banned from City Hall


By now everyone’s probably seen Earl McRae’s latest trouncing of our hapless councillor.

Thanks for plugging my blog in the paper, Earl – I’m averaging 445 hits a day this month (34,704 visits since I launched the blog Nov. 30, 2010).



The list of public spaces that I’m not allowed to be in just got a little longer.

I’ve been banned from City Hall by Corporate Security!

The reason? I talked to to Jay, Alex and the councillor in the City Hall lobby today.

Let me explain. I’ll try to make it brief, but it’s sort of a long story.

It was a splendid day for a bike ride so I pointed my Frank Dinardo Special towards City Hall to see what was cooking at council.

I took a fairly direct route, but I dawdled along the way, and the council meeting was over by the time I got there. I knew that Jim likes to keep it short and sweet, so it’s my own fault for not getting there earlier.

I was disappointed to have missed the action (apparently there were a few dramatic moments!) but then I had an idea – maybe I could find out why I was banned from Lynwood Park?

Somebody had advised me that I would need a lawyer pry any info out of the City, but surely that couldn’t be true? I decided to try.

Hmmm, how to proceed?

While I was still pondering my next move I spotted Lesley Donnelly, the Deputy City Clerk, and Maria McRae, River ward councillor, chatting in Andy’s room. I politely asked them to sign the petition and they both declined (just as politely), explaining why it wouldn’t be appropriate.

I asked Ms. Donnelly about the trespass order, and told her what I wanted to know (Why was it issued? What am I being accused of?).

She didn’t really have an answer – stuff like this is not her domain – but she kindly pointed me in the direction of City Client Services. (I have no idea what Ms. Donnelly thinks of all this, if anything – she has a good poker face and can’t risk offending her political masters.)

After waiting in line and talking to three different clerks at Client Services the only recourse I appeared to have was to pay a fee to file a freedom of information form and wait for the gears of bureaucracy to grind away for a few months.

Is there not a better way?

I decided to check with the security guards – maybe they could help out.

After talking to several guards I was led into their control centre, where the nice senior guard phoned upstairs to the boss, Greg Dack.

Mr. Dack wasn’t in, so I was advised by his underling to just go home and come back another day.

Oh well, you win some you lose some. I decided to get a few more signatures for Nancy Robertson’s petition.

After checking with the security guards for permission (they told me that, as far as they knew, I was allowed to ask people to sign as long as I was polite. Selling stuff or hassling people is definitely verboten, but they had no explicit instructions about petitions).

So I did it for about half an hour, being scrupulously polite and only asking people who looked like they weren’t in a hurry.

Asking for Robertson Road signatures at City Hall is a little more work than asking for them in Bells Corners, where all you have to do is say “petition?” and people answer “sure!” with great enthusiasm.

I actually ran into a couple of people who hadn’t heard anything about the controversy(!), but one of them was a tourist from New York.

The only person who turned me down was Councillor Bloess, but at least he winked at me and said “you seem to be making progress, Craig.”

Then a security guard came over to inform me that someone from Corporate Security would be down shortly.

The woman, who did not divulge her name, warned me that “petitioning” was NOT ALLOWED and, if I didn’t stop, I would have to leave.

I was welcome to petition OUTSIDE City Hall, she said (on the other side of the smokers’ yellow line), but not in the building.

Fair enough – I put Nancy Robertson’s petition away.

The Corporate Security woman hung around to keep an eye on things.

I decided to take the elevator upstairs – I had never been to Councillor’s Row before.

The elevator doors open and… I come face to face with Rick and Alex!

Our jaws all dropped and time was frozen for a second or two.

The councillor’s brain works quite a bit faster than mine or Alex Lewis,’ so he got off the first line: “Look who’s here, Alex, the pinko troublemaker!” I wasn’t wearing my wire, so I can’t check, but I think that’s what he said.

I got off the second barb: “Alex, you went from mall security guard to executive director of the BIA? Is that true?”

Alex launched the next zinger: “It’s true, but being a mall cop is excellent preparation for the brutal world of politics. And I’ve done lots of other things – you’re guilty, as usual, of selective reporting.” Or something like that.

With that the pair turned on their heels and marched away. I followed them. The Corporate Security woman followed me. I whipped out my camera (see Youtube below) and went up to the Lewis-Chiarelli duo, now joined by Jay. I addressed Jay (the guy who’s been spreading nasty rumours about me): “How’s it going, Jay?”

