Can we change the future of Welland to the better?
I believe we can do that!
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136 West Main Street | Welland ON Canada L3C 5A2
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My last free attempt to help!
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We live since 1989 in Welland. After I retired as an aerospace engineer we started our small business here. In order to survive in a changing market I had to do many mandatory changes - but we are still here and I am now 80 years old.
I also became a Canadian and gave up my German citizenship because Canada and the people were always good to me. At least most of them!
I believe that cities like Welland can have a future if we work together and are honest about our situation and stop the childish propaganda Do the people who spread it lie to themselves or do they do it just to keep their positions whatever they are? The propaganda under the Nazi regime was far better, but it did not work either! We lost the war.
Welland has many good pre-requisites already in place to achieve the challenging task of securing our future. On the other hand also many bad things which should be corrected step by step.
Important is to find and motivate citizens to do that. We should welcome everybody and not restrict it to a certain party or interest group. However, the dedication to improve the situation in Welland is a must.
Good things which Welland already offers:
the old and the new canal
some good restaurants
industrial land, Some of it close to the new Welland canal
connected to the railway system
the Welland River
people who really care
we still have a good hospital which we should not loose
The bad things are:
deteriorating infra structure
messy and dirty downtown
when the BIA cannot even attract downtown business, how can they attract investors?
Brownfields in good locations
not enough well paid jobs to keep young people here
outdated bylaws including those from the region
high debts from the city restrict mandatory investments, Paying debts by using more debts will not work for ever!
unqualified propaganda from certain groups which give a wrong picture to the public and does not consider the actual problems. If the creators of those wrong information believe in their own lies and brainwash people how can we pin point all the weak points and initiate corrective actions?
use of consultants for almost all decisions to be made
useless and costly development plans such as the "Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Center Community Improvement Plan or the "Brownfield Community Improvement Plan"
Welland does not have a fair share in tourism despite all the false propaganda with sports tourism
too many poor people or people who just can make month end
strong intentions to close our hospital
the Welland Historical Museum is still closed. Many years ago I tried to include it in my German and English Internet travel guides, but I was not allowed to do this or to take some pictures - so I never came back.
What I propose:
it is important never to stop learning. To know what you do not know and to be honest to yourself is a pre-requisite. To learn things were you are weak does not mean that you have to become an expert in everything. Just to know when you should keep your mouth shut can be part of your career.
Nothing will work as long as we do not stop to try to lie to ourselves or listen to professional liars. We have to be honest to find all weak points in order to find solutions for corrective actions. Propaganda will not help!
You must not only learn from success stories - learning from mistakes which others already did is also mandatory.
for that reason improve the knowledge of qualified city administrators instead of using too many consultants. This can be done by educational programs, seminars, study what other cities do world wide. To become innovative is another essential key to success.
to measure the performance and qualification of all city employees and reward them if applicable. Job descriptions must be prepared to do this. This is a common practise in the industry
prepare a realistic budget for our town. Set priorities where the money has to go. This is not an easy task and will require tough discussion. I recommend the following priorities:
nice to have
find cost saving measures in administration and operation of our city. I did this all the time when working as an engineer.
replace the present BIA by a group of qualified and dedicated local business people who know what is needed and how to achieve something which pays off. Some flower pots will not do the job!
business taxes must not exceed those of other towns in Ontario
bylaws are mandatory but they should not hinder progress and they should make live more enjoyable. Some of them look medieval to me. One example is Prince Charles Drive. Direct access from it to new business is mandatory. The location close to Port Colborne is a big benefit.
make public transportation more attractive without raising the prices. I believe it is not used enough because of this. Try to combine certain services. Find volunteers to advertise it by using the Internet. Discuss changes with actual and potential users. Public transportation is mandatory but we must be aware that it will never be a source of income.
the unions and the management of companies must learn to talk honestly to each other. Nobody wins with an ongoing bad relationship and strikes. I learned in Germany that in most cases a compromise can be achieved which is acceptable to both sides. Stupid polemic is the worