Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Aren't you glad that the taxpayers are still funding the seemingly useless Economic Development and Tourism Corporation? Yep. All those jobs and new industries coming to Fort Erie. Can't keep up with all the good economic news.

Just take a look at the real estate listings with all the businesses up for sale. Makes one want to invest in this glowing market.

Not really.

Some day it will become apparent to everyone that the reason that Fort Erie is faltering despite new people (mostly retirees) moving in from other places is that its EDTC, headed by the flamboyant James Thibert has produced very little over the past decade or more. Show us the jobs and investments and we'll shut up complaining about the EDTC.

Now that the Chamber Maids and other fans of Thibert are on council, there will be no more talk about breaking up the "arm's length corporation" like The Four tried to do. They had good reason to want the EDTC returned to town hall as a department in order for  it to be subject to more transparency, which was sadly lacking. It took a Freedom of Information filing to get any info from the corporation. In return, a lawsuit that was filed against The Four for conflict of interest in the firing of town attorney Heather Salter whose alternate facts regarding the title absolute for the Bay Beach Properties was challenged by Ward 5 Councillor Don Lubberts who, as it turns out, was right all along about an unclosed road allowance. Guess who may have come up with that grand idea?Thibert has filed another lawsuit against Lubberts for conflict over another muddled land deal that is still on-going years later. (Correction: the lawsuit was cancelled.)  This information does not begin to tell the whole story of how certain cronies closed ranks and did everything in their power to S.L.A.P.P. four duly-elected representatives of the people.

Now, the Council of 2014 can face its constituents. One more year until they're up for re-election. Higher taxes often bring down candidates and we will continue to remind people of the actions of the Chamber Maids and their Fearless Leader. We're all a whole lot smarter this time around.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


It took almost two weeks for The Times to provide coverage of the recent decision regarding the title absolute of the Bay Beach Properties. The ninety-two page decision pointed out that the town was in error when its legal department claimed that an unclosed road allowance was closed. An appeal was filed by a neighbour of the property several years ago based on an much earlier title search that did show the unclosed road allowance running straight through the beachfront portion of the property as well as a road along the shoreline.

Times Article HERE

There is one glaring error to the article:

"The Town of Fort Erie purchased the Bay Beach lands in 2001 for $2.05 million with a plan to develop the lands and provide a return on investment."

Not so. The property was bought to provide a public beach front and parking for residents and visitors. It was a recommendation of the C.A.U.S.E. Study of 1996 that provided a blueprint for the revitalization of Crystal Beach following the devastation to the community when the Crystal Beach Amusement Park closed in 1989. Shortly after the property was purchased, there was a move to sell off the north side of the property parking lots to fund part of the Friendship Trail. This was an idea promoted by a previous council and Wayne Redekop who was mayor. A group was formed to protest the sale of any of the Bay Beach Properties, citing a further C.A.U.S.E. recommendation that the parking lot land be sold ONLY to purchase more waterfront land. That plan was abandoned when the public became aware of the situation and a new councillor was elected in Ward 5 (Crystal Beach.) That young man, Tom Lewis, started the petition signed by thousands of residents and visitors who wanted all the Bay Beach Properties to remain in public hands.

Shortly after the election of 2006, new mayor Doug Martin was convinced that a P-3 arrangement with a developer was just what was needed at Bay Beach Properties. That's when the meme/lie about "return on investment" was started by then town planner Rino Mostacci.  So, the Molinaros promised major "amenities" to the property in exchange for the town giving over the shore front land so that TWO high rise (12 stories) towers could be built. Thus began the second protest which resulted in the election of some new councillors. The unpopular Martin was elected by a mere five votes over Ann Marie Noyes who opposed the Molinaro development. By then, the Molinaros scaled back their plan to one high rise. Appeals to the OMB and lawsuits were lost by the opposition to the tower and four councillors were put through the wringer because they were against the development although they never had the opportunity to vote against it. Remember that. The appeal regarding the title absolute was filed by a neighbour to the property. based on her belief that Don Lubberts was right about the original title and the still open road allowance as well as the town documents that showed incorrect PINs for several properties in the area.

By 2014, the forces against The Four were able to place their own councillors in Ward 3, Ward 4 and Ward 6. Only Don Lubberts was able to retain his seat in Ward 5. Two of the new councillors, Kim Zanko (Ward 3) and Marina Butler (Ward 4) were prominent figures in the campaign to sully the reputations of The Four. The vexatious lawsuit against the four for conflict-of-interest was supported and financed by a group that has been labeled as "the Old Guard," familiar names to those who who follow the power structure of Fort Erie.The case was finally dismissed but the damage was done. 

We're back to SQUARE ONE as the parking lots in the Bay Beach Properties are once again up for grabs to developers. Sixteen years later and the same people are in place to give away or sell a very important part of Crystal Beach. It is as though this piece of property is a pawn in a surreal chess game, one that is played for the future of the community.

OFF TOPIC: it's a pretty sad day when the Canadian government has to assure people who are Canadian Landed Immigrants from one of the Trump-banned Muslim countries can travel to the US and will not be held. How reassuring.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


DECISION: a recent decision regarding the Title Absolute of the Bay Beach Properties has vindicated the position of four Fort Erie Councillors, namely: Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard during the contentious "Battle of Bay Beach" waged for over a decade in Fort Erie.Because of their efforts to make the town accountable to its taxpayers, The Four were slandered, vilified and sued. This as it is part of the campaign to ruin their lives and reputations of by a group that even gave a code name to their effort "4-2-0."  One lawsuit was finally dismissed after it had achieved its purpose to punish The Four for the firing of former town lawyer Heather Salter. Part of the reason for that was that she was disrespectful to councillors who questioned her handling of the paperwork pertaining to the title of the Bay Beach Properties, especially the incorrect PINs in the title documents.

At long last, a decision has come down regarding the land title at the Bay Beach Properties. The ninety-plus page document calls for the proper PINs to replace those changed during the time the property was being considered as part of a high rise development. At the time, the PIN errors were pointed out to then town lawyer Heather Salter who maintained that the numbers were correct, even when confronted with proof that the numbers were in error. All that must be corrected, according to the decision. The case was brought forth by neighbours to the Bay Beach Properties who spent well over a hundred thousand dollars and years to be vindicated. Over a decade of fighting to save our public beachfront property from a high rise development cost many of us emotionally, financially and health wise. Hopefully, years from now as people enjoy our last public beach in Crystal Beach, that the dark forces who almost ruined our beach will be forgotten.

And, finally The Four are vindicated once again.

A group of "concerned citizens" put up this billboard on Garrison Road several years ago. This was part of the organized effort to ruin the reputations of The Four councillors. A brochure also appeared that also called out anyone who opposed the Molinaro high rise project on public waterfront property. Kimberly Zanko, who is now the Ward 3 Councillor, was the spokesperson for these efforts. Kim, aren't you proud of your efforts? Guess that getting elected made you forget your actions against four decent men who tried to do the right thing for the people. Of course, Kim, you had a lot of help getting elected - by the very people who plotted the ruination of The Four.  It took several years but the real liars were finally exposed in court and in court decisions.