Mark Brown 11/3/2013 3:53:50 AM Report
THE BROWN BAG
Food for thought for the everyday and hardworking citizens of Sault Ste. Marie
IF YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY THEN SAY IT ~ CAO FRATESI
The main message coming out of yesterday's 2014 Budget Citizen Input Sessions was... ONLY 5 PEOPLE SHOWED UP!!! Here's how MCTV's Lincoln Louttit reported it:
"It could be apathy [, people don't show up to express their opinions because they feel that no matter what they say, their input will be IGNORED, and they have better things to do with their valuable time], or it could be that citizens are HAPPY with what City Council is doing", offered CAO Joe Fratesi during the Saturday Citizen Input Session.
You tell me, BROWN BAGGERS, happy or apathy?
Are there really only a handful of people who want to tell City Hall which services can be improved, or how City Council can save money, or what things City Council should spend more money on? One thing's for sure... everybody I speak to is angry about the ma$$ive amounts of property tax they have to pay.
So, as CAO Fratesi said, "I would encourage those that have something to say, to say it!"
If you've got something to say then say it here in the VRoom, or send it to THE BROWN BAG at email@example.com
In any case, I'll catch you BROWN BAGGERS around the lunch room tomorrow... I'll be spending most of my 25 hour day doing field research for the movie :)
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 7:24:44 AM Report
MB...you raise a good point.My sense is that most people view it as an exercise in futility.
Isolated citizens speaking singly probably feel that council will dismiss beefs about things like property taxes as 'only a few complained'.
With a few rare exceptions our council tend to not communicate back with constituents.So unless there is an overflow crowd they would probably say it isn't a majority opinion.
Then they'd accuse them of being an organized small group of malcontents.
Better to phone or e-mail them yourself and tie their action to your vote.
It takes less energy and gets a -hopefully - personal response.
That way they speak at meetings and say that 'I'm getting calls from my ward about topic X.' David Celetti was famous for that.
That way they can filter your opinion through them. Public meetings on the record scare many of them.
Grump 11/3/2013 9:10:55 AM Report
Good morning everyone, a nice omelet on the way and better still I think I have the appetite to handle it. I lost 25 Lbs before surgery with a struggle, the last 20 Ibs have fallen off. Irish Fey I recall liking to sleep with something between my knees. Hope my memory returns lol. Still sore like hell but the level goes down almost daily. Staples come out Tuesday and I can finally have a shower. These damn little sponge baths don't really cut it. The Boss is back at Christmas Cheer for this season so service has gone downhill around here. Have a great day all.
Grump 11/3/2013 9:14:43 AM Report
Does anyone have any word about our friend "The Skipper"? Surely even with the shape we are in there is some kind of trouble we could get into.
Mark Brown 11/3/2013 9:41:10 AM Report
You hit the nail on the head with your post!
But here's how the Councillors who were there explained it:
Councillor Myers said that she has an email list of about 200 Ward 2 constituents that she is regularly in contact with.
Ward 1 Councillor Christian said on behalf of himself and Councillor Butland, that the two of them get together each and every week to go over Ward 1 constituent correspondence, and theat they are currently working on 4 items that have been initiated by constituent complaints.
When I asked if all Ward Councillor pairs employed the Ward 1 excellent practice the answer was no... each councillor and pair of councillors handles citizen input in the manner that they determine is the best.
It must be pointed out that both Ward 5 Councillor Frank Fata and Ward 1 Councillor Steve Butland used their Saturday morning yesterday to VOLUNTARILY attend the Citizen Input Session as spectators and citizens.
Ward 5 Councillor Frank Fata has VOLUNTARILY shown up for every Citizen Input Session that I am aware of... I Ward 5 Councillor Fata at the Homelessness Eradication Input Session, the Downtown Revitalization Input Session, and yesterday's Budget Input Session.
In any case, you are correct fly... this particular Citizen Budget Input process is a FILTER used to discourage people, and to provide political cover for all City Councillors so that any potentially effective, yet politically hard, suggestions never see the light of day.
Trust me, we had the conversation yesterday about the long and winding road before any suggestion made by a citizen has the faintest hope of being seen by all City Council members... never mind the public... that's ain't gonna ever happen... especially when the media refuses to report effective, yet politically controversial, potential solutions.
Which leaves citizens with only one effective option to get their ideas adopted:
Email your city councillor directly, AND, AT THE SAME TIME, email (cc:) THE BROWN BAG at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will publish your ideas for discussion, unlike the msm, and make sure they are heard by City Council in the open light of day.
