Hope everyone had a great day today, and an exciting evening if you were one of the 40,000 lucky ones to experience the SOLD OUT Paul McCartney concert! I didn't go myself, simply because he's simply not The Beatles, and it just doesn't seem the same on his own. I know, personal choice, but hey, that's life! Perhaps, deep down, I must have been afraid of the "crumbling stadium" that isn't able to host such large events without fear of mass panic! (Or so we've been told by certain elected officials and lobby groups)
Anyways, the big news today was obviously the WWTP Referendum Special Council Meeting, and I must say I was quite impressed with the turnout! Henry Baker Hall was 2/3 full and that's at 11:45am on a Wednesday! By far the busiest I had ever seen a mid-day meeting EVER. And there have been days when I literally have been the ONLY ONE in the gallery, other than a couple random City Admin folks monitoring the meeting.
So, what was the result of the meeting today? Well, certainly not what City Council was hoping for, I'm sure. Rather than focus on the "big" decision today of picking the type of polling to be conducted (by the way, they chose Option 1 - Same as the Municipal Election minus the Mobile and Special Polls - to be replaced by Mail-In ballots), the Media gave extra special attention to the one most contentious issue that has hit Regina in the past decade. Even while Pat Fiacco was Mayor, I don't think even HE took as much heat from the Media as Mayor Fougere did over this "Vote NO" campaign.
See, the problem for most people isn't the thought of City Council going out and spreading their propaganda and telling people to vote a certain way. No, that's not it at all. It's the fact that they are doing it on company time, AND using taxpayer money to do it. What's worse is they have also enlisted the help of the Communications Department - who have been alleged to be partially behind the anonymous Twitter parody accounts during the election - to spread that same propaganda. The cost? A WHOPPING THREE HUNDRED AND FOURTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! Of YOUR tax dollars!! That's right folks, for the cost of an average new home in Regina, that takes you and I 25-30 years to pay off, the City of Regina has apparently authorized the spending of this massive sum over five short weeks, just to tell you how to vote. Not to give you the cold, hard facts. But - HOW TO VOTE. Ethical? Absolutely not! Criminal? That will be something the courts decide very soon. (Stay tuned for details on the ongoing legal action)
So, with all that said, it is pretty obvious that the City of Regina and our City Council (except for Councillor Shawn Fraser - he's pretty damn ballsy and I respect him for it) seem to not give a shit about democracy, the taxpayers, or even your tax dollars. Money that could easily feed hundreds of marginalized families in Regina is being redirected by City Administration/City Council/Mayor (?? - No one knows for sure, the Mayor didn't directly state "who" authorized this spending, but suggested the City Manager allegedly does have the authorization to spend it) to tell you how to vote.
Where do you come in? This is where YOU need to ask YOUR City Councillor and the Mayor of Regina (and Senior City Admin if you're lucky enough to have them actually speak to you) some of the hardest questions that any of them have had to face in over a decade. They are as follows, as per my Appendix A and B of today's Council Address:
APPENDIX A – Chad Novak Delegation August 14, 2013 Re: WWTP ReferendumUnanswered Waste Water Treatment Plant Questions from Dec 17, 2012 Council Meeting