Haven't had your fill of your favourite former mayor? Fear not: Chris Ecklund, a Hamilton-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, has begun hosting a weekly column by Larry Di Ianni on his website.
Demonstrating the expressive, unfiltered power of the internet, the column affords Di Ianni a platform to say exactly what he thinks about current political events.
His column this week concerns the official opening of the Red Hill Valley Parkway, and Di Ianni bars no holds in his account of either his role in bringing the road to fruition or the nefraious doings of his political opponents.
Putting Terry Cooke's comparatively dainty treatment in a recent Spectator to shame, Di Ianni castigates his "most ardent opponents" who "lurked in the darkness of cyberspace and secret meetings".
He echoes Cooke on his intrepid defence of "the vast majority of Hamiltonians' intention to see the road constructed" and lambastes his opponent in the mayoral election of 2003 for "foolishly" going against "the rightness and necessity" of the highway. (Not to mention foolishly failing to, er, raise nearly as much campaign money.)
It gets juicier. In a teaser paragraph that dangles tantalizing tidbits of gossip about the inner political wranglings behind the highway, Di Ianni mentions that were he to write a book, a chapter would feature the "evil genius behind the Friends of the Red Hill [sic] strategies".
But fear not: rather than drag his tails through all that muck, Di Ianni would rather focus on the future, as the highway itself inexorably does.
In his coup de grace, after writing a column about the highway, he urges, "Move on Hamilton! There are more important things to do than to debate a reality whose time has finally come!" (But presumably there aren't more important things to do than to gloat about it.)
At Raise the Hammer, we too try to dwell on the future: the immediate future of burgeoning deficits, sharply reduced municipal capital budgets and higher property taxes; and the longer-term future of volatile oil prices in the $200/barrel range, fuel supply instability and chaotic weather.
We think about those people in the future who will themselves be tempted to look back and assess the investment choices we made at the height of our power. We think about what they will conclude as they scratch their heads and wonder just what on earth we were thinking.
Then again, we also try to support adaptive reuse wherever possible. In that postive, forward-looking light, I propose a contingency plan to give the project a new name in light of likely future developments: The Red Hill Valley Skateboard Park.
Special thanks to the cyberspace lurker who secretly brought this column to our attention.
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