Hey, Tim Banks: piss off!

The Guardian is reporting that local developer Tim Banks “is asking Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee to remove Coun. Kim Devine as the chair of the city’s downtown revitalization committee.” Banks is quoted as claiming that Councillor Devine has an “obstructionist attitude.”

Apparently in Mr. Banks’ world, anyone who disagrees with his “take no prisoners” attitude towards developing ugly downtown buildings in the name of “revitalization” is an obstructionist.

Councillor Kim Devine is my representative on council. I voted for her. She’s also a friend and neighbour. She’s a smart person, with the best interests of her constituents and her city at heart.

All evidence suggests that Mr. Banks is a megalomaniacal developer intent, under the banner of “embracing change and seizing opportunities,” on developing Charlottetown mega-projects — like his proposed (and now withdrawn) “$8-million head office building at 190 Water St.” — while paying no need to anyone else’s opinion, least of all residents of the neighbourhoods that he seeks to cannibalize.

Under what definition of “progress” the notion of building an office tower on Charlottetown’s waterfront fall I don’t know. But I know it’s not mine.

Tim Banks is looking out for Tim Banks’ interests. Kim Devine is looking out for the interests of me and my neighbours and she has my wholehearted support in doing so.

One of Mr. Banks’ favourite political tactics is to threaten to pack up and develop elsewhere. I say let’s call him on this, vote him off the Island, and be done with his insolent whining for good.

Comments

Alan's picture
Alan on November 15, 2005 - 20:22

…and while you are at it, you should have the procedural bylaw amended so that the Council as a whole elects which councillors that sit on these committees. Having that power entirely in a Mayor’s hands is a bit odd.

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on November 15, 2005 - 20:32

Unfortunately Kim wasn’t looking out for “the interests of me and my neighbours” last night. At least that’s how me and my neighbours feel. She moved the resolution that sank our battleship.

Sam Abuelsamid's picture
Sam Abuelsamid on November 15, 2005 - 20:44

I have to agree that property developers generally are only looking out for what makes them the most profit and to hell with what might be in the best interest of the community. For a prime example of the dangers of developers run amok just look at most of southeast michigan. Instead of fixing up and making Detroit a better place to live, they buy up every piece of farmland they can then throw more mcmansions, strip malls and endless subdivisions. Recently there was a big fight near where I live in Ypsilanti MI. The former ypsilanti psychiatric hospital closed about 10 years ago and the state wants to sell the property. The real estate market in this area has already been slowing for sometime because jobs are disappearing. A developer bid $25 million for the property to build yet another subdivision. Toyota bid $9 million and they want to build a new american tech center there. They are planniug to create over 1000 new jobs. We need 100 jobs a lot more than another 3000 identical houses. The state decided to go with toyota, and teh developer sued. This state needs the jobs, we don’t another subdivision. Fortunately, local governments and the the governer are starting to fight back against the developers, and they are suceeding. I hope that your counciller suceeds in stopping this developer. Good Luck!

jason's picture
jason on November 15, 2005 - 21:03

Ok. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a fan of Tim Banks. He’s talks the big talk…and in some aspects that annoys the hell out of me. On the other hand, I’m not a fan of Kim Divine and this “let’s keep our down-town quaint” junk.

It’s downtown folks. Downtown of a CAPITAL city. The notion of “let’s not let an office building destroy our pristine view” doesn’t fly with me. Instead…should we just shove everything to the outskirts as a big box store?

And before you think i’m only generalizing Kim Divine on this one issue, let me dip back to the “night club” issue. It seems to me that Kim didn’t want all that “boistrous downtown” entertainment ruining her good night’s sleep. So she felt it neccessary to quell the noise of an institution I’m betting was there longer than she was. Again….some news for you. It’s DOWNTOWN. If you don’t enjoy the noise, I would suggest you relocate to a quieter part. I’ve lived in downtown locations and this activity is the norm. Should we move all downtown buildings/events/spots/nightclubs up to the big box stores?

Let’s move ahead folks.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 15, 2005 - 21:13

I was going to submit a response however my reponse would be the same as Jason’s.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 15, 2005 - 21:24

I suppose I was really trying to make two points at the same time:

First, it’s Councillor Devine’s duty to have an “obstructionist attitude,” especially when faced with self-interested developers. For Mr. Banks to suggest that she is incompetent or ill-willed for representing her constituents is ill-mannered.