Thanks again fly... you should be on City Council :)
Sincerely and Respectfully,
P.S. Sorry redranger, I didn't mean to ignore you, but you probably do know me from 20 yeas ago... are you the guy who lives in the west end north of 2nd Line with initials FM?
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 10:27:12 AM Report
MB...thanks I am flattered but my day is past.
What we need are young people with ideas and energy. And a moral compass.
We currently have some goods ones who even when I disagree with them I respect.
But we have others who are just filling a space. But what's new?
Kat21 11/3/2013 11:07:26 AM Report
75 MOOSE 75 MOOSE 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 75 MILE 238 JUST Past O.B.A LAKE
irishfey 11/3/2013 12:54:24 PM Report
Mr. Brown,, i didn"t go out as i don"t like the long drive. Would my appearance do any good as i don"t live in the Soo ??.. Grump>> lol, all will return soon ,lol.. Tip [ again ].. when the staples come out, the little bandages will be left on.. leave them on as LONG as you can, I took them off a few days later thinking that the skin would grow into the bandages, and when i was doing my exercises the cut above my knee opened up.. grossed me out ,lol.. those little bandages , however small still would have held it together.. now i have a wide scar above my knee. In a wee bit, put some gel from an alovera plant on the scar,, it will dissapear in no time.. the scar below my knee is almost invisible due to the gel... oh well, i don"t wear short shorts anymore,lol.. used to sleeping with something between your "knees""? lol.. big boy are ye? ,lol,lol
redranger 11/3/2013 1:18:05 PM Report
Yes I am he and we do know each other from your former career.
Zing 11/3/2013 1:27:58 PM Report
Can you please explain your post?
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 1:58:59 PM Report
The latest this morning from Toronto mayor Rob Ford is that he is calling for the police to release the video of his allegedly smoking crack.
He also admitted he's made mistakes but did not clarify.
How convenient. The tape is evidence in another court case and chances of a judge releasing it are slim.
Of course Ford knows that. But he followed the course of plausible deniability(sic?) until now.
What will be interesting will be to watch those who voted for him largely continue to support him. Because they are just like he is - a redneck punk who bullies people.
You have to love repentant sinners. Wait until he cries on camera.
right wing 11/3/2013 2:09:18 PM Report
"What will be interesting will be to watch those who voted for him largely continue to support him. Because they are just like he is - a redneck punk who bullies people."
What an asinine statement.
So ALL who voted for Ford will largely continue to support him because they knew what he would do and they are redneck punks that are bullies.
Every time I think a liberal has made the lamest stupidest statement ever...they always come along and prove me wrong.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 2:14:59 PM Report
Thanks pal. I hoped that would engender a response.
How about we agree that Ford is and only a few of his cohort are like that. The rest of them are Mensa candidates who hate the MSM, high taxes and public transit.They are also God fearing Christians who like tough laws.
Grump 11/3/2013 2:26:42 PM Report
Fly and no they haven't been inbred for too long. Only a few of them have extra pinkies and such. Also you don't seem to get it, this is the way God fearing Christians set an example for the not so fortunate. It's really all part of his plan for the neo-con race. It's unfortunate that he couldn't have worked in a few more brains and a lot less red neck. LMAO
cathyh 11/3/2013 2:57:42 PM Report
What exactly is mayor Ford sorry for? Is he sorry because he exposed all those high school kids on the football team to the drug pushers? Is he sorry because he has allowed those same drug pushers to infiltrate city hall? Is he sorry because he has acted like an idiot in front of the public? Is he sorry because the video hasn't been released and therefore it would not be able to be used as evidence? He's not dealing with a bunch of stupid people in law enforcement and he won't be able to bully them into releasing it. Is he sorry for embarrassing his wife and kids? It's very easy to say you're sorry
while at the same time you don't say why.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 3:05:28 PM Report
The history of crooked mayors is a mile long.We've had them in Sudbury, NB and Montreal.
In the US the list is legendary.
We get what we tolerate.
mallet 11/3/2013 3:44:03 PM Report
Flyhawk25 and Grump...
What is wrong with being a red neck. I don't like a lot of things, especially the MSM (see News of the world), high taxes (those with money like them, don't you) and public transport (never seen a bus out here except school buses) and I live in the boonies, which automatically makes me a red neck, doesn't it. The MSM blazes things with 2 inch banner headlines, retraction because they were wrong is buried on page 10 under the ads for toilet paper. High taxes just means that people ask for more money to pay for them,remember? price increase equals pay increase. Public transport is only for cities, unless you call "Greyhound" public transport, never seen a shelter on the highway for passengers to wait in for them though, have you?... I know you are going to call me a neo con which is fine, but then I shall have to start calling you "pinkos" because you want everyone to be the same...
right wing 11/3/2013 4:47:11 PM Report
In the infamous words of Gomer Pyle "surprise, surprise, surprise,...at who's pointing fingers and calling others red necks.
