07 October 2005

My buddy, the nitwit

Verrryyyy interestink....but it doesn't make any sense.

This from our Glorious Boor, Andy Wells, mayor of the ancient and until recently, relatively pleasant city of St. John's:

"There was one little nitwit running around, showing up at water main breaks saying the city was going to hell in a handbasket.

Either he didn't know the difference, which is somewhat more forgivable than if he knew the difference and chose to ignore it. But the fact is we've spent substantial money on infrastructure."

For those who may have missed it, Wells was referring to Simon Lono. In case you missed it, flip over and check out Lono's campaign website, the video on city infrastructure and some of the other stuff the newbie candidate raised in his first run at municipal elected office.

There are a couple of observations to make about The Boor's attack on Lono.

1. Of all the outsider candidates, Lono obviously made a huge impression on Wells. He lost the election but Lono ranks up there with people like Shannie Duff, the former mayor, former member of the House of Assembly and current at large councillor for the ability to poke right at the Boor and get his attention.

2. As noted here previously, Wells is obviously at odds not only with Lono but also with the Board of Trade, to whom he was speaking. The Board also thinks that the municipal infrastructure deficit - lack of adequate spending on water, sewer, sidewalks and roads - is one of the major issues facing the city.

3. Wells misses the point, again. The issue isn't that the city hasn't spent money of infrastructure. Nope. Lono and the Board of Trade note that work has been done.

What they say is that there isn't enough being done.

Lono made the point that the city has been spending money propping up failed ventures like the Mile One crowd ($3.0 million annually), while at the same time sidewalks are cracking and people are being injured as a result. (Pick up The Telly today to see a front page story on two more people who suffered serious injuries due to crumbling sidewalks.)

In the Great Geyser, Lono just drew media attention to a problem that had toddled along for a week before finally erupting into a 15 foot high spout of gushing city water. The problem lay in the ancient pipes and valves in that part of the city, which were 50 years old and needing replacement when Wells first sat his Boor-ass in a council chair. They are now over 80 years old and in need of replacement and upgrading.

Yet, Wells persists in spreading the fable that everything with the water, streets and sidewalks is just ticketyboo in the City of Legends.

4. Wells intends on making the problem worse. In another part of the speech to the Board of Trade, Wells mused about tax cuts.

Ok. That sounds nice.

But if, as the Board contends, the city needs to spend more money on infrastructure, Wells' tax cuts would actually mean the city has less to spend on fixing the problems with the city streets, water and sidewalks.

Wells mentioned the federal money for infrastructure and here's where city residents should notice the shell game. Wells plans to take the federal money, which should be extra, and then use that to fund a tax cut for the city. He can do that because the city economy is booming - something Wells takes credit for but which he had nothing to do with generating. We can thank Chevron, ExxonMobil, PetroCanada, Husky, Brian Peckford for that...anybody but Wells.. 'cause they actually produced the economic boost.

Wells ought to be spending what he has committed now plus what the feds would add so we can get ahead of the game now that times are good.

Instead, Wells is actually speculating about spending no more than he is currently allowing to fix a problem everyone sees but him. Trust me: in the speech, Wells sucked and blew at the same time, deriding the idea of an infrastructure problem and then talking about putting cash into fixing it.

The result? The infrastructure will continue to fall apart and some future council led by some future mayor will have to jack up taxes and suck cash out of my pocket - maybe when the economy isn't doing so well - to pay for Andy's folly.

That ain't ticketyboo.

5. Wells' personal attacks prove another Lono point. Calling people names is old hat for The Boor. The guy seems to have some pathological need to hurl personal abuse at people he disagrees with or who disagree with him. Councillors, city staff, candidates, ordinary citizens. All are treated with contempt.

That's why Lono introduced a Code of Conduct for council when he launched his election campaign.

It would have committed council to being open, transparent, and in this type of thing, being grown-up about how city business gets done.

Wells's abusive style may amuse some. Truth is it belittles the people on the receiving end of his abuse. It belittles Wells himself. But worse, it belittles the residents of the city.

On both counts, the people of St. John's deserve better.

But, in closing, just go back and read Wells' own comments and then apply them to the mayor himself:

"Either he didn't know the difference, which is somewhat more forgivable than if he knew the difference and chose to ignore it."

It is pretty clear that Wells knows the difference about the infrastructure problem. Heck he's been on council since the Moores administration.

Yet, he chooses to ignore it.

You be the judge.

Personally, I'll be standing firmly behind my good buddy, the nitwit.

He ain't going away Andy.

Zis is not good, here. I am not killing you. Don't you understand? You must die. Will you cooperate?!!