Second, I don’t happen to agree with Tim Banks’ vision for my neigbourhood, nor his suggestion that those than disagree with his vision are, of necessity, regressive.

As to Jason and Marc’s points: I think there more to objecting to having an $8 million office tower contructed at the foot of your street than “let’s not let an office building destroy our pristine view.” Charlottetown may be the CAPITAL city, but it is not Toronto or Halifax, and it has a unique character. I think it’s possible to be sensitive, innovative and, dare I say, “embracing of change” without keeping the downtown locked up in a quaint ye olde lockbox.

head scratcher's picture
head scratcher on November 15, 2005 - 21:49

Having observed the slipshod manner in which City Council operates does anyone really think that APM won’t get it’s way in the end? Why else would they have played all these communities off against one another to see who would pony up the best deal for the development?

islander away's picture
islander away on November 15, 2005 - 22:59

Banks learned his “give me what I want or else I’ll pull out” skills from others (remember Mary Jean and the box factory?). It is probably the most effective business strategy on PEI.

Only when there is a strong long term vision for both the city of Charlottetown and Province as a whole can Islanders tell arrogant big-fish-in-the-small-ponders like Banks to piss off with his schoolyard bullying.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 00:05

The APM Group has done more for the employment levels of this province, than either the Municipal or Provincial Gov’t in the last 5 years. Does Charlottetown really think it’s got a “leg up” on developers?
We live in an area where unemployment levels reach 12%. When the city holds Public meetings in regards to future developments and 50 people show up to complain, why must this make Front Page news? I think the news should be “The entire Population of Charlottetown, minus 50 people, are not complaining about development XYZ”

Wayne's picture
Wayne on November 16, 2005 - 00:46

vote him off the Island” Gee, can Islanders really do that?

Lots of people use the argument that if you don’t agree with them, you are against progress, backward etc. It is a tired approach used by those with a weak argument or suffering from frustration about not getting their way.

But, is Charlottetown open for business or not? It seems this represents a big difference between the cities of Charlottetown and Summerside.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2005 - 00:56

I’d like to hope that Charlottetown is NOT “open for business” if that implies a Mike Harris “all business is good business” slash “all jobs are good jobs” slash “prostrate ourselves to corporations” attitude. My Charlottetown is open for people, as trite as that may sound; business is just a somewhat necessary evil that we’ve got along for the ride.

Kris's picture
Kris on November 16, 2005 - 01:41

I can understand that some people (50) do not want this development in the downtown area. What about the rest of the people is Kim Devine’s distirct?? If it is such a huge problem then show up for the meeting. Its the same mentality that those have taken against the Jack Frost Festival…”something good for the city shouldn’t happen.”

Wayne's picture
Wayne on November 16, 2005 - 02:22

Some people need to re-examine what is good and what is evil. Right now, if you fired cannons down the streets of Charlottetown after 5 p.m. (when government employees are gone home to the suburbs) the only thing you might hit would be a tea house. And, as nice as they are, they ain

Shawn's picture
Shawn on November 16, 2005 - 02:57

So, Wayne, you think we should just supend any by-laws, turn Charlottetown over to the developers for unrestricted development, and everything will be a whole lot better? Let them build what they want, where they want, and to hell with anything or anyone else?

Charles's picture
Charles on November 16, 2005 - 08:40

Peter, in regards to your “it’s Councillor Devine’s duty to have an obstructionist attitude” comment, I’m afraid I have to disagree. She’s the chair of the downtown *revitalization* committee: it’s her job to stimulate growth in the area, and that is done by *encouraging* new businesses and projects. Of course she has to use good judgement to decide what projects are appropriate and what ones are not, but I think the attitude should be more “yes first” than “no first.” And in cases where she does not approve of a project then the attitude should be “here’s how to make it more palatable” rather than “piss off!”

That being said, I don’t think Charlottetown needs another office building, especially one located in a residential zone. If Tim wants a new headquarters, have him redo that Great Northern Knitter’s building, or some other virtually empty building on Queen Street to better concentrate the business sector. Besides, that’s where all the parking is anyways.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 13:10

I dont’t want to answer for Wayne, but I think his point is that we (Charlottetown) need Developers more than they need us.
Why can alot of people not see this?

