25 August 2009

Visions are nice…

ron Ron Ellsworth has a plan.

Well Ron claims he has a plan in slick little web ads that pop up on some Telegram pages.

Ron calls it The Ellsworth Essentials.

Ron says he has a vision.

A vision of Ron as mayor, apparently.

Ron thinks that this slick little campaign will serve to help Ron fulfill his vision.

It might.

But that doesn’t mean the city will be better off.

That’s because Ron doesn’t have a plan for the city itself.

Ron says the city needs a plan.

He’s right.

It needs a plan badly.

And Ron is ready to provide such a plan.

In fact, having a plan for the city is so important that Ron’s first plan is to develop a plan.

But not before the election.

He’ll develop the plan later.

When later?

After we’ve elected Ron and his vision to be mayor.

How long after that, then?

Ron won’t say.

But did I tell you Ron has a vision?


I did.

Well, he does.

So while Ron has a vision and doesn’t have a plan, he does plan to get a plan.


Meanwhile, Ron will be doing other stuff.

Without the plan he should have now, before he gets elected.

Stuff  like spending your money.

How much money is a mystery.

Apparently telling you - the people of St. John’s  - how much of your money he wants to spend on his “essentials” is not essential to Ron’s vision.

Or his plan.

When he finally gets one.


Ron will spend your money on snow clearing, which, as part of Essential Number Three Ron assures us will be “better”. 

It will be “better” because Ron “will shorten plow [sic] routes to provide better snow clearing service for the city with intensified efforts to get to the curb the first time, thereby reducing the number of plow [sic] passes needed to get the job done right.”

Good, sez you. 

We need “better” snow clearing.

We do.

“Better” snow clearing sounds great.

It does.

Except for the few minor problems.

First, getting to the curb the first time is not a function of how long a route the snow plough has to travel.  It is a function of how much snow falls in a given period.

Very little snow and one plough can do the whole city the first time, right back to your doorstep, let alone the curb.  Tons of snow coupled with high winds and freezing rain – a typical St. John’s storm, he said on somewhat tongue in cheek - and the entire snow plough supply of Canada won’t get you to work in 15 minutes.

So Ron’s vision is – shall we say – just a little  fuzzy on this crucial point of how shortening the length of a route will make snow clearing “better.”

Second, we don’t know how many snow ploughs will Ron need to “get the job done right.” 

Ron doesn’t say.

Ron doesn’t say likely because Ron doesn’t know. 

Ron just has a vision.

So let’s just say  - for argument sake – that Ron thinks that in order to get the job done “right”, a snow plough route should be 11.5 kilometres long instead of the current 23 kilometres.

That would mean Ron needs twice as many trucks and twice as many employees as the city currently has.

This will not make snow clearing “better” because  the route length isn’t the key thing.

But let’s humour Ron.

Doubling how much you pay for snow clearing doesn’t work out to “better” snow clearing.

It just means you pay more.

Which brings us to point three:

How will Ron pay for all this?

Ron doesn’t know.

That’s something to be worked out.


because nowhere in Ron’s vision does Ron say he will ever figure out how much all this stuff will cost or how much he’ll get you to pay for it.

Meanwhile Ron is concerned about public debt.

He wants to be responsible “with your tax dollars.”

No plan.

Lots of promises.

That’s how taxpayers got the huge debt in the first place.

More of the same is not a vision.

It’s a nightmare.

So where will Ron find the money for snow clearing?

Look at your wallet.

That’s where Ron will get the money for his vision.

Keep looking at your wallet.

Ron has more ideas.

Remember the para-transit tax grab?

That’s just the beginning.

Now Ron thinks it is “essential” to put together buses, para-transit and – wait for it – commercially run taxi cabs –  in a single transportation system paid for, presumably, with your tax dollars.

Ron also wants more affordable housing.

Great idea. 

It’s a federal and provincial responsibility.  Let Danny and Steve figure it out. 

Let Danny and Steve tell Len to pay for it.

