Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Council Needs to Find Solutions, not Perpetuate the Problem

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. - Albert Einstein

As I said at Monday's council meeting, Josef Tesar is a victim of his own success. If he wasn't good at running a bar, a legitimate business in an area that is zoned to allow such businesses, this issue wouldn't have shown up at council yet again. Asked for permission to build a parking lot on a lot that he owns adjacent to his business, in the hopes that doing so will lessen the number of people parking on nearby city streets, council voted not to allow this. The result - people will continue to go the the Belly Up Bar, park on residential streets, and annoy the people who are unfortunate enough to live in the neighbourhood, who remember the good old days when the building housed a closed business.

Don't get me wrong - I sympathize with the residents. I get annoyed when Ecole Valois is rented on a warm summer night for a party or a concert, and I get to listen to music that I don't particularly like, and see people throwing up on the boulevard or getting into fights. And whenever that happens, I think of the people who have called me over the years to ask what can be done about the Belly Up. But refusing approval for the parking lot does nothing to solve their problem. Council needs to think about this creatively - what can we do that will allow a good business man - an asset to any community - continue to run his business?

I suggested that council could work with Mr. Tesar to see if there was a possibility that his business could be relocated downtown - he could run his business, and downtown would get a bit of a boost, particularly in the evening when it tends to become somewhat lifeless. I got absolutely no response to this. So much for trying to work with people to come up with new solutions. As Councillor Gervais said after the meeting "We solved nothing - we're going to be dealing with this for the next ten years."

I see that the local paper also has an article about the independent review that I mentioned in yesterday's post. I was mostly amused by the comments of the councillor who is quoted as saying that the impetus for his motion was "the amount of calls that I received from people in Lee's ward and around the city in shock over what he did." I'm just wondering how those people got in touch with someone whose phone number isn't listed in the phone book. Mind you, an amount could be as few as one... I wish that the thirty or forty people who have contacted me, upset because they don't have recycling bins that they have been paying for, (an issue which I have raised at council at least a dozen times) received the same kind of action. And since the city yard is full of unused bins, distributing those bins is probably a cheaper solution than hiring a lawyer.

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. - Mark Twain


overtaxed_and_underPA'd said...

I agree. Mr. Tasar should have every right to add a parking lot to his business. Especially in light of the restrictions that have been placed on parking on the street near his bar.
Keep up the blog and the intelligent reasoning behind your decisions Lee. It's nice to see that there are still a couple of councilors that don't need to be sheared for their wool once a year.

Ensign said...

what seems unfortunate about this issue is that some on council were using this problem to advance their own political interests, rather than solve a problem. You, Councillors Williams, Matheson and Gervais were the only ones trying to solve a problem.

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