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 13:24

SAM ABUELSAMID has a great story about developement in Detroit. In our case APM mirrors Toyota in his story. It is APM that wants to bring 50 well paying jobs to our downtown core. Many of these jobs will be new to Charlottetown because of the transfers from Moncton, Halifax and other maritime cities.

Ann's picture
Ann on November 16, 2005 - 13:30

It always makes me sad when these discussions turn into personal slagging matches.
I think everyone with an idea about this city has something valuable to contribute but it has been my experience that people are in too much of a hurry to personalize their disagreements,

I have been trying to attend meetings lately that discuss the future of Charlottetown. But i find that, as soon as someone pipes up with an idea, someone else calls them an idiot. Not their idea — them.

It would be so refreshing to hear a discussion of the city as a whole that didn’t involve any insults. Of anyone.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on November 16, 2005 - 13:56

Ever been to Vancouver? About the only place visitors can see the waterfront is around the hotel that once housed the Canada pavilion at Expo 86. The rest of the world-class view is completely obstructed by condos and corporate offices.

I’m not saying that this will happen to Ch’town, but what needs to be in place here before we Bank on building willy-nilly or exercise our Devine right to overreact and stop all development is a comprehensive plan for the waterfront area. Toronto’s Harbourfront area may be a good example of this, where, after extensive consultation, a plan was put in place that lets business, condos, notels, arts and culture, parks and open space, visitors and residents co-exist, while not obstructing the waterfront views any more than necessary.

Before building anything, we need public and commercial input, concepts, architectural drawings, scale models etc. so that a general design is put in place that covers the whole area and meets everyone’s needs.

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on November 16, 2005 - 13:59

Tim Banks needed to be called out on his tantrum in the Guardian, because that’s what it was. Good for you, Peter.

Ann's picture
Ann on November 16, 2005 - 15:06

You are so right, Derek.
Why is this so hard to achieve? And why cannot we not look at the value of the waterfront to the whole city, instead of just to the downtown core?
I have to go read Jane Jacobs. I cannot understand why it’s so hard to get city planning right.

Brian's picture
Brian on November 16, 2005 - 15:24

I don’t see what the big fuss is. So he wants to build a building on the waterfront. The main complaint I’m hearing is that it will block the view. Charlottetown has plenty of green space on its waterfront. If you like the view, just walk 100 meters to Confederation Landing park. Surely the building will look nicer than the gravel pile that’s there now. Or would you prefer we put the oil tanks and railroad tracks back in?

Some people complain that the building is too tall. There are plenty of 5-story buildings in Charlottetown. And the fact that it’s taller means it will block less of the view, since its footprint will be smaller. I’d also like to point out that we’ve got a 12-story hotel on our waterfront already, just a couple of blocks away, so it’s not like scale is an issue.

head scratcher's picture
head scratcher on November 16, 2005 - 15:45

Scale isn’t the issue…returning to Derek Mac’s point, the lack of a well-thought out plan for the waterfront is. Surely a plan can be developed that can accommodate the office complex and all the related commercial and residential development being envisioned by the Harbour Authority.

Given that we hear time and again how our waterfront and heritage are our big selling points for tourism and development I don’t think it unreasonable to question whether some glass and steel structure will blend with the architectural theme already on the waterfront. Take a walk across Queen Street at the Confed Centre then look down the street towards the harbour. Do you get a nice view of the water? No, you have a commanding view of the Coast Guard Building. Is that putting our best foot forward as a city?

There’s something to be said for a little advance planning before diving headlong into construction. Just ask the merchants and shoppers currently being displaced by the Streetscape initiative on Queen Street.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on November 16, 2005 - 15:46

I am sure that Vancouver had plenty of green space on its waterfront, too, when the first tall buildings were built there. Once things start, though, it’s hard to put the brakes on unless there is a comprehensive plan in place.

The “strips” leading into most cities, such as our own fine example on University Avenue, show what happens when development proceeds without a plan. Once Mr. Banks gets the initial foothold on the waterfront, he and other developers will find a way to fill it with rentable space, undoubtedly to the expense of (unrentable) parks, common areas and views of the water.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 16:02

Vancouver, Toronto etc. have developers beating down their doors to build in their cities. Charlottetown does not have this problem, yet we still think we hold the chips at the negotiating table.