The man with the wide paint brush.
If you respond I'll try and come back with a brilliant retort such as "Thanks pal. I hoped that would engender a response".
...because when it comes to Libs, there is no hope.
right wing 11/3/2013 4:55:35 PM Report
I guess I'll try a neo-con deflection...some truth.
Yep...it's a good thing the republicans and those evil tea party folks were unsuccessful in delaying Obamacare.
It never matters how much libs mouth off about how much a social program is "needed" when it's a bad plan its a bad plan and will be destined to fail and you can rest assured it will fail all on its own.
"It has been a pretty lousy month for the idea that the American government is capable of expanding access to healthcare to the uninsured and underinsured. The polls — or a poll, at least — are in, and people don’t like President Obama anymore.
Nearly all the news Americans have seen regarding the rollout of the exchanges — the things that people are referring to when they say “Obamacare” — has been relentlessly negative. The site doesn’t work. The president told everyone that they’d get to keep their existing plans, now it turns out that many, many people can’t. Some people now have to pay way more than they used to. Rates could skyrocket for everyone if enough people can’t or don’t want to sign up. This is what everyone — including people who only barely pay attention to the news, which is many millions of Americans — has been hearing, over and over again, for a full month now. That’s bad news for the success of the law, and it’s also bad news for the liberal experiment."
right wing 11/3/2013 5:07:45 PM Report
NBC new calls Obamacare a complete mess.
statusquo 11/3/2013 5:32:01 PM Report
Why on earth are you gloating about a program that is sorely needed?
Healthcare in the U.S is a dismal mess, great for folks with money but abyssmal for people with limited means.
The U.S is ranked number 38 in the WHO scale and number one in health care expenditures per capita. Clearly something is skewed!
The problems they are having are of a technical nature. I am sure that eventually they will sort through it.
The only way for a nation to ensure adequate healthcare and, I might add, education is with a socialized plan where everybody pays in for the good of society as a whole.
It may come as news to you but we are a "social " species. I rely on you for plumbing issues and you rely on me for making sure you can get to your job and so on and so forth.
Granted, there are people who sit on their ass all day, but given a decent chance they would get off said ass and be happy to contribute.
It would greatly benefit a society as a whole if things were more equal...less crime....less drug addiction...less poverty.
In the last twenty years or so the gap between the haves and have nots has widened dramatically, and it has nothing to do with who's more "deserving" or not.
The "poor" had nothing to do with the financial mess we find ourselves in. In fact it was caused by greed and speculation by investment firms and banks that were deregulated during the Reagan administration.
Everybody who wants to drive a car on public highways must have insurance. Even in the U.S . Why should it be any different for healthcare?
They collectively pay an extraordinary amount of taxes to keep their military-industrial complex alive and well, but God forbid, they are asked to collectively contribute to a National health-plan that would benefit the not so well off.
Just because this idea was pushed through by a black Democrat doesn`t mean it has to be constantly attacked by myopic , closed minded right wing zealots like you and the random collection of assholes at FOX News!
right wing 11/3/2013 5:33:02 PM Report
Spellchecker you would love this one and may have seen it.
Pay attention to the fact that Obama never applauds what he says and in fact looks like he is truly pissed.
This from a guest that was invited to speak.
Watch it if you dare Obama loving Libs!
right wing 11/3/2013 5:35:50 PM Report
Bullshit stats, I am not gloating, that is your lame claim.
Speaking of deflection you are doing a great job of missing the point.
statusquo 11/3/2013 5:40:03 PM Report
I never miss the point. I am always on it.
And I never ask for re inforcements .
I am always right! Without exception.
right wing 11/3/2013 5:41:07 PM Report
...and stats, Obamacare will never address the issue of the "poor".
Watch the link I provided, you will most probably exploded in one of your narcissistic religion rants....cause this guy dare quote from the bible or mention Jesus...but his point on education cannot be denied and that is the cure for what you speak of in the rest of you post...not disastrous, rushed social programs.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 5:42:05 PM Report
Finally a footnoted response from the swamp - Gomer Pyle. How does one counter that?
How about Howdy Doody?
Wait a minute.He's got a gig playing the PM of Canada.
