Friday, February 29, 2008

Sudbury Sunday Night

The Mayor is missing Bingo to hear Sir Elton singo
Don’t let the sun go down on Sudbury Sunday night?
Councillors paid their due, so what’s the hullabaloo.
But will they feel the love next Sudbury election night?

(With apologies to Stompin Tom)

Today’s question:

If Elton John came to Burlington would it create a political controversy?

In Sudbury – yes, Sudbury - it’s the new Watergate.

Just last month Sir Elton’s upcoming appearance at the Sudbury Arena was trumpeted as “the biggest concert in the city’s history." No arguments here.

“(M)onumental and will generate tremendous excitement for everyone in our city," noted the Sudbury Arena manager, who next week returns to more mundane matters such as keeping the Zamboni running.

Not the kind of Excitement that was Expected

The "excitement" has to do with the fact that city councillors got first dibs on tickets for the March 2nd concert. Local leaders snared 120 ducats ($87.50 to $129.50) before the box office opened. When the tickets went on sale to the masses, they were gone in minutes. No surprise.

According to the CBC, “outrage among fans who saw no reason why (the Councillors) should be able to jump the line” ensued.

At first Councillors dug in. After all they had paid for the tickets.

Rumours followed - the man who gave us Don’t Shoot Me - I’m Only the Piano Player - would skip the Big Nickel due to the bad vibes.

Municipal officials pressured the Sudbury Star: (C)ontinue “to report on the ticket controversy, the Elton John concert conceivably could be cancelled.”

Now, at Mayor John Rodriguez’s request, seventy-one tickets have been returned to the promoter. Forty-nine tickets are still out there - sold to family or friends or given to charity.

Today, the local paper reported the City has spent $12,000 during the last few days to hire a private law firm, as well as a public relations company to help it “deal with the ticket fiasco.”

Live/Learn and Rest

Sudbury has come clean (more or less) and grudgingly provided information to the public on the ticket buying.

"While this matter has been a significant learning process for the city, we sincerely hope that the disclosure of this information will put this matter to rest," Mark Mieto, the city's chief administrative officer, told the Sudbury Star.

Could this happen in the City of Burlington?

Not likely.

First - ask yourself why would Elton John come here? Sure, we’d like him to sing Candle in the Wind at the grand opening of the new pier. But it ain’t going to happen.

Old timers will remember Guy Lombardo, Jayne Mansfield and other greats at the old Brant Inn. I myself heard Lawrence Gowan at Sound of Music a few years ago and saw - have I mentioned this before - PET in Central Park during the Trudeaumania days of 1968.

But Elton John is big. He is, to these aforementioned entertainers, as George Orwell is to this blogger.

Besides, I’m sure we have policies in our town guarding against the kind of abuse of power we’ve seen this month at Sudbury’s Silly Hall.

Actually, I should know this having been there. But, of such policies, I have no recollection, as they say.

I remain confident, nevertheless, that, if policies are needed Mayor Cam and the Gang of Six will, in their wisdom, attend to it.