A jury in a murder trial can review several days' worth of evidence in three days, sometimes less, and come up with a decision, yet some city councillors say they need at least a week to study an agenda that contains about six pages of pertinent information.
(The jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial needed less than four hours to consider 133 days of evidence).
The current council agenda system puts the twice-a-month regular meeting agenda in the hands of councillors on Friday morning. It has been that way for as long as most can recall.
It isn't like councillors are being asked to read Tolstoy's War and Peace cover to cover on the weekend and turn in a book report for Monday night, or be given 72 hours to prep for the final round of the national spelling bee.
The most powerful politician in the world, the President of the Excited States of America, often is asked to make a decision that affects everything from the global economy to national security based on a 30-minute briefing at 7 a.m.
But in Cornwall, some elected officials need at least 168 hours to digest riveting reports on such things as pesky pigeons, busy beavers and wayward Canada Geese.
Perhaps three days isn't enough to pore over an agenda for a meeting that usually lasts about two hours, but a whole week, and then some!
One councillor whined that being saddled with the document on the weekend took away from family time. If two or three hours doing something that an elected official is paid for is cutting into family time, that person should find another source of part-time employment. It goes with the job, just as working eight or 12-hour weekend shifts in the real world.
Perhaps the nomination forms for the 2014 municipal election should contain a clause that alerts the candidate to the fact that "some weekend work is expected."
IN THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR Not only don't they make cars the way they once did, but they don't sing about them the way they once did. In the 1950s Chuck Berry was singling about buying a Cadillac in "No Money Down" and racing down the Jersey Turnpike in "You Can't Catch Me". ... The Playmates had a snappy song on the hit parade about a little Nash Rambler called "Beep Beep". ... The Avons were singing about "Seven Little Girls in the Back Seat" who were "hugging and kissing with Fred" much to the chagrin of the driver. ... The De-Vikings had a hit called "Flat Tire". ... In 1964 The Rip Cords were singing about shutting down a Stingray in "Hey Little Cobra". ... The year before we had the Beach Boys making it big with "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Shut Down". ... Drive-in restaurants were popular and so was an instrumental called "Hey Car Hop" by The Exports. (Bring back any memories of the A & W on Vincent Massey Driver?). ... Jan and Dean sang about "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Dead Man's Curve". ... The Hondells weren't singing about fast cars; it was a fast motorcycle in "Little Honda": "First gear it's all right. Second gear lean right. Third gear hang on tight. Faster!" ... Sally was cruising all over town in "Mustang Sally" sung by Wilson Pickett. ... The tear-jerker "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers was about a tragic car accident. The boyfriend survives. The girlfriend dies. Boyfriend vows to see her in heaven. (Break out the Kleenex). ... Chuck Berry was cruising and playing the radio in"No Particular Place to Go". ... The usually stoned Janis Joplin wailed on with "Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz" in 1970 while Red Sovine sang a sad tale called "Teddy Bear". ... Dave Dudley told us to "Keep on Trucking". ... Somebody called Loudon Wainwright had a ridiculous tune "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road". No, he wasn't singing about an ex-wife.
TRIVIA ANSWER Christ Church was moved to Upper Canada Village from Moulinette. Retired MPP Jim Brownell notes that a Pmural of its move is in downtown Cornwall across from JobZone. Also in the mural is the heaviest house moved by Hydro - from Wales to Ingleside. On another note, Jim, whose memory is a lot better than mine, said the Queen visited Cornwall on June 27, 1959, not July 27 of the same year. The guests were kept waiting because the Royal Yacht got stuck in fog on the St. Lawrence River. A copy of the luncheon menu and other photos of the old hotel are among the Lost Villages' treasure chest of memorabilia.
TRIVIA This downtown building stands on the site of the former New Windsor Hotel?
SEEN & HEARD In a letter to a Toronto newspaper, chap said he has no problem taking a multi-billion dollar hit for the e-health, gas plants and air ambulance scandals if it means keeping the Progressive Conservatives out of power. Ya, like he is going to write out a cheque to cover the wasted billions. ... Note to the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry sacrificial lamb who picks the short straw and has to shoulder the tattered Liberal banner in the next provincial election: Don't show up at the door the same day the Hydro One bill arrives.
THIS & THAT Strange how so many who rail against "corporate greed" have pension plans and/or investments tied to the profits earned by those "greedy corporations". They're shameless closet capitalists. ...Three failed federal Liberal leadership candidates are having trouble paying their campaign debts. Marc Garneau owes $95,000, Deborah Coyne is in hock to the tune of $61,000 and Karen McCrimmon has $47,000 in unpaid bills. Couple of past NDP leadership hopefuls in the same boat. And these people wanted to run the country! ... Wonder if Sen. Mike Duffy submitted a bill for the limousine he used to transport the Duffer and a pal to a Cornwall event few years back? The limo and driver hung around for about six hours before taking the pair back to Ottawa.
ROUND & 'BOUT Judy Bobka tells us that award-winning Global TV anchor Leslie Roberts who grew up in Montreal has a strong Cornwall connection. His mother was from Cornwall. Her maiden name was Silmser. ... New low-level bridge will have five lanes which should reduce the wait times during peak periods. CBSA will be briefing city council on the new set-up (expected to be in place before year's end) at the next regular meeting. For the folks in Akwesasne, the new much shorter span will cut a mile off the walking distance to and from the island.
SPORTS STUFF The 1972 Memorial Cup champion Royals had eight members who went on to have careers in the National Hockey League and/or World Hockey Association. Another became a superior court justice. ... Cornwall native Gary MacDonald went to Clarkson University (Potsdam. N.Y.) in the 1960s on a hockey scholarship (graduated with a master's degree) and became one of the few hockey players in a U.S. Division I school to make a varsity golf team. He credits his uncle Archie MacDonald for teaching him the game. In 1973 Gary became the first Cornwallite to win the Cornwall Open.