How about the Pillsbury Dough Boy? No, he's busy being the mayor of...well I don't want to offend those who have weight issues.
right wing 11/3/2013 5:42:43 PM Report
Watch it and respond back...tell me how this Dr's main point is wrong and tell me how Obama's lack of response is not telling.
right wing 11/3/2013 5:44:11 PM Report
...the level your responses are on you couldn't offend a fly, fly.
statusquo 11/3/2013 5:46:16 PM Report
If he quotes from the Bible and mentions Jesus he needs a professional intervention and powerful meds. I cannot help him .
His upbringing and personal traumas that lead him to this self delusion is not in the realm of assistance that I could possibly bring to the table.
Spellchecker 11/3/2013 5:50:08 PM Report
Yes, right wing, I did see that Ben Carson speech at the time it occurred. I have mentioned him a couple of times on here. He makes all kinds of good sense. He appears from time to time on (I have to whisper this so the lefties don't hear. It is anathema to their ears.)fox news channel.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 5:55:52 PM Report
Sorry Spelly I missed it. I was busy reading the NY Times and other sources.
But just to clarify - all lefties are not anti-Christians. Jesus was a lefty and he is one of my heroes.
Spellchecker 11/3/2013 6:00:13 PM Report
If you haven't heard of Dr. Ben Carson you would do well to google him and his amazing rise from poverty to neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.
mvnnth 11/3/2013 6:02:32 PM Report
The Rob Ford fiasco.
It seems to me that the Toronto police chief is abusing his power. He is characterizing the contents of a video "digital file". He is being asked to release this file so that the public can see for themselves what he is saying it portrays. We'll have to see if he does or not. If he can't, or won't, for reasons legal or otherwise he should have kept the whole episode to himself as it relates to the mayor. As it now stands there is clearly a loser and that is Rob Ford. I don't know who is winning but, I would hazard a guess, that it is no one. I think the police chief should be required to release that video and let the chips fall.
Spellchecker 11/3/2013 6:07:19 PM Report
Jesus is a lefty in only a lefty's eyes. The fact is he has no ideological bent and will come for the express purpose of heading a future kingdom devoid of avarice from either the left or the right.
Spellchecker 11/3/2013 6:14:33 PM Report
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 6:17:23 PM Report
Spelly...'devoid of avarice'. Yeah.
Like Ghandi,Mother Teresa,Francis, the Berrigans...just a bunch of lefty pocket-pickers.
Spellchecker 11/3/2013 6:29:44 PM Report
They have nothing to do with whether Christ has a leftist ideology or not. He has said that He has nothing to do with the politics of this world (actual translation of the word world is age). He says His kingdom is not of this world, properly translated age because a new age is on its way, very shortly by the looks of things. Lots of pain coming first though.
David Poluck 11/3/2013 6:41:06 PM Report
Fly, In regards to the conversation between Mark and yourself this morning I'm not all that surprised.
We all saw the same public response to the finance committee hosted meeting last year and if I'm not mistaken the year before.
You conclusions are not far off from what I've been hearing. You are not alone!
Leads back to why I suggested what I did in the column in Saturdays Sault Star.
Grump 11/3/2013 6:58:22 PM Report
Mallet I guess I don't really give a furry rat's a** what you want anymore. The fact that you can't make a connection between 500 billion plus in debt that means higher taxes, more pain etc is amazing. I don't want higher taxes so why in the hell do you think I'm upset if not for that. I work damn hard for what I make and no one needs a total incompetent like Harper whizzing it away on his dumb assed whims. You want to have a love in with him while he pours your money down the sewer, be my guest.
Grump 11/3/2013 7:09:39 PM Report
rw I know I'll get some snappy reply but it seems to me the deeper your neo-con heroes bury themselves in crap the more off balance and ruder you get. It must be tough to be so stubborn that you can't drop a piece of dead meat when it starts to rot.
Kat21 11/3/2013 7:24:00 PM Report
i herd what happen to the guy who was taken to mile 238 a man from chemlsford told us the hole thing pretty sad what people do for money
irishfey 11/3/2013 8:08:34 PM Report
Just how and the heck did God and Jesus get mixed up in Fords mess???? Not Gods fault people can be crooks , druggies and idiots,, He gave us free choice, remember... Gee.. what stupid statements!!!!..... Good night..
mvnnth 11/3/2013 8:14:49 PM Report
"flyhawk25 11/3/2013 3:05:28 PM Report
The history of crooked mayors is a mile long.We've had them in Sudbury, NB and Montreal."
Is this a reference to mayor Ford?