The councillor turned his back and the three conspirators looked towards the Corporate Security woman for assistance. She did her duty, asking me to leave the building immediately for “harrassing Councillor Chiarelli.”

She’s got a point – I filmed our brief encounter. I don’t feel too uncomfortable about it – Team Chiarelli is always filming and recording me. Is it illegal to point a camera at a politician if you’re not on his staff or a ‘professional’ journalist?

What about Jay wearing the wire – is that illegal?

Since sometimes discretion is the better part of valour, I left the building, retreating to behind the yellow smokers’ line.

I got a few more signatures and had a VERY interesting conversation with Councillor Marianne Wilkinson from Kanata North (more bad news, Rick!), a couple of journalists and the City Clerk and Solicitor, Rick O’Connor. Jay kept interrupting, telling Coun. Wilkinson and M. O’Connor that I was “a failed candidate who had opposed Rick in the last election.”

Then a security guard came out to tell me to move “right off City property onto the sidewalk.”

I pointed out to him that the sidewalk is also City property, and that got a smile.

When I asked him if I was banned permanently from City Hall, he said “No, just for today. See you tomorrow.”

I don’t blame Rick, Alex and Jay for not liking me pointing a camera at them in public – while it’s perfectly legal to do so it does sees kind of rude.

But they’re always filming and recording me and at least I don’t wear a wire like Jay, the foul-mouthed backroom boy.

(I’ve started uploading Youtubes in HD, the one above and my name is Robertson, but I’m wondering if the movies run choppy on older computers?)

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13 Responses to banned from City Hall

  1. margaret says:

    Video works now – good one.

    – I’d like to thank all of the courageous Stillwater Creek Retirement Community residents for standing up to the bullies. You’re good people in a fabulous facility and I look forward to joining you one day when my knees finally give out completely (unless I opt for Thorncliffe Place – they have a putting green and shuffleboard and you guys don’t.)

    I hear that the best bridge players are at Stillwater and the grub is even better than at Lynwood Park Lodge.

  2. wanderer says:

    So, you’re ‘harassing’ when you’re simply filming the big man and his honchos, but when Jay films everything, wherever his master goes, and it’s not a problem. Hmm……

    If you don’t watch it, they’ll soon have you under house arrest.

    What did Councillor Wilkinson say? Oh, you can’t say, or she’ll be in trouble with you know who. I’d like to know what Jan Harder has to say about all this, as we used to be under her jurisdiction. I used to think she had a level head on her shoulders, but now I’d like to know her opinion on this, and why she voted for the name change. Affiliations can change quickly, n’est-ce pas???

    Keep up the good work.

    – Jan Harder DID NOT vote for the renaming – you (and Shad Qadri from Stittsville) voted against Rick at the Apr. 12 Planning Committee meeting.

    I haven’t always been a Jan Harder fan, but I’m sure on board now. She showed great fortitude in standing up to Rick – you should have seen the daggers he was sending her way when she told Rick she was going to vote against him. The lady has cojones!

    If a tough old bird like Jan Harder has to screw up her courage to risk offending Mr. Doughnut, how can we expect rookie councillors like Mark Taylor or Allan Hubley to upset the way things work at City Hall?

    This has been a pretty exciting week but look for even bigger news soon!

    I think RC understands that he’s toast and and that he has lost the confidence of the Bells Corners community. He’s counting on bamboozling other parts of the ward (especially Centrepointe where he has some key allies in his pocket) to haul his chestnuts out of the fire. Go Rick go!

  3. It is nice to see a post up. After I ran into you outside City Hall and had not seen an update I was concerned that possibly things had gotten out of control. Glad to hear you are not in jail.

    My offer to help you with MFIPPA, so that you can get an answer to what grounds the trespass notice was issued upon, is still open and I really hope you take me up on it.

    The way to deal with people like Rick is to just keep putting the spotlight on him. If people keep doing that one of two things will happen.

    Either he’ll start behaving honestly and honourably and people will no longer have any issue with him, or he’ll become so toxic that nobody will want to be associated with him.

    Rick is burning though political capital fast and doesn’t really understand how this is going to play out. He doesn’t realize just how much of a liability he has become to the councillors he is currently aligned with. Those councillors also don’t realize what Rick has brought down on them. When they start to realize what Rick has done they will dump him real fast.