Robert Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on November 16, 2005 - 16:14

Downtown revitalization occurs only when a high density of people LIVE DOWNTOWN. It has been found that a large conentration of office space and parking lots works against this as does lots of noise and anti social behaviour.

Downtown Charlottetown will become vital when lots of people live here. If you go to St Henri in Montreal you will see how this works. A developer converted a large factory into lofts — many young creative people moved in — cafes thrived more lofts were developed — resatuarants and food shopping moved in — more upscale places were built — the SAQ moved in — the canal was cleaned up and boating began in the summer — the bright young things began to be priced out and the losts were upgraded and so on.

This is what happened in downtown Manhatten. All attempts to jump start it by moving business there failed.

I get so angry when those who claim to want revitalization
a. Dont read — Hello Jane Jacobs has been writing about this for 40 years!!!!
b. Don’t do any research

head scratcher's picture
head scratcher on November 16, 2005 - 16:16

Charlottetown holds the chips in the respect that any municipality sets up the framework to guide development within it. What’s at issue here is whether a happy medium can be found between having no development and issuing blank cheques to developers. Many communities reach this happy medium so again, it’s not unreasonable to think that Charlottetown could as well, if the will is there.

Ann's picture
Ann on November 16, 2005 - 16:21

Where is the forum for discussion like this one to occur, other than here? Not that there’s anything wrong with here…but it doesn’t get us any farther than -um — here.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 16:42

Good points ROBERT. Revitalization is underway with 4 Condo complexes in the works (Pownal St, Water St, Queen St, and Fitzroy St.) These will undoubtably contribute to people living downtown and I applaud these developments. However, can we not get people to work downtown at the same time with a new office building?

Cyn's picture
Cyn on November 16, 2005 - 16:44

Marc, how about we fill the buildings we already have before we build another one.

Marc N's picture
Marc N on November 16, 2005 - 16:50

Filling vacant buildings would be nice Cyn. Are we now going to tell devlopers they must fill vacant buildings before anything else is built? What is the incentive?

Alan's picture
Alan on November 16, 2005 - 16:54

If you do have this debate at QSC make sure you bring a copy of the document below with you as you may be really having a discussion on principles which have to be added to your Official Plan. In the 1970s Kingston made waterfront access and public acquisition a principle which is still played out in development decisions. Similarly, I understand Halifax has principles about harbour site lines from Citidel Hill. These ideas for planned development would be set out in the Official Plans for each community and guide the defining of and balancing of interests.

http://www.city.charlottetown….

Wayne's picture
Wayne on November 16, 2005 - 17:09

Well, for one reason…many of the buildings we already have downtown are protected by the heritage nazi’s and do not suit what people want in their office space, or provide adequate parking for those who have fled to the freedom of the suburbs or have seen property taxes soar because of the shrinking overall tax base downtown…a result of represive business policies of Charlottetown.

Meanwhile, lower Manhattan is so driven to provide office space, it is enduring an emotional debate about how much space will be allocated to a 9-11 memorial.

While not everyone needs to agree with Tim Banks’ vision for the neighborhood, nor his suggestion that those than disagree with his vision are, of necessity, regressive, I would offer a twist and say it is Councilor Devine’s duty to have an “obstructionist attitude,” especially when faced with self-interested minority groups of 50 or less. She was elected to represent the wishes of the majority of the electorate, or face the boot in the next election. Most politicians who support self-interest minorities usually suffer the same fate. And people who voice the opinion that their self-interest group knows what is right for the majority should be cautious, because it might get them elected. Faced with reality of responsibility, what would they do then?

Dan James's picture
Dan James on November 16, 2005 - 17:21

Wayne, from your argument immediately above you bring up a really interesting thought. Do residents of a neighborhood (the people who live, work, and play 24 hours a day in a certain place) have more say over that place than a developer who lives elsewhere? Does actually living somewhere give you more authority and responsibility?

