Thursday, December 28, 2006


Eight months of caretaker counselling has taken its toll.

After more than six weeks of decompression I've resurfaced.

It has been said that municipal politics is all about real estate. Some might say it is about NIMBY - not in my backyard.

NIMBY Queen Street East

Today's Toronto Star (December 28) tells a typical NIMBY tale.

A "tony beach enclave" is up in arms over - are you ready for this? - the introduction of a program designed to house twelve people experiencing homelessness. A church would do this for one night per week.

The sponsor invokes the Christmas story - Mary, Joseph and Jesus homeless in Bethlehem until someone took them in - as support for the program. But Christmas is now three days past. Who can remember that New Testament story amidst the Boxing Week Blitz?

Community opposition has now put the program on hold.

NIMBY - Burlington

An earlier so-called career in local politics afforded an up close look at NIMBY. Examples:

  • Allegations that a city bus route would bring violent crime to the affluent Millcroft community leads to the route's cancellation.
  • Oakville politicians force non-profit housing residents to install uniform window blinds.
  • A delegation's description of condominium owners as a lower life form (as compared to "real homeowners') fails to impress Burlington Councillors, as some of them actually live in condos.

This go-around (caretaker from March - December 2006) a suggestion that a painted centre line on a local street could bring down property values stands out as my most memorable NIMBY moment.

The White Line in the Middle of the Road was "invented" in 1915 by Burlington Mayor Maxwell Smith. Did His Worship have any idea of the impact his invention would have on neighbourhoods.

A Question

Have you or any of your close family or associates ever belonged to a NIMBY group?

Fellow travelers, perhaps?

More on NIMBY in future postings.