This is an extension of my Volume 1 rant from Aug. 29/15 on Uncle Block's website: 'Blockrants'.
It continues to bewilder or shall I say infuriate me that these councillors that govern Hamilton, Ontario couldn't care less about people who work hard for a living...they just crave for their money. It seems to be an incurable disease these tricksters possess and maintain, constantly demanding citizens' cash. A perfect example of this was an article in the Hamilton Spectator Feb. 16/16. Someone at city hall had the audacity and preposterous idea of raising monthly parking rates on city owned lots. The primary reason for this 'critical affair' was monthly bus passes were more expensive ($95.00/month) than the monthly parking fees...I guess it's too simple to just lower the price of a bus pass. How did they become so expensive in the first place...did council have anything to do with that? Another reason for the massive concern was supposedly Hamilton had the cheapest costs in the province. As I anticipated and reported in the Hamilton Spectator Feb. 23/16 city council voted in favour (why wouldn't they) to increase the monthly parking charge $10.00/month. Again, punish and penalize people who drive their vehicles to work.
Ward 3 Councillor Jason Farr applauded the hike and this is what he had to say: "it's the cheapest deal in Ontario. I think we need to address that if we're truly trying to encourage more people to get out of their cars and on to a bus." What the hell are you saying Jason? Because it's the cheapest deal in Ontario we should automatically raise the amount...MY, MY, MY. No Frills grocery store has cheaper food costs than Fortino's Supermarket but I don't see anyone forcing No Frills to raise their food prices because they are the cheapest. Once again politicians discouraging and demoralizing hard working folks from driving to and from work. The article also stated the city's 'hustle' would be an additional $238,000 in revenue but will have to pay $61,000 for city employees parking so the net profit is $177,000.
The two way conversions on James and John Streets is another example of wasting tax payers money. For years both streets were one way, James St. southbound and John St. northbound. Everything was fine and dandy, traffic flowing nicely and drivers dealt with little or no stress, BUT, a powerful force of 'knowledgeable' and 'full of wisdom' bureaucrats came along one day and decided for a change...at the expense of tax payers. They chose to replace a logical transit plan with a slower, bumper to bumper idea that would frustrate and irritate people driving. One reason, so the regime says is businesses will thrive...I disagree, just like what I said in Volume 1 "if the product and/or service is good people will come." A friend of mine who use to own a restaurant on James St. South told me his business was no different after the two way conversion...it didn't decrease but it didn't increase. I ask myself about businesses on John St. A stretch from Charlton Ave. to Barton St. (just under 2 km) is home for a number of businesses. However a very high percentage of these establishments are commercial firms ie auto body shops, hair salons and offices...not for the avid consumer who likes to shop on a Saturday afternoon.
Then we have a perfect example of what I call complete disorganized confusion or a.k.a. the right hand hasn't a clue what the left hand is doing. The following I know from fact. Parking meters and sign posts were installed on the north side of Wilson St. just east of James St. North when Wilson St. was one way eastbound. A short while later the City Hall 'think tank' elected to convert Wilson St. to two way and the meters and posts had to be removed. History repeated itself once again at Laurenzo's School of Hair Design at 90 John St. South between Jackson and Hunter Streets. Parking meters and signs were erected and then removed because John St. was made in to a two way thoroughfare, a complete waste of time, effort and tax payers money at both locations...supreme thoughtlessness.
We can't forget, yet another blunder and failure by our so called 'leaders' with the 2 km Bus Only lane on King St. directly in the downtown core. As usual this project had a premature death only lasting a few weeks and costing tax payers $400,000...yep, put them in and then take them out.
City Hall is notably top-heavy with management and there are a lot more employees earning over $100,000 a year that the Hamilton Spectator reports every year in their 'Sunshine Club' article
The top breadwinner is City Manager Chris Murray who earns over $250,000 between salary and benefits, and yes you read it correctly, over $250,000 a year. I read an article in the Spectator (Feb. 22/16) which dazzled me and must say I find highly questionable where Mr. Murray stated Hamilton is a world class city...I wonder what he was drinking that day of the interview. Urban dictionary states a world class city is a major international destination. Most often it is a major international, political, cultural or commercial centre. It is an exciting place and has plenty of culture and according to Wikipedia a world class city must have certain standard characteristics such as international financial services, headquarters of several multinational corporations, existence of financial headquarters ie stock market and have major manufacturing centres with a port and container facilities...I think Hamilton strikes out as being a world class city. Since Chris thinks Hamilton is a world class city, I wonder if he and the City Hall gang will bid to be a host city for future winter or summer Olympic Games...I suppose our city manager has to be ridiculously politically correct because of his yearly pay cheque...in case you forgot $250,000 plus.
