Pedestrians Are Being Shafted


You’ll recall that I applied to be a pedestrian representative on the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee and on the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Committee. There were vacant positions on both, and the city subsequently even went so far as to advertise the need to fill a lot of positiions. I was invited by the Chair of CSCPC to apply to that committee, and my name was put forward for TAC by Councillor Baechler and approved by ETC. So, what’s the problem?

Well, it may be that I’m not a very good schmoozer. I’m not very good at staying silent when there are things going on that just aren’t right. I’m not adverse to naming names. I’m very well known in many quarters as London’s most publicly outspoken pedestrian rights/safety advocate, something I’ve been doing for decades, for good reason.

Readers of this blog know the kind of pedestrian-related issues that concern me, and the kind of advocacy that I’ve been making at City Hall on behalf of pedestrians “from the outside” for these many years.

This blog’s readers also know many of the valid criticisms that I’ve had of City Hall and the several presentations that I made to the Governance Task Force, including my concern for transparency, accountability, and due process.

It appears that there are those at City Hall who don’t appreciate the kind of change that my appointments could bring. Which is why they don’t want me there, and probably beat the hell out of the bushes to find alternatives for those vacant positions.

You may recall my telling you how the City Clerk interfered when I asked to appear before the Disability Advisory Committee during the last election campaign. You may recall that I called for the termination of Mr. Shane McGuire with respect to the Commissioners/Pond Mills intersection. You’ll recall the way that I was lied to by senior city staff last Fall when I indicated that I wished to have the opportunity to provide pedestrian-related input into the review of the Master Plan. More recently, you may be aware of the way that city Planning Staff have failed to inform the local community association that I’m active in with respect to certain proposed zoning changes. And you may remember that a local walkway was allowed to remain in absolutely deplorable condition until I started going door-to-door trying to drum up citizen support for a class-action lawsuit against the city.

I understand the fear which may exist down at City Hall lest I get the opportunity to be more acquainted with what’s going on and to report back to you about it. Lest I cause them even more “inconvenience” than I already do, at this particular time when they’re sitting on a rather large pile of money from the two upper levels of government for transportation-related projects. God forbid that pedestrian concerns be allowed to impact the spending of that money!

Which maybe explains why the appointments process ended up being carried out in secret, instead of being vetted in a public meeting by Board of Control or City Council, and ending with my receipt of this cursory statement from the City Clerk:

I have been asked by the Nominating Committee for the Transportation Advisory Committee to express its thanks to you for submitting your name for consideration to the Advisory Aommittee and to convey its regrets that it was unable to favour you with an appointment at this time.

There’s more to come. Stay tuned.

Added 2008/08/02 @7:00pm:

I’ve just checked the City of London ‘Media Releases’ page to be sure, and it’s as I suspected. There’s no mention of the underhanded secret process in which my application to TAC was rejected.

Although most decisions at City Hall ought to be reflected in a media release, I’ve decided in this instance to leave no slimy stone unturned. So I checked out the ‘Committee Vacancies‘ page as well. Again, no indication of what’s going on. Not even any mention about whether or not there are any outstanding vacancies, much less the ones that have been filled.

Do citizens know that this is how decisions at City Hall are being made?

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