Hunter101 11/3/2013 8:40:44 PM Report
Grump, if you don't like taxes then why would you be left wing? They invented taxes.
flyhawk25 11/3/2013 8:47:57 PM Report
Let's all pray for a hard frost to freeze over the swamp. My goodness where do they all come from?
mallet 11/3/2013 9:00:19 PM Report
Whoa, Whoa, hold your horses there, for someone as bright as you, sometimes you are pretty obtuse. Must be the "Mick" in you, talk to your accountant sometime and ask him to explain accounting on a large scale. Let's start with the 50 billion in the "infrastucture" monies, then add in the "Defence Spending" for ships and planes and tanks and stuff and don't forget the guys wages, then start adding in all the various provincial payments to be made, plus add in all those senate hundreds of thousands and a bit more for ads for this and that program and do not forget the monies for those people you cannot mention and pretty soon your withdrawls outstretch your deposits and you end up with a deficit. Perhaps with hindsight he should not have dropped the GST those 2 percentage points, but he had made that a focal point of his platform, he also tried to cut the civil service, but as he does not personally hire and fire everyone it is left to the minions to do and if they fired the wrong people can't really blame him for that, it will get sorted in the end, as for a love in, No, he has done things I do not approve of. As the way elections are set up, I did not vote for him personally, I only get to vote for a party, not necessarailly what I think is proper, but I am not sure I want some party hack who could not persuade enough voters to vote for him to be elected..
Mark Brown 11/4/2013 1:44:57 AM Report
I burned through those 25 hours pretty quickly :S
Fly, I have to disagree with you when you said, "MB...thanks I am flattered [that you think I would be a good City Councillor], but my day is past.
What we need are young people with ideas and energy. And a moral compass."
IMHO all we need are Councillors with INTEGRITY who consider all available input before making THEIR decisions.
I think you are one of those.
There are certainly a few of those on the current City Council.
If the Councillor has those two characteristics then the older they are the better it is as far as I am concerned.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Mark Brown 11/4/2013 2:08:07 AM Report
It wasn't a problem that you weren't there. I put forward your idea, and I saw the Finance Commissioner and Meeting Secretary scribbling down idea. Hopefully it will be considered by the Finance Committee, but they will probably refer it back to the Accessibility Advisory Committee... I mentioned it fit in with City Council's pursuit of having Sault Ste. Marie designated an 'Age Friendly' community.
I did, however, receive two pieces of feedback from other citizens:
1) Make sure there are some short toilets for kids and small people, and
2) I don't want my tax dollars spent on tall toilets, why don't these people just go to the bathroom before they go shopping.
The first comment tells me that each washroom should have ONE tall toilet, and the second comment tells me that the second commenter has a strong bladder, and they think that no tax dollars should ever be spent on anything that doesn't directly apply to them.
I reminded the second commenter that what is necessary for some is good for all, and that if my private $10 is added to the Municipality's $10 that would make $20 and the municipality could then go to the Companies and the Province and the Feds to make our $20 turn into $80!
So even my small $10 donation will go a long way to getting us ONE tall toilet in each and every public washroom around the city, and on top of that irishfey...
It will get the donating Companies a ton of grrrrrrrreat publicity!
Anyhow, you keep leading the charge on this "Raise the Toilet Lid" campaign irishfey... we'll eventually get it done.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Mark Brown 11/4/2013 2:11:10 AM Report
Long time my friend... too long. I'll drop by sometime on my taxi travels so we can catch up :)
Mark Brown 11/4/2013 2:48:31 AM Report
I like the fact that you are going directly to City Council with your recommendations!
But I think that the closed, citizen-input-devouring committee called the Agenda Review Committee consisting of the Mayor, the CAO and the City Clerk WON'T let you present your input at a city council meeting... they can turn you down even if they don't like something about you, but their reason to you will be that you should present your ideas to the Finance Committee because that is how their (citizen input burying) Budget Input Process works.
But you already know that you can appeal the Agenda Review Committee's decision to not let you appear at a City Council Meeting by getting two City Councillors to move and second a motion to have you appear as a delegation, and potentially move and second a motion for the acceptance of your recommendations as input for their Budget Deliberation Night, or, in your wildest dreams, have City Council ADOPT your well-researched recommendations at the City Council meeting you present them at and have them direct City Staff to make your recommendations happen.
And if that doesn't work you can still fill the Council Chamber on the night that you want to speak to City Council and request that two of them let you speak.
But that still doesn't mean you're going to find two City Councillors who will let you speak so that City Council has the opportunity to promptly ignore your well-researched input without having even taken a minute to seriously consider it.
That would require integrity and a dedication to consider citizen input in the manner that citizens want to provide their input.
And on top of that Councillor Manzo isn't feeling well.
Good luck with getting your well-researched ideas in front of City Council in an open meeting, and having them seriously consider them David.
That will be a serious, "Your City, Your Say", accomplishment.
Sincerely and Respectfully,