As people in the Windsor Facebook community may have noticed, there are two public meetings planed for June 7th at the College St community Centre, and at the Main Branch of the library, June 9th.
The intent of the public meetings – called for by citizens for citizens – is to allow people to deliberate a reasoned response to city council’s plan to build an aquatic centre requiring the closure of perhaps four public pools (Adie Knox, Water World, and College Ave.).
At the meetings, we can find out who would like to be a delegate to speak at a special sitting of city council on June 13th. This council meeting is set to debate the business plan for a new aquatic centre. It is our last chance for public input. The process used by the city in the three “consultation” meetings was flawed:
• People had no clear idea what the aquatic centre will provide for them if they lose the neighbourhood pools
• The city had pre-arranged questions everyone could see were meant to shepherd people into accepting the closure of neighbourhood pools for questionable benefit
• The whole process is rushed to have an aquatic centre by 2013 for the Childrens’ Games
• Residents were asked to justify the existence of the facilities, where it should have been the city providing solid reasons why it is worth the removal of neighbourhood services for a complex meant for athletes and visitors.
Council rules require advance notice of speakers on an issue by noon on Friday before a council meeting. This means we have to have speakers turning in their names by noon June 10th. It is envisioned that speakers will simply say how the existing facilities are important to them and that if anything they should be enhance as a new facility is planned and built. The message is simple: world class cities have both specialized attractions for athletes and visitors AND vibrant neighbourhoods. Windsor should be for Windsorites.
Our efforts will avoid ad hominem attacks – that is, on individuals – and concentrate on the issue itself: the either/or proposition where the economically disadvantaged, elderly and disabled have to give up local services and compete for space in an aquatic centre not designed for them.
There is a small organizing committee getting flyers out to affected neighbourhoods, and if you’d like to be involved simply resolve to get yourself on the speaker list. The procedure is copied below:
Excerpt from the City of Windsor Procedure By-law 240-2001 (Part 10-Delegations)
“The Clerk shall not register a delegation unless there is a specific item listed on the Order of Business to which the delegate has a bona fide interest and wishes to address Council / Committee. Any person who wishes to appear before Council shall make application to the Clerk by the Friday preceding the Council meeting, 12:00 noon, to be placed on the Order of Business to appear before Council at the meeting at which it will be dealing with the item of interest to the delegate. A written brief is encouraged and, if submitted to the Clerk by noon on the Friday preceding the Council meeting shall be copied and distributed as “Delegation” submissions to Council members. A maximum of 5 minutes shall be allotted for each delegation to present his/her position of support or opposition to the relevant item on the Order of Business. Where there are numerous delegates taking the same position on a matter, they are encouraged to select a spokesperson to present their views.”
Also, pickets are planned in front of City Hall for the June 7th regular council meeting as well as for the one on the 13th. So if you’d rather show your opposition to council’s plan to shut down neighborhood facilities by picketing please do so!
This is a citizen led effort in the spirit of popular education where citizens learn by doing. If we need to resist, we do so while building an alternative to the existing method where a select few at the top of an organizational pyramid believe they, and only they, have all the answers for the city, and so refuse to engage in a true participatory process where the answers come from the whole. It is hoped this effort will lead to the formation of citizen led neighbourhood councils which can mobilize opinion and alternatives. Out of such councils would also come future councilors rooted in the places they live and can act in the best interests of the whole city.
If you have questions please email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting Notice. Please distribute widely:
Organize to defend neighbourhood pools and libraries
It’s not over yet!
Our voices can still be heard.
Let’s build on the win at the last city led consultation meeting.
A citizen led public action meeting will be held
June 7, @ 7PM
College Ave. Community Centre 3325 College Ave
June 9 @ 6PM
Central Library Branch 850 Ouellette Avenue (Downstairs)
(Centres at risk are below with contact info)
• To prepare delegates to tell city council why community pools and libraries should not be sacrificed for an aquatic centre on June 13th
• Show city council we can and will organize to protect neighbourhood resources
Can’t make a meeting? Call Mayor Francis: (519) 255-6315
or Email: email@example.com
Fulvio Valentinis Ward 3: (519) 977-5067 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Halberstadt: Ward 4 (519) 973-8323 email@example.com
Ron Jones: Ward 2 (519) 252-1005 firstname.lastname@example.org
Al Maghnieh: Ward 10 (library board chair) (519) 962-5921 email@example.com
FACILITIES AT RISK:
Central Library: Manager Nancy Peel: (519) 255-6770
College Ave. Community Centre: (519) 253-5576
Adie Knox Herman Complex: (519) 253-3157
Windsor Water World: (519) 253-3806
OR Call 311 to voice your concerns
Sponsored by a coalition of concerned citizens
For more info call: Paul@ 519 253 1466