Windsor councillor attacked for downtown parking decision
Flippant petition criticizes Coun. Paul Borelli for his support of new parking spaces downtown
Coun. Paul Borrelli is again the subject of an online campaign, this time criticizing him for supporting the city's decision to transform downtown retail space into parking stalls.
- Coun. Paul Borrelli faces onslaught of internet memes
- Retail space reverted to parking spots in Pelissier parking garage
Windsor residents showed their frustration with city council's decision this week by creating an onslaught of internet memes that poke fun at the decision to eliminate street-level retail space on Pelissier Street.
Borrelli took the brunt of the backlash with an online petition that calls for him to return $7,500 the city spent sending the councillor to Rome, Italy for the Livable Cities Conference.
"Borrelli's opposition to keep retail space in the Pelissier Street. parking garage demonstrates that Windsor taxpayers did not receive the appropriate value for money from his attendance," the petition states.
Borrelli said the trip to Rome actually cost $4,500, which is why he took offence to the latest attack.
"You should get your facts straight before you make a statement," Borrelli said.
The petition was designed to be a flippant ploy to draw attention to the issue, explained Paul Synnott, a downtown Windsor resident.
He is not surprised by the response from residents.
"You look at the passion of the people who presented at council," he said. "A lot of people have listened and have watched the issue. The experts are all saying this is crazy to do, residents are saying no, businesses are say no. People are passionate."
Synnott has no intention on bringing his petition to council. The attention it has drawn is enough for him to make his point.
Borrelli was also the target of an online campaign in May when he took credit for the idea to move the Downtown Windsor Farmers' Market to its new location on Pelissier.
The Ward 10 councillor says he takes much of the criticism in stride and can appreciate the humour.
"A lot of it I find humorous, but sometimes you have to make a statement," he said.