Make a decision, any decision

SUSAN SHERRING, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Having finally decided to give the Lansdowne Live group a chance to prove their stuff, city council then came perilously close to approving a third open-air stadium -- this one at Scotiabank Place.

Seems once this group actually gets going, they hardly know where to stop.

"How many stadiums do we need?" asked Bay Coun. Alex Cullen.

There's a good question.

With Lynx stadium without a tenant, and plans for Lansdowne Live a go, surely city councillors could see approving a third stadium would appear just a bit excessive to many taxpayers.

Cullen, who voted against the Lansdowne Live proposal, was one of a handful who hadn't traded votes in a deal several councillors engaged in attempts to get a pet project approved.

That's right, unfortunately.

Doesn't really matter if you want it, votes were being traded back and forth in a desperate attempt for everyone -- except the taxpayer -- to get what they wanted for who they wanted.

With some west-end city councillors adamant the bid from Eugene Melnyk be given hope, councillors like Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson made it clear she wouldn't support Lansdowne Live unless her colleagues supported Scotiabank Place.

So who cares if you have to throw millions of taxpayer dollars to seal the deal?

It's amazing the power Melnyk has had at council. He comes in at the very last minute, asks for a truck full of money for something that isn't even on council's radar, and he almost pulls it off. He still might.

Thankfully, it appeared calmer heads prevailed, and the bid from Melnyk to build a stadium on 30 acres on city-owned land, along with $17 million of tax dollars, was put on hold until the city has more time to examine the Lansdowne Park option.

A rare bit of sanity in what has been a bizarre process from start to finish.

There was little jubilation after the positive vote for Lansdowne Park.

Seems Minto's head honcho Roger Greenberg and his posse of high-level businessmen get it.

The good news for Greenberg, he's got the go-ahead. That's also the bad news.

There's much work to be done, public consultation to be heard, and very likely, a hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board. And council could pull the plug at any moment.

The process frustrated many city councillors, notably Rideau-Vanier Coun. Georges Bedard, who was against the plan.

"It really doesn't make any difference what we decide today, it is in many respects an irrelevant discussion," he said.

Unfortunately, that's true.

Even if the OMB doesn't reject the idea, there's every likelihood at this stage that councillors will simply change their minds, or that new information will cause them to flip flop.

Indeed, it was quite clear that some councillors were worried that rejecting the plan would result in council being perceived in a negative light in front of voters.

Unfortunately, Kitchissippi Coun. Christine Leadman was bang on with her assessment of how council got to where they were yesterday.

"Cancelling (the design competition) was a mistake right from the beginning. We made a mistake from the get-go," she said.

Seems Lansdowne survived because councillors were desperate to prove they could vote in favour of something -- not that they were convinced the idea was good one.

"At some point you have to move forward," said Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess.

College Coun. Rick Chiarelli once again played a major role in moving council's agenda forward.

"If we vote for this motion it will become known as the motion we passed to finally do something at Lansdowne Park, that's the choice we have, do something or we continue not doing something, I think our residents want us to make a decision."


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