The strip is sure looking lovely these days.
Hope you like the banners – your property taxes are paying for them. They’re just the first salvo in an expensive marketing campaign cooked up by the Bells Corners Business Improvement Area to transform our community into a place to drive to.
We can look forward to radio ads, more photo ops for the councillor, a spiffy candy cane festival, maybe sponsored by Tim Hortons, General Dynamics and Ikea, the renaming of the strip after a famous politician, a new skateboard park and more cleaning up of eyesores and irritants like Al’s SteakHouse, the Lynwood Village Community Association and outdoor rinks.
In addition to access to taxpayer funds through the councillor and City bureaucrats, the BIA also collects the Chiarelli tax, an annual levy on every business owner and commercial landlord in Bells Corners. I’m guessing they’ve got at least a couple of hundred thousand to spend, although salaries will eat up most of it (the executive director’s salary is probably close to six figures and he also employs an assistant).
The new executive director is Alex Lewis, the ideas guy who was hired by Chiarelli, the backroom boys at the BIA and the City. So far he’s come up with the banners, which feature the official Bells Corners logo (a bridge and a tunnel) and the official Bells Corners slogan (“All roads lead to Bells Corners!”).
Here’s Lewis at a media event, along with a City bureaucrat and BIA bigwigs. Rumour has it that RC was ticked off that the photographer, reporter Jennifer McIntosh, only got half of his face in the photo op. Guess she won’t be moving to a more lucrative job in Chiarelli’s office any time soon!
This photo is no longer available – Metroland Media threatened me with legal action if I didn’t remove it.
His predecessor as BIA figurehead was Mike Patton, the notorious Conservative backroom politician who used to be Rick Chiarelli’s office boy before he went on to work for Larry O’Brien and Stephen Harper. Patton quit after only a few weeks on the job.