    Anyway, keep up the good work but be cautious. Try to stay out of jail and just remember the front-line staff are just doing their job. They don’t have any choice but to follow orders and they just want to get though their day.

    Just so you know – your blog drives Jay crazy. I know that isn’t your motivation but it makes me smile that he gets so upset about what you write.

    – Sure, MFIPPA help would be great, but there’s no hurry. One of the Corporate Security people said that Mr. Dack would be phoning me soon to set up a meeting and put things right.

    So far he hasn’t phoned (and it’s quite possible he won’t ever phone) but I’ll wait a few days before trying something else. I’m too busy to play tennis now anyway.

    I don’t really like to see Jay upset, not because I’m afraid of what he might do to me, but because I understand what this must be like for him. Who’s to say that you or I would have acted any better if we were in Jay’s shoes? It’s just raw in-the-trenches politics, not a sport for the faint-hearted.

    In other circumstances Jay, Alex, JP and even Rick and I might have been good friends – you guys are funny, talented, smart people, and I wish you well in your next jobs. I know you’re are sort of busy now trying to pull your chestnuts out of the fire, but call me up some time and we’ll go out for a beer and a laugh, okay?

    • I would never have been in Jay’s shoes. I would never work for someone like Rick.

      Doing politics, or doing anything the way Rick does it, actually hurts your long-term advancement, so saying that it is an element of their profession is not an excuse for them.

      Today I actually started to reconsider my position on Lewis. The BIA website is down and I think that means a better version is imminent. If what he told me about his pay being very low is true, then with a few additional changes he could actually fix his situation. He isn’t who I would have gone with, but he has the job now, so if he at least proves his aptitude for it, and does it right, he could keep it. He just needs to start actually representing the businesses and stop being Rick’s lackey.

      If Alex started representing the businesses, even when it meant going against Rick’s wishes, tweaked his mannerisms – something I think would happen automatically once he was out from under Rick’s influence – sought the guidance of more experienced organizers, and dumped the office as a unnecessary expense the BIA suddenly becomes many times better.

      It will never happen because Rick would try to destroy Alex if he felt there was any disloyalty. It is a likely outcome regardless, since Alex will almost certainly be the one thrown under the bus when all of this blows up in Rick’s face.

      – “If what he told me about his pay being very low is true”

      A business owner told me Alex makes $50,000, probably a lot less than Patton got in his brief stint as Bells Corners BIA executive director.

      When I was chatting with Alex he confirmed the figure, pointing out to me that he “took a pay cut” when he left Rick’s office.

      Is this an inflated amount for what he does? Does it compare to the salaries of other BIA executive directors like Christine Leadman?
      Is his office too plush? Is he worth it?

      I have no idea, and in any case, it’s up to the Bells Corners businesses to make that decision, since they’re footing most of the bill (but not all of it – the taxpayer has already paid big-time for the the BC BIA bungling).

      Do Bells Corners business owners support carrying Lewis’ salary? Are they happy with Rick and the current BIA board? Not according to what I hear, but I guess we’ll have to wait until the next BIA meeting to find out.

      • wanderer says:

        Will the next BIA meeting be open to the public? If so, I’d like to attend just to see how they run things. I know a businessman who also would attend to express his feelings, since he was totally unaware of all of the goings-on until they were upon us all.

        If you need any help in any way, just let me know. As a retired person, I have time on my hands, and am known to be a bit of a ‘scrapper’ from time to time. Short but feisty!

        I was unable to watch the video of the council meeting – don’t know if it was my ‘puter or what. Any suggestions?

        – A few non-BIA members have attended previous meetings (for example, Bells Corners community activist Catherine Gardner went to the very first one, at Local Heroes I think.) Perhaps Bill’s been a regular guest too.

        But normally they’re closed except to members and selected invited guests, like politicians and friendly reporters.

        The next meeting promises to be VERY stormy, so I wouldn’t be surprised if no one other than members is allowed in to watch the fireworks. It’ll probably be held at the Holiday Inn again.

        Which video do you mean – banned at City Hall or my name is Robertson?

        If that’s the case, it’s probably because I uploaded them in HD format. Let me know if that’s the problem, and I’ll just upload another less memory-hungry version.

        Maybe you can tell me a bit about your computer, like the operating system and the amount of RAM.

  4. Rich Littleton says:

    Hilarious – there is no way anybody could dream up stuff like this. Reality is stranger than fiction and a lot funnier too.

