used this time around. Interesting indeed would be what was actually said. Somthing to the effect of "place a chinese wall clause in the job description, and conflict will be hard to prove" is likely what was said. As stated previously this is going to be a lesson in sneaky moves by greedy development types. That wall is just a hint as to what is to come. For this we give a planning group from across the lake $100,000 or so?? What was to stop the formation of a planning group from right here working for close to free, especially including people directly from the community most affected? Lets work together?? What is going on? Now public input will have to come after the fact and most likely listened to very intently ( these T.O. types are paid well to listen) then do what ever is decided on in private meetings either in person, by E mail, or phone. Get ready for a real lesson in sneaky moves. They sure seem to want to ruin this little village. Makes one wonder about this councils motives. It cant be money, theyre throwing it away at an amazing rate. What went on that they just cant recommend the establishment of a lakefront park? Well maybe someone will, and for years to come the people that live and work here and visitors will be gratefull. Lets hopethey see the light before its too late. You dont have to look very far to see the effects of the alternative.

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  7. It's been another beautiful day at Bay Beach. I don't like to spoil these wonderful times thinking about politics, but it's because we have such a public beach we have to be diligent to keep it public.

    According to James Culic's reporting Bay Beach Saga Begins Anew With Planning Process, he yet again tilts the story. It is wrong to state that residents from Crystal Beach are overwhelmingly against development. WE ARE OVERWHELMINGLY AGAINST A CONDO ON OUR SMALL PUBLIC BEACHFRONT. We wholeheartedly want smart development. We care that our local businesses thrive, and we support them. It's fantastic that new people are joining our happy community improving the homes here.

    Culic is also wrong that Don Lubberts "was twice elected to council by a comfortable margin on a platform based entirely on preventing a condo from being elected there". In 2010 Don ran against three opponents, two of them also agreed with his stance against the Molinaro development. Don's campaign this time highlighted many other issues important to our ward.

    At least Culic recognizes the overwhelming opposition in this community to allow a private residential development on our only beachfront!

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  8. Saw "Fort Erie is Closed for Business" past mayor martin's picture in the little paper.
    Mayor Redekop is the opposite and he cares about volunteers and community input.

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  9. Its never been about high density development in the area. Look what is happening at the east end of Erie road. It is about the location. All anyone wants to see is preservation of one of the last pieces of public beachfront in the area, and especially because it is located in the village itself. That being said, whatever happened to a planned highrise facing out onto Waverly park and its attached beachfront? A nice waterfront park, a nice tie into the trail and beachfront. There is (was?) a sign there describing such an idea. Maybe ask the town planning department? By the way asking a company from Toronto to tell us what to do with lakefront property is like asking Henry Ford what kind of car to buy. Have you seen what they have done to what remained of that citys waterfront? Yikes!!

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  10. That Pissaro! wants a "return on investment" at Bay Beach [even though it was purchased with gambling profits to be used for more public waterfront in Fort Erie].

    Yet Pissaro wants donations and grant money to support a pool which then would only be sustainable for a couple of years because of it's age?

    I know he thinks he is smart [seldom asks a question that he doesn't already know the answer to]. He did say last time while on Council that he supported all development whether it was smart or not.

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    1. Passero thinks he is omnipotent now because his friends from the CofC on council voted against a staff recommendation to have a by-election for Rick Shular's Ward 2 seat. That cost the taxpayers about $40,000. so that Passero, who outspent his opponents, could slither into the vacant seat and relaunch his quest for mayor. He will do everything in his power to undermine Wayne Redekop and he has the help of his mentor Jim Thibert and the Chamber Maids and Vassals.

      Meanwhile, be prepared for outrageous tax increases, cash giveaways to stupid projects and the selling/giving away of everything not tied down by the law. Forget about saving heritage buildings and our only beachfront park in Crystal Beach. It's all about certain people's selfish desires.

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  11. CorruptionFighterMay 11, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Glad to see Fred Bracken commenting on local politics again. He is right about the non elected senior staff here such as Dick Brady. I believe his illegal ban from council is up in June and it would sure to nice to see someone like him kick this council and staff right where they need it.

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  12. There are a lot of wealthy outsiders own property in the area of Bay Beach. Most dont want to see some over thought under cooked project in the area. It might be a line up of local council types who could never aspire to get out of the burbs and out from the back end of a stinky gas mower that dont want to see some small part of the community enjoy the waterfront while they avoid bright light like its some sort of toxic problem. Pass looks like some bright light would melt that poor little cupcake, not to mention that pasty faced orange headed chamber weenie. Lets hope they dont bring their own brand of light avoidance to the table when it comes to the choice of what to do with the Bay Beach property. There can be some shade built in if necessary with the right planning.

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  13. Actions speak volumes. In regard to the upcoming "Master(s) Plan, how is anyone going to trust the elected reps to follow through on promices made as the process unfolds, after what we see being done with something so simple as an outdoor pool rehab. If certain council reps wanted to bridge the distance of mistrust they really blew it. Really should have left that pool (and the "no work" being done on it) out of any election ploy. So now the people of CB should trust them to keep their word and work for the betterment of the community? Talk about stepping in it. There will be little or no trust expressed and that mishandled pack of confusing lies wont help.

