Monday, March 20, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Ward politics

I don't often get political when I write on the op-ed page. But sometimes I get riled up enough to point my pen in the general direction of city hall. Municipal politics can be such a fun, soupy swamp that it's difficult to stay away forever. Every once in a while, I feel the need to come home.

So this time out I touched on the city's response to a provincial body's (the Ontario Municipal Board) edict that London move to a 14-ward municipal map. The city decided to fight the order, at great cost to citizens. In the end, it lost. We paid the bill. Suckered again.

But rather than focus on what had already come and gone, I hoped to turn the discussion toward the future. So I wrote about the ward thing. The city wards, not Ward Cleaver.
Vital to leard from ward appeal debacle
Published Thursday, March 2, 2006
The London Free Press

It would be easy to say I told them so.

Now that the Superior Court has upheld the Ontario Municipal Board’s decision to implement a 14-ward municipal electoral map within London, opponents of the city’s decision to appeal would be well justified in gloating.

Gloating, of course, gets us nowhere. Yes, we blew anywhere between $75,000 and $100,000 on the appeal. Yes, the $435-an-hour lawyer we hired to fight the decision has come out of this a winner.

But to look back and agonize over this silly affair will only perpetuate the pain. It’s time to learn our lesson and move on.

That lesson is simple: our civic leaders must learn when to fight the good fight and when to let things be. If it adds value to citizen’s lives, it’s worth pursuing. If it enriches some lawyer's bank account, they may want to let it slide.

I’m sure that many voters will remember this lesson the next time they vote. In the meantime, our 14 brand-new wards await us.

-30-
Your turn: $435 an hour! I don't really have a question here. I just had to repeat the figure. I'm definitely in the wrong business.

2 comments:

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

ouch!!! $435/hour, i don't think so. i wonder if it's too late for me to try and get into law school?

Dak-Ind said...

435 bucks an hour.... thats some serious bill pading. a good attorney, who probably could have won the appeal, will run you about 150 bucks and hour here, adn thats spendy. some sleaze ball lawyer is slazier than others!