    – I can’t wait for the next bizarre plot twist. If this were a Randall Denley potboiler I’d be tempted to skip to the end to see how it all turns out.

    Randall, I was just kidding about your novels. I read ‘The Perfect Candidate’ and it was a great little page turner.

    I was too cheap to buy it (I just speed read it in Chapters), but if you ever publish your memoirs, spilling all the dirt, I would gladly line-up for an autographed copy. Same for RC or Andy Haydon. Shawn Little or Terry Kilrea, not so much.

  5. Christine Leadman says:

    I would like to make a suggestion after having read the site. The statements that have been made with regard to BIAs are quite inaccurate. Most BIAs in the City of Ottawa are staffed (one or more people). Although some BIAs do not hire staff right away, others have. It really is a decision by the business people who form the Board of Directors of the BIA. The following BIAs have offices as well – Downtown Rideau, Sparks Street Mall, Bank Street Promenade, Byward Market, Preston Street, Westboro Village, Wellington West, Glebe, Vanier, Orleans, Chinatown, Bells Corners (others may but am not sure). Misinformation like this will only be used to paint you as perpetrators of misinformation and weaken your position.

    – I don’t think that I’ve written anything that could be characterized as “misinformation” on this blog – please be more specific, Ms. Leadman, and I’ll be glad to make the corrections you point out.

    You may be referring to the comments of contributors to this blog, who have pointed out that many BIAs are very successful without carrying huge costs like lavish executive director salaries and office space. This would seem like a relevant comparison when discussing the Bells Corners BIA.

    You’re right – it’s for the business owners to decide, and it seems quite clear that the Bells Corners merchants don’t want to pay Lewis’ salary or put up with our councillor’s devious ways.

    It may be fine for the Glebe merchants to pay you, as Glebe BIA executive director, whatever it deems fair, but we’re NOT the Glebe here in Bells Corners – there aren’t nearly as many affluent business owners eager to pay more taxes.

    Alex’s measly $50,000 salary probably seems like a trifle to you – I’m sure the Westboro BIA paid you close to double that, and you probably make even more as Glebe BIA executive director. I’m NOT saying that you’re not worth it, but it does seem a bit odd that you’re defending the former mall cop. Have you ever been to Bells Corners? Have you been charmed by Alex at one of the cocktail parties you BIA glitterati attend together? Perhaps you owe RC a favor?

    Maybe none of the above – please clarify your position if you get a chance.

    • Ms. Leadman, if we are going to be accurate then we should be rigorously accurate:

      Yes, other BIAs have offices. Six BIAs have their own offices and an additional two share office space. Downtown Rideau is unknown, as the building was locked, but the office is located in the same building as the Chair’s two businesses, so I would be tempted to put it under ‘shared’ if I was going to guess. Eight BIAs are either run from inside the business of a member or from a PO Box.

      I think it is disingenuous to compare the BIAs that have offices to the Bells Corners BIA. Simply put, they are not at the same stage of development. I would have no issue with any of the BIAs listed having an office, as they have grown to a stage where it makes sense. The Bells Corners BIA has not.

      Also, in the interest of being accurate, there is a big difference in the nature of the office space itself. Your office is actually an office and not commercial space that was converted into an office. I would not criticize a BIA like Glebe having an office, but if the Glebe BIA rented commercial space on Bank St. and then put up a large illuminated sign, that would be inappropriate. The Westboro BIA office is a second floor office over a children’s clothing consignment shop. Those BIAs are much larger than Bells Corners and they have modest appropriate offices.

      Regarding the issue of BIAs being staffed, this was a difficult issue to get data on. Obviously in the case of some BIAs it is known that the executive director gets paid and that they have additional staff. Likewise, it is known that some are run by the business owners as volunteers. For many it was hard to get a accurate answer. For example, I was given the impression that Peggy was not paid but in your e-mail to me you implied that she was. When dealing with a percentage calculated out of a group of 17 it only takes being wrong about one or two and the percentage shifts considerably.

      Again though, to be fair, we should compare apples to apples. While more than 50% of Ottawa BIAs have paid staff they are very different creatures than the Bells Corners BIA. Of the BIAs that are still in their infancy the majority do not have a paid full-time executive director.

      I object to the claim that, simply because the board of a BIA approves something, it is acceptable, that because they showed up that day they are sole arbiters of what’s best for their neighbours. That is not true.