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    1. I've been informed that the funds to fix the pool must be in place by the end of May. Look for a big deal announcement to take place then, orchestrated by Piss-off-ero. And the grand delusion will continue....

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    2. where are the funds to come from? And if they are obtained, wouldn't that be a good thing and something to be proud of and announced? And also, don't you think it's kind of immature Mrs Bowers to be calling Stephen PASSERO.... Piss-off-ero ? I see a lot of envy and jealousy here... And hopes that the pool does not open... I guess that's because if Stephen does succeed... You will all be eating your words.?..

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    3. I do not trust anything that Stephen Passero says or does. I read the staff study about the Kinsmen Pool from 2012. The only thing that has changed since then is the cost of refurbishment/replacement. I believe that the Kinsmen Pool has reached its end. There are many reasons for this, but the bottom line is that it is beyond repair and it would cost millions to replace. If the town still had lots of gaming money coming in, it could be done with minimal damage to the taxpayers. However, now there are other expenditures that are coming from the reserves: $500K to the racetrack and $500K to the HS Theatre. Tax breaks to the CMS and a spendthrift council will raise the property taxes to unsustainable heights. There is a pool in town where young people can learn to swim. It's at the YMCA. Until the town can prove that the taxpayers' contribution to the Kinsmen Pool will be minimal, then it is an expense that cannot be justified, no matter who "delivers" it.

      Perhaps I was expressing my anger at Passero by giving him a nickname. I despise the type of parasite he has become.

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  14. It seems strange that the lease (?) for the pool was given to the Underwater club in order to make some sort of effort to secure funds through a nonprofit (?) group. Is this fact being forgotten? Not clear where SP fits into this plan, if indeed it is a plan. Where are the Kinsmen club members in the middle of all this? If this effort just ends up with hat in hand in front of council asking for a handout why take the long way around this issue. Just fix the thing. Form some dedicated committee and get busy. Times a wasting. Seems it wasnt 2 months ago the paper prints some line like "pool open by July". Anything like that sound honest to you? Wasnt that during a byelection in that riding? At this point does that seem likely? Did someone use that nonsense while campaining for a council seat? If this is honesty we the voters need to give our collective heads a shake. YourPointis right where its always been. On top of your head, but it seems to need a resharpening, and the sooner the better.

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  15. Was Steve Pessaro trying to garner votes by promoting the reopening of the Kinsmen Pool? Strange that it hit the headlines both times that he was campaigning.
    Does Steve Pessaro step into every photo opportunity that he can?

    I hope the truth comes out about his testimony when the Conflict of Interest Hearings finally get heard. How is he going to explain himself?

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    1. CorruptionFighterMay 13, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      the dark side that has control of this town once again, use I mean USE the mainstream media all the time to influence the duped dumbed down masses. Most of these reporters are little better than cut and pasters and do the town no end of damage by spinning clean the dirt and filth that are endemic here politically. The 10 million $$$ lawsuit was so obvious a ploy but it worked and worked well. That's all you heard from people at the time. The Piss has slithered into office twice now on a shitty old pool that is hardly worth mentioning with a large degree of help from the manipulation of the press. Meanwhile the town's best tourist draw and a heritage school are up for destruction once again. Why ??.........that's easy......$$$$$$$$ to be made from one and nothing of personal gain from the other.

      Fort Stupid , where people vote to raise taxes and destroy themselves so the ol boy elite can maintain their lifestyle with the help of the media.

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  16. the ultimate politican..one who is nice to you while running for a seat, mayor or council; in fact you are their best friend; and then once goal achieved has no idea who you are. Says what you want to hear when running for office and then conveniently changes their mind once goal achieved. Check, and check. This is a small town and actions like this are not forgiven easily...long, long memories. Good luck on your next run, said tongue in cheek.

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    1. And in case anyone has forgotten: TIM HUDAK His father got him the nomination; he rode into parliament on Mike Harris's coattails; married a PC power broker; became Ontario PC Leader and blew two easy elections. Yes, we remember our Timmie. Couldn't wait to scrape the horse manure off his shoes and move to a better riding for his political ambitions. Now, he will coast until he can redeem his cushy pension. Not bad for a former box store employee.

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  17. Tim could make a little money on the side by writing a book "What Not To Do In Politics". He didnt even have the smarts to get some post secondary schooling in Canada (went to the U.S. and took some degree where the diplomas come on a roll) so much like other Conservative MP's who seem to ignore their own countrys schools. Again, uncle Mikes training? Considering his wifes sweet job with hydro and the money she makes at our expence they should be living on some private island in the Turks. He feels no financial pain. The book would only be an amusing distraction between rounds of Mai Tai's in the cabana. That sun would probly roast that white bread loser though, to a deeper shade of Conservative red, but in a good way.

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