Tag Archives: council

A Letter to Council: Great Cities Have Great Transit; But Not Necessarily this BRT

By Jay Ménard,

Tonight and tomorrow, our elected representatives will discuss the future of the BRT proposal. As I had a few hours to kill waiting in a hospital today, I wrote one final letter to all of them for consideration and sent it to them earlier.

I present it to you below.

“Dear councillors,

This BRT issue presents an interesting challenge for many of you. I encourage you to vote to send this proposal back to the drawing board. And I’d like to support my argument by starting by quoting one statement — and ask you to read on carefully.

‘Great cities have great transit.’ Continue reading

Not Losing is a Win

By Jason Menard

The old adage states that there is no “I” in team. As we approach the 2014 municipal elections, it is important to remember that it doesn’t matter if a candidate is a rookie, a young up-and-comer, or a seasoned veteran.

Whether as a role player or a team captain, they just need to know what it takes to be part of a winning organization. And that’s teamwork. Continue reading

When the Going Gets Tough, Council Shouldn’t Get Going

By Jason Menard

It may be fair and balanced, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. And if Ward 4 councillor Stephen Orser advocates letting the citizens make the tough decisions, then perhaps it’s time for us to just abolish council altogether and let every city decision pass through a plebiscite or referendum.

If one of the leading advocates for full-time council is so ready to abdicate the responsibilities bestowed upon him, then maybe it’s time to let majority rule.

Actually, it would probably be a plurality. A plurality empowered to decide regardless of knowledge, information, big-picture perspective, or responsibility. Continue reading

Capping the Forest City Until October 2014 Makes No Sense

By Jay Menard

Sometimes a tree branch starts growing in a direction that you don’t want. There are a number of ways to control this growth, ranging from pruning to capping, but in the end all you’re doing is preventing the tree’s natural growth.

It makes sense if the tree is infringing on your home or at risk of causing damage, but to cap a tree simply because you don’t like the way it looks — or, worse, the colour of its foliage — is ludicrous.

Yet that’s exactly what some are suggesting we should do in London, Ontario. Essentially, there are those who are content to cap the Forest City’s growth until Oct. 27, 2014. Continue reading

Everyman Mayor Must Apologize for ‘Stupid’ Comment

By Jason Menard

Maybe it was an off-hand comment. Maybe his intent differed from his execution. But whatever the motivation, a Mayor publicly disrespecting his or her constituents crosses the line – and every “average” Londoner deserves an apology from mayor Joe Fontana.

The alleged transgression came late on Monday night (Mar. 26) during a marathon council meeting. In discussing a measure that would potentially leave council open to a citizen-led Ontario Municipal Board challenge on the grounds of insufficient public notice.

Fontana’s alleged statement? “… the average person can’t understand what we’re talking about.” Continue reading