But if Ron gets together with Danny and Steve, those three won’t be footing the bill.

You will.

Ron Ellsworth has a vision.

No plan.

Just a vision.

Lots of people have visions.

Visions are nice.

But if Ron Ellsworth thinks he can reach into my pocket and suck out whatever cash is there to pay for stuff without a real plan, then Ron isn’t having a vision.

Ron is seeing things.

And hearing voices.

People who see things and hear voices don’t get to be mayor.

They should be under a doctor’s care.



WJM said...

Come on!

He says, "I believe in a framework that supports a long-term vision for St. John’s."

A framework, Ed! One that supports a vision! A long-term one!

Really, must you be so pessimistic and negative?

Edward G. Hollett said...

And I support an aopportunity for meaningful public input in the development of a strategic long-range plan type thingy.

Not just a strategic plan or a long range plan but a strategic long range plan.

With sprinkles.

Anonymous said...

"I believe in a framework that supports a long-term vision for St. John’s."

He must be confused with building houses in Paradise... Framework!!! geeze if he uses the word coaxial I’m going to snap

Anonymous said...

How can you say he will not elaborate on his essentials?

Have you approached him, or written him?

Obviously not!

Edward G. Hollett said...

He had a nine page book to describe his essentials, 1127.

He has a web site with an infinite capacity to hold information.

If the information isn't there, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he isn't planning to elaborate until some point in the future if at all.

Part of the business of being genuinely open, transparent and accountable is volunteering information rather than expecting people to have to go ask things like: how much is all this going to cost me?

It's like people disclosing their identity when they make comments. If they didn't have anything to hide, they wouldn't hide.

Burke said...

Ellsworth does have a plan.

It is called "get into power".

His message is "elect me, 'cause I am different from Doc O'Keefe".

I am moving to Mt. Pearl.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ron Ellsworth’s vision is a sugar coated dream brought on from reading cereal boxes. Yes I have it here now, on the frosted flakes box : a source of 17 essential nutrients, I notice they never said vitamins or minerals and after reviewing Ron’s cereal box (oops, sorry I meant booklet) I notice he didn’t even say Nutrients… hummmmm
17 essentials sound like the terms For a state of Emergency. Time to call in a doctor! Somebody got the sugar spin visions again

Edward G. Hollett said...


Who the hell comes up with 17 of anything?

Lists of things usually tie to something else that is memorable.

Numbers work:

- God used 10 to give us commandments.

Same as the number of fingers or toes.

- Most people talk in threes if they want people to remember things.

Same as the third person singular conjugation of the verb "to be": he, she, and it. That's just one of those quirks of memory and language but it works.

There were also three people crucifed that fateful day and Jesus rose on the third day.

- Jesus had 12 disciples.

Most times you see anyone giving a list of things, they will use present them with some memory aid built in.

17 is just a completely arbitrary pile. By the samr token, if you look at the list there is no coherence, logical grouping or order of things. There are some huge ideas and some that are incresdibly minor. There are things that you might think should be on the list that don't appear at all.

The 17 are not basic nor are they essential as you might think of core values or critical elements that make everything else work, so even the title of the document has nothing going for it except someones apparent penchant for using the same letter repeatedly.

There are crucial details missing and if things heat up at all in the mayoral race even Doc will have a field day slicing Ron to peices. That is saying something.

Like I said somewhere else today, I am really amazed that the thing is as poor as it is given Ellsworth's performance last time out (2005).

When it started, I gave Ellsworth the nod based on performance to date and despite some of his hideously stupid plays (the poll lie for instance).

Since the campaign started, Ellsworth has basically stumbled and bumbled along. Now that I see one of his staunch supporters basically grasping depserately for excuses, I am pretty much convinced the campaign is floundering and very worried about what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Cereal boxes I tell you! “17 essential nutrients” like on the Frosted Flakes box. I can’t wait for his new road signs to say Heeee’s Grreeeat.