Speaking of political correctness, I remember that terrible and horrific day, April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed. Not long after that disastrous event Hamilton Mayor Bob Morrow was asked if Hamilton could handle an Oklahoma City bombing and he replied yes we can. Meanwhile the Oklahoma City Mayor at that time, Ronald J. Norrick, stated no one could manage what his city has gone through...maybe Bob was going to don his superman outfit if anyone tried that in Hamilton.
Bob's political correctness bit him in the ass in 1997 at the infamous Plastimet fire in the north end of the city...he was the mayor at that time. The city certainly didn't handle that emergency too well. However, there is absolutely no disrespectfulness to the firefighters who fought that inferno and later on had to deal with tragic loss of life and serious illness. I read a book by Jon Wells titled 'Heat-A Firefighters Story'. I found it very confusing that Senior Officials were debating the use of foam to extinguish the blaze but the idea was quickly buried...Hmm, I wonder why, could it be foam is very expensive? I also read an article on Social and Political Thoughts titled 'The Hamilton Plastimet Fire:A Political Anatomy of an Environmental Disaster' by Cheryl Lousley from the University of Toronto. She stated the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MOEE), Hamilton City Council and the Public Health Dept. were contradictory, defensive, evasive and cautious. Yea, I believe it, the fire burned for four days, hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes and cost $5 million dollars...but we could handle an Oklahoma City bombing.
I read an article in the Spectator March 9/16 titled 'Merulla wants Kings Forest to be a golf capital'. If that happens fine, so be it. What I found repulsive was what Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla said in the article, "at the end of day, just like anything else we do, we pursue what is in the best interests of the tax payer"...how many times have we heard that bull shit pour out from politicians mouths...political correctness, makes me want to puke.
It's certainly disgraceful that these councillors took very little time deciding to raise monthly parking rates but completely procrastinate about serious issues such as licensed cabbies and Uber drivers. It is indisputable there is a two tier tax system...with absolutely no rules for Uber drivers. Some licensed cab drivers' livelihood is quickly being destroyed because of councils lackadaisical approach on making a decision. A very good friend of mine who is a certified taxi driver told me his taxi plate is almost worthless because of this two category network. It's not about free enterprise and capitalism, it's about FAIRNESS. There are stringent bylaws and regulations for legal and valid cab drivers but no rules for Uber drivers...different strokes for different folks and the councillors are totally oblivious to this matter.
At times I think about the safety on our two expressways, the 'Parkway' and 'Linc'. I wrote a rant titled 'So Sad' on May 23/15...it can be found in Blockrants website. A portion of the story dealt with two young girls who died in a motor vehicle accident while driving their van on the 'Parkway'. Shortly after the accident Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla and Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins said they would look in to more safeguards on our expressways, specifically the 'Parkway' where the girls perished. Well, a year later nothing really stupendous has occurred as far as added safety measures. Sure, the city installed plastic reflectors on the road in line with pavement markings (skips) but let's ask ourselves the question...are these reflectors going to prevent a vehicle driving across the median to the other side of oncoming traffic and colliding with another vehicle?...I think we all know what the answer is. There is approximately a 4 km 'jog' where there are no Jersey Barriers. Jersey Barriers are a major safety feature and help prevent fatalities...why don't these councillors understand!
Between the two-tier taxi system and public safety on the expressways, it reminds me of the 1968 song titled 'Too Much Talk and Not Enough Action' by Paul Revere and the Raiders. It amazes me when other trivial issues are introduced such as bike lanes, two-way conversions, ridiculous bump outs and traffic obstructions throughout the city, they are a CRUCIAL PRIORITY...when it comes to peoples jobs and public safety it seems they don't give a 'flying fuck' but then again why should they?...they don't drive a taxi for a living or had loved ones killed on the 'Parkway'. Hmm...makes me wonder.
A friend of mine who lives in London, Ontario told me his regime running their three ring circus is no different than the 'sideshow' in Hamilton...unquestionably the virus spreads.
The councillors appear clueless and apathetic at times. Some times their irrational and nauseating 'thinking' is just downright wrong. Oh, yea, property taxes are going to increase again. Maybe we should have Vulcans operating they municipalities...better still the province and the country.