Dan James's picture
Dan James on November 16, 2005 - 17:24

And as Cynthia mention we here at the Queen Street Commons are most interested in hosting this discussion (or a series) in real life. Face to face. We could even get both sides to work together towards a solution, write up a white paper and submit it to the city. Or something like that…

Alan's picture
Alan on November 16, 2005 - 17:27

I think, Dan, you also have to acknowledge that even those living in the same neighbourhood will disagree. Peter’s statement “My Charlottetown is open for people, as trite as that may sound; business is just a somewhat necessary evil that we’ve got along for the ride” could not be made by someone solely dependant on a local commerical market as the statement sees the community as something of a sub-urb to external economics and revenue sources. If you were, say, a restaurant owner also living in the neighbourhood living on the sales of lunches to the AMP HQ workers would you not have a differing view? It comes down to each person’s vision of the neighbourhood they share.

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on November 16, 2005 - 17:33

As Alan points out, the Offical Plan is the important document. It’s the Constitution, so to speak, to the Bylaws legislation. The bylaws must conform. This was part of the argument over my neighbourhood’s recent issue with a developer. The problem is getting the city to recognize this fact. The chairman of the planning committee nor the mayor are able to recall one development that was ever denied because it was inconsistent with the principles or objectives of Charlottetown’s Official Plan. This is sad. For your information, the city is currently reviewing and updating the development bylaws and the official plan as part of a mandated five year requirement. Stage one is complete and the three public meetings were very poorly attended. The process continues but you must speak up now.

Jason's picture
Jason on November 16, 2005 - 17:42

been awhile since i last checked this. Quite the debate.

Let’s face it. Charlottetown is so behind in downtown development. You just have to look at the fact that they’re just getting around to changing the tenant capacity in buildings. The caving in of the city over the parking issue at the new Federal building. The LONNNNG lack of a downtown market. The number of empty VERY desirable buildings on University and Kent owned by a certain landlord.The list goes on.

The APM building issue is one more sluggish step in improving this city. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked the streets thinkinng “that’d make a great…..or…the possibilities for that would be great….. etc.”

I understand Peter’s want for a more peaceful downtown, but this sluggish city we have causes so many young people to move off island. We can’t have growth if we keep this “quaint” view. I agree with getting someone outside of council in to change things in this city.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2005 - 19:35

I don’t want a “more peaceful downtown.” Beyond wanting a downtown where the peace and security of my family is considered (i.e. fewer drunken teens trying to break our door down after a night out on the town), my only priority is that the degree of “impeace” (is that a word?) is determined by some local consensus and not by the whims of the tourismocrats and developers.

And I refuse to subscribe to the developer mantra that “if you don’t grow you die.” There’s nothing wrong with standing still, moving backwards, moving sideways, etc. if it improves the quality of life of the citizenry.

Josh's picture
Josh on November 16, 2005 - 19:35

Just to toss my two cents in, while I strongly agree that something has to be done in downtown, I’m not fully convinced it should be Tim Banks doing it. Charlottetown’s downtown is stagnant, much in need of revitalization, but not at the expense of the loss of our history or our unique look (note I did not use the unfortunate term “quaint”, which I think we can all live without) which, from my experience, matters very little to Mr. Banks.
I have spent a great deal of time in the new Sears building out on the bypass, a shining example of what APM is capable of; less than a full year after construction is completed, there is a list of over 60 items that need to be dealt with, many of which are serious construction flaws. If that is an example of the level of commitment he has to quality, he can get the hell out of my downtown.

Ann's picture
Ann on November 16, 2005 - 19:51

Just a point Alan — there isn’t a restaurant (except in the summer) within five blocks of the proposed APM HQ. The closest one is probably Tim Horton’s by the bridge. Plus APM is planning to have a cafe for the tenants. And APM would get significant tax breaks by building their “innovation centre”. So all in all there would not be a big greater benefit to the community. You can’t make anyone live downtown because they work there and it wouldn’t be especially easy to nip downtown to shop at lunchtime. The DVA people may shop and eat downtown at lunchtime, but how many stay downtown after work or come downtown on Saturday or live downtown?
Building a building on the waterfront just means you have a building on the waterfront and that’s all it means.
I would like a city with many more young people in it…it would make the whole city a lot more fun — even for The Old like myself. And if I could be convinced that building a five storey office building (one storey of which will be occupied by APM btw) would accomplish that, I would seriously rethink my opposition to the proposal.

