Comment 57978

By geoff's two cents (registered) | Posted January 25, 2011 at 14:32:57

@ Jason - I don't actually think Bob Young has done anything wrong at all. He's simply trying, like any major CEO would, to get maximum revenue for minimal outlay. Young's professions of naive innocence in the face of nefarious city back room negotiations, a few strategically placed "Oskee wee wee"s, repeated references to all of the good he has brought the city of Hamilton - these things should be read for what they are. Any parent who has had to contend with television commercials showing children having the time of their lives with otherwise mediocre toys, and having to explain this to their own kids, should be prepared for this. It's marketing, pure and simple, and it's taken Young much farther with the mayor and others on council than any average, intelligent observer might otherwise have expected.

It's the city's job to negotiate with this in mind and use the leverage they possess in the form of a one-time-only public injection of tax dollars, combined with the genuine threat of withdrawal from negotiations altogether, to exert pressure on Young and the TiCats to contribute. Council has failed up to now because they have failed to present a united front demanding a TiCat contribution; any savvy business person would see in this divisiveness (personified perfectly in Bob Bratina) an opportunity to exploit to their advantage.

I think the "fiscal responsibility/city-building/let's not do something stupid with tens of millions of dollars" line of critique is best served by deflecting accusations of wrongdoing from an admittedly cutthroat but otherwise average business person onto city councillors from whom one has the right to expect, at the very least, an adult level of bargaining know-how and fiscal discrimination.

Bratina is pure gold to a CEO like Young. He reminds me of grandparents who show up at a toy store asking "Now what do youngsters like these days?", and end up writing a cheque in the hundreds on the basis of being led immediately to the most expensive thing in the store.

Comment edited by geoff's two cents on 2011-01-25 14:45:09

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