Obviously Mayor Jim Watson knows more about light rail than the experts hired to put it together.
The mayor has a lot of hidden talents: budget genius, Christmas Miracle-worker, beer-league baseball franchise picker, testy Twitter tweep, Lansdowne trickle-fall deal wonder-kind … the list goes on and on.
Now, wait for it, LRT expert. Don’t forget, on-time and on-budget.
John Manconi, LRT head honcho, won’t guarantee that our wee little short-line train with a budget as big as the sky will be ready by Nov. 2. That date is particularly politically expedient because it is close enough that Watson can say it will be ready as soon as possible, but not before the Oct. 22 municipal election in case something goes awry.
That way His Worship won’t have to answer the question: “What went wrong again?” until a municipal election is four years away.
On the other hand, His Great Helmsmanship says it will be ready just after all the votes are counted.
“I’m certainly putting pressure on them to ensure we meet that deadline because there’s a financial disincentive for them not meeting the deadline.” How’s that again? You mean like the financial disincentive for missing the May deadline (non-existent despite being advertised otherwise).
Manconi, who gave us the best whopper of the 9,5 years of The Bulldog (“I don’t call it late, I call it an adjustment of the date, for all the right reasons.”) is being careful. And he’s being careful because with the previous quote, Manconi looked like the south end of a north-bound donkey.
Watson, on the other hand, needs to get elected. And seeing that there’s no penalty electorally if LRT is late post Oct. 22, what’s a little lie now and then? Such as on-time and on-budget?
One would hope that Ottawans will get tired of all this gamesmanship and playing with the truth.
Watson is dealing with the best-educated major city in the country. Sooner or later Ottawa will wake up to this veil of PR and it’s accompanying paper tiger.
People are tired of Watson’s blundering and gamesmanship.
Ottawa needs a serious mayor. That’s not Watson who runs city hall like a glee club.
This is either the mayor’s office or the television show Glee. It’s hard to know.