Alan's picture
Alan on November 16, 2005 - 20:01

I was thinking of beloved but departed Eddies and the lunches that might have been bought by Tim Bank’s lunch-time strolling staff. I can’t imagine “building a building on the waterfront just means you have a building on the waterfront and that’s all it means” ever being the case. People are more dynamic than that. If it weren’t for DVA lunch goers many of the real 12-month-a-year downtown spots would be long gone along with their jobs and taxes.

Still, your debate is really about the Official Plan and ensuring your needs get put on the table.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on November 16, 2005 - 20:14

I think of Harborside as an example of non-highrise waterfront development that I appreciate: lots of public access to the water, lowrise buildings in harmony with buildings around them, etc.

I think of the Delta Hotel as an example of the ultimate extend of Things Gone Wrong on the waterfront.

Rob L.'s picture
Rob L. on November 16, 2005 - 20:56

Next on the waterfront developers’ hitlist will be the land between the Coast Guard wharf and the armory. The yacht club is almost certain now to vacate its current location (relocating behind Founders’ Hall). CADC will purchase the land for development. APM already owns a portion of this land, I believe. Tim Banks is currently at IRAC trying to stop another developer from… ruining his view!!!

Ann's picture
Ann on November 17, 2005 - 00:13

You can see the plans the Harbour Authority has for that space at shawnmurphy.ca
You need Power Point.

Kevin O'Brien's picture
Kevin O'Brien on November 17, 2005 - 01:16

Tim Banks and Kim Devine each have my wholehearted support. Unfortunately, due to their respective job choices they perhaps cannot count on each other’s. Pick sides (everyone) if you wish, but it’s not at all necessary to do so.

Marcus's picture
Marcus on November 17, 2005 - 13:00

Why the hell is the city allowing any developer to build in an area that flooded in the 2000 storm surge, and is predicted by Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada to flood at to least 1-2 metres in depth on average every 20 years?

I don’t care if you believe in greenhouse gases and whether humans have caused it and all the political bally-hoo that goes on with that, but this much we do know:

1) the earth is on a warming trend and ocean and air temps are increasing
2) the ice-in period in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is declining, freeing more open water for…
3) increased winter storms and extra-tropical cyclones
4) PEI is still undergoing glacial and is depressing at 0.3 metres per century
5) global sea levels have risen 0.1 metres per century in the past and are expected to reach 0.5-0.7 metres in THIS CENTURY ALONE
6) couple the chance of a high tide, with higher sea levels, with a big-ass low pressure system and downtown Charlottetown floods, again
7) the entire area of the rail yards, and anything south of Water St., east of Cumberland and south of Grafton St. (east end) is all INFILLED LAND that came from the field out by UPEI. Back at the turn of the century, 10,000 railcar loads of earth were hauled down there, and it’s not even compacted — the sewer system in that entire area fills with sea water every 6 hours, plus they’ve measured with survey-quality GPS that the entire waterfront rises and falls an imperceptible several centimetres with every tide. Whey you would put buildings on this, is beyond me.

Why did we allow Founders Hall to be developed by CADC and ACOA with millions of our $ when it’s a threatened flood zone and on infilled land? Pork-barrel politics by Liberal-Tory asses — that’s why. Why we allow ANY waterfront development on this island is crazy, given the susceptibility to erosion and flood damage on our shores (and no, I’m not trying to be an environmentalist and stick my head in the sand — this is the reality folks, so check your ideological arguments at the door).

Then, why this province is so far behind the rest of the nation in even adopting the National Building Code of Canada, or any other regulations is beyond me.

leo's picture
leo on November 17, 2005 - 13:19

I appreciate what Peter, Marcus and others have stated.
I do not see how any developer who have a past and continuing habit of flaunting City Hall and other development rules should be allowed to break rules or have rules made in their favour and then threaten elected officials who uphold the rules in place. He has done it with sign laws and then followed up with getting zoning changed for his proposed head office already and then did not follow through. After that, he moved to blackmail municipalities a la Mary Jean Irving and box plant — there is no public interest being served by catering to his bullying attitude. Others play by the rules, why does he think he is above the rules? I would also hazard to say that he undermines the rules other construction companies follow in paying workers a better negotiated wage and benefits package including health care and pension contributions. We are all getting a bit tired of his juvenile “watch me now, the rules are made for others and not for me” antics.

John's picture
John on November 26, 2005 - 00:40

Looks like Tim Banks got his way and I congradulate him.

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