      The board of any organization has a fiduciary duty to represent the interests of its stakeholders. This is not happening with the Bells Corners BIA. The businesses were asleep at the wheel and they allowed Rick to turn the BIA into an extension of his office with a shill as an executive director who will make it easier for Rick to do what he wants and claim that the BIA speaks for the businesses.

      That the BIA does not speak for Bells Corners business owners is fairly evident. Alex Lewis continues to maintain that they support the renaming of Robertson Road, even while the business community is speaking for itself through signs opposing the renaming, http://www.robertsonroad.com

      I know you were put in a tough spot and asked to look at both sites and comment. You seem to be knowledgeable about BIAs, so when I say that we have reached out to someone who is very passionate about BIAs and who has been involved with BIAs for four decades, you know exactly who I mean. I think we would both agree that his opinion on this matter carries considerable weight and he finds what is happening with the Bells Corners BIA to be a travesty.

      I hope you did not see my criticism of the Bells Corners BIA as an indictment of BIAs in general. A good BIA is a wonderful unifier of business and community. The Bells Corners one is simply a waste of money in its current form; for all the levies collected in a year and a half, they have banners advertising the BIA itself, no promotion on the website, and a paid executive director who’s never in the office that they’re renting for him. Now they’re being told that the street name must change in yet another year in order to finally promote the area. It is something they strongly oppose because it’s a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist and they will have to fund it out of their own pockets, in addition to the $49,000 in city money it will cost.

      Since you care about accuracy and community come to Bells Corners and speak to the business owners — they are incensed. They are organizing. They will be coming to take their BIA back.

      – Residents are incensed too. We want our community back.

    • Christine Leadman says:

      Actually, you are quite wrong again. The Glebe BIA is only two years old and has a small budget. I am certainly paid fairly for the experience I bring to the position (14 years as ED to Westboro and former City Councillor).

      I am not protecting Alex but, if you wish your argument to be valid, it must be factual, and the background as well.

      I listed the number of BIAs that actually have offices, which is substantially more than you are claiming. My salary at Westboro was not double or even at the level that Bells Corners is paying, but that was several years ago. It is this type of assumption or statement that should be avoided. If you wish to appear to have a reasoned argument fight with the facts. Informing people of the tactics that are being used is good but to attack the individuals never brings credibility.

      I agree with you that the role of the ED is to serve the members of the BIA and nothing more. The arguments that you have raised are valid – cost to business would be substantial in dealing with a name change; how is it a positive to business; how does it revitalize an area.

      If businesses are unhappy with the performance of the ED they hold the power to make the changes that are necessary. The businesses are not helpless on this issue. They ultimately make the decision to hire an individual, set the levy, set the salary, etc. Business owners are generally strong-minded entrepreneurs who take charge.

      The Bells Corners situation is no different in terms of the functioning of the BIA. It is their organization. Your statements about glitterati, owing RC a favour or charmed by Alex (who I have only met once) again demonstrates the type of characterization that will only harm the efforts of those who want to effect change but will be hampered by your own personal prejudices and biases that are obvious by these statements.

      I certainly understand your anger and frustration but it should be channeled where it belongs and not at those who are providing some valid information. Good luck with this challenge and will not contribute further clarification as it appears it is it will not be perceived in the intent to which it has been offered.

      – Okay, thanks for your explanations. Maybe the ‘glitterati’ and ‘attraction to Alex’ cracks were a bit of a cheap shot, even for a blog.

      I have nothing against BIAs in general or their executive directors, and especially not against you, as I thought that you were a very good councillor and I was quite disappointed that you lost (not that I have anything against Coun. Hobbes).

      I don’t know much about other BIAs in Ottawa, but I think it’s self-evident that the Bells Corners BIA is rotten to the core – in spite of what Coun. Chiarelli said at the Apr. 12 Planning Committee meeting, businesses weren’t properly consulted, two of the three Bells Corners community associations weren’t consulted at all and there was no real public consultation either. And that’s just the tip of the RC iceberg that’s giving Bells Corners such a black eye.

      You say that “attacking the individual never brings credibility” but I don’t see myself as attacking RC-the-individual as much as I’m exposing RC-the-politician’s sleazy tactics. If you’ve read this blog a bit you KNOW some of the things he’s done – there’s lots more to say but I know he’s got his employees and his lawyers poring over every word on this blog looking for something to sue me for. That’s why I only report facts on this blog, and if anyone can point out an inaccuracy please let me know via a blog comment or by email.

