Moving On…

Category: Community

A Good Recommendation

London changing it’s logo to reflect the city we aspire to be wont be happening.

At least that sounds like the recommendation from staff.

Although the logo is a few years old, the expense of a logo overhaul seemed too steep.

I also think it would be putting the cart before the horse.

It’s like going out to buy a new workout outfit. It might make you feel good, it might even convince you that you have made progress towards your goal, but really you haven’t. All you have done is put a fresh coat of lipstick on an old pig.

If you are serious about moving towards your goals, the ratty old t-shirt and sweats will get you started. Only after making a commitment to progress should you think about whether or not your outfit matches your activity.

Changing the logo for the city may have been an exciting project, but not much more.

The Problem With Historical Buildings

I love historical and antique buildings, but the total tab for the rebuilt “Red Antiquities Building” shows where they can be a tough sell.

Pathways bought the building for $100,000…

Groups ranging from the city to the Ontario Trillium Foundation stepped up to donate money, helping to cover a renovation tab of about $500,000, Hubert said.  –

I would like to see an appraisal of what the current property is worth. I would be shocked to see a number over $600K.

This means that if we are going to keep saving these buildings we need to find incentives not to just tear it down and start over.

And no, I don’t mean historical designation.

Designation just leaves a building to rot.

Where to Start?

It can be difficult to get engaged in this city.

Not that people aren’t welcoming, most are dying for some new faces and new ideas to be brought to the table, but there are a few barriers to entry.

Being “engaged” requires work.

It means listening to ideas (even the ones you don’t like) as well as sharing your own.

It means doing a bit of reading about the city’s organization, responsibilities, and history.

It means voting every four years.

Does all this sound like too much? Many people do.

So where can you start?

Why not start with being supportive?

Being supportive requires a very minimal amount of effort.

Look out for, and attend events that sound interesting, like Car Free Day, Home County Folk Music and Art Festival, or Fleetwood Country Cruize In.

Participate in sporting events with organizations like the Forest City Sport & Social Club, or run in one of several road races like the Forest City Road Races.

Enjoy the entertainment already available like going to see the Knights, the Lightning, the Majors, take in a play at the Grand Theatre or The Arts Project or visit one of the city’s museums.

Make sure other’s know about the exciting things going on in the city and give them the strangest look whenever someone claims “there is nothing to do in this city”.

And last but not least, spend your money with local businesses that support our community.

Even though you may not be noticed for your contribution, all these things will make our city a better place.

Top 10 – Worst Ways to Break Bad News

Bad news is never easy to break, but there are good ways and bad ways to break news. Here are a list of some of the worst things someone can say to you before telling you anything.

10, “We should talk…”

9, “I know I always said…”

8, “I’m going to be completely honest with you…”

7, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”

6, “I hate to be the one to tell you this…”

5, “Promise you won’t be mad at me.”

4, “I was trying to wait for the right time to tell you this.”

3, “I guess you’ve seen what I posted on Facebook?”

2, “Hey, I’m going to be on Jerry Springer, want to come with me?”

1, “We are having an emergency press conference… in four hours.”

Yes, I’m having a bit of fun with the handling of the city’s announcement yesterday that two of the seals from Storybook had died in transport.

On the scale of things this one is pretty small, but the city needs to understand that when you have something really important to tell people, they brace for the worst.

This is also the first announcement that I can remember that wasn’t prefaced by it’s reason.

A simple “we are holding an emergency press conference today at 4:30 to share the unfortunate news that there has been a problem with the transport of the seals from Storybook.”

Was that so hard? It would have left most of the city go back to their daily routine without worrying about who had died.

Downfall of Democracy

The first place democracy fails it’s stakeholders is in the advancement of minorities. When the majority rules, it often leaves under-represented people behind.

It’s then the job of the minority to beg, plead, convince, or cajole the majority into supporting their cause.

This is not only true in government, but also in unionized environments.

During collective bargaining, employers know that smaller employee groups don’t have much voting power and often negotiate accordingly.

This is a reality we unfortunately need to face.

And no, I don’t know a solution to this problem.

Duty of Care

When I send my son to school each morning, I know the school has a moral and legal responsibility to provide a clean and safe environment. Under a standard duty of care the school assumes the responsibility for his well being.

If I found out that he was being abused, assaulted, intimidated, or subjected to an unclean environment, I would be furious and I would want answers.

Even if I were to neglect to provide a safe and clean home for my son (or if I was caring for an elderly relative), the province would be there to remove him from my care, as they should, in the name of protecting someone who cannot protect themselves.

So how does the province get away with what is reportedly going on at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre?

Once detained, the Ontario government must assume the duty of care for people in custody.

Not everyone in EMDC has even been convicted of a crime.

Endless Opportunities

This morning I have been doing a lot of thinking and searching.

How can I improve my community?

Pillar Nonprofit Network maintains a great list of organizations within London looking for volunteers. Currently there are 87 opportunities posted on that list alone.

There are many organizations that would happily accept any assistance offered. The largest problem may be in finding what some may call, the right fit. Feeling good about what the organization does is important, but so is feeling comfortable in the established organizational culture.

Looking through these opportunities lead me to the website of Glen Carin Community Resource Centre and an excellent video they produced for their AGM on the front page. It gives a great overview of what the organization does, who it serves, and the people who make it all happen.

I really think more organizations need to embrace video. It can convey information than text simply can’t, and the level of engagement is higher.

Now, I’m on the lookout for other organizations that are putting video to good use.

City of London Advisory Committees

My chances look bleak, at best.

My name was absent from the Striking Committee recommendations which were published in the agenda for this week’s Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting. After seeing the applications of the people who will be filling the spots I am not surprised, they are extremely well qualified, but rejection is always a little disappointing.

If you want to check the list out for yourself you can find the list of recommendations here.

So, how am I moving on?

I’m going to be considering other ways I can contribute to my city. There must be an organization or two in our city that could use a hand.