      If you’re tired of being Glebe BIA executive director by Oct. 2014, please consider going for the College ward seat at council. The race will be wide-open and we need an experienced, principled community representative to take on Team Chiarelli, not a plethora of fringe candidates like in the last election.

      • Christine,

        Sorry I responded to this before getting your e-mail.

        The Glebe BIA may be only two years old but that does not mean that it is at the same stage of development. You are dealing with your main commercial strip completely torn up and closed to traffic and you are entering a community that even before a BIA already had high community involvement.

        I haven’t made any comment about your salary at Westboro and I would encourage the owner of the WordPress to correct that. I have no knowledge of your salary at either Glebe or Westboro, but I do know about some of your previous work experience and I think that, given the issues the Glebe is facing, that actually you are a very good fit.

        I agree that business owners have no one to blame but themselves if they don’t take an interest in their BIA, but many did not even know that they were in the BIA until recently. Very few knew about the AGM. Things are really different in Bells Corners than what you’d be used to. It is only now that everyone is angry that they are starting to organize.

        – I’m the only one who has speculated on this blog about BIA executive director salaries. I guessed that Mike Patton wouldn’t be taking the Bells Corners job for peanuts (look where he works now!). And I figured that the Glebe and Westboro BIAs would pay big salaries too.

        If that’s not the case I’m of course eager to correct the record, so I’ve updated the paragraph in question (see below). I apologize to Ms. Leadman if you were offended by my lame humour. I’m NOT accusing you of being a member of the glitterati (not that there’s anything wrong with it) and I’m not insinuating that Alex Lewis snake-charmed you at a cocktail party (but he is pretty charming, n’est-ce pas?).

        About the “owing Rick a favour” business, that WAS a low blow – I know that you and RC didn’t see eye-to-eye on most things and I’m NOT suggesting that you’re in his pocket in any way, shape or form.

        But this renaming fiasco has convinced me that most councillors do trade favours, and are loathe to impinge upon someone else’s ‘jurisdiction.’ It’s a scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours world at City Council, no?

        Is this not how it works? You would know – I wish you’d write your memoirs too!

        REVISED VERSION

        Alex’s measly $50,000 salary probably seems like a trifle to you – I’m sure the Westboro BIA paid you close to double that, and you probably make even more as Glebe BIA executive director. I’m NOT saying that you’re not worth it, but it does seem a bit odd that you’re defending the former mall cop. Have you ever been to Bells Corners? Have you been charmed by Alex at one of the cocktail parties you BIA glitterati attend together? Perhaps you owe RC a favor?

      • I forgot to respond to the office statement.

        My claim is that 9 have offices (6 own space + 2 shared space + 1 unknown but has office).

        You listed 11 offices.

        The disagreement seems to be limited to Wellington West and Orleans. I drove to the official addresses of both and was not able to locate an office that was marked. My assumption was that if an office did exist it was in one of the businesses there.

        I drove to all the offices on the long weekend and I will try those two again to see if I can locate an office and update the numbers.

        – Thanks for doing so much legwork, especially with the price of gas so high.

      • This is the part that is difficult for other executive directors of BIAs to understand. Alex Lewis was out trying to convince businesses to take down their signs. He was argumentative and intimidating. That is not the role of a BIA executive director. He is supposed to represent the businesses, not tell them what to do.

        – Most inappropriate behaviour. Maybe Alex is losing it?

  6. TonyL says:

    I dare ya to come to Bells Corners. I assure you the statements made about the farcical nature of ‘our’ BIA are completely true.

    Rick Chiarelli, and Alex Lewis have managed to make Bells Corners a place to “Not come to”: ridiculous cheap banners sporting the ‘bridge to nowhere’ logo, a posh almost never-used office, intimidation of local businesses, etc.

    You can’t even say “Bells Corners BIA in Bells Corners” without hearing expletives. As long as Alex Lewis is attached at the hip to Rick Chiarelli, and not working for the businesses who pay him, then he is not worth a dime of BIA members’ money!

    Just check out the sea of signs in the windows of the businesses on the strip that read “HELLO. My name is Robertson.”

    – The name-tag sign campaign was brilliant. Whoever came up with that idea deserves a raise. Would Alex Lewis have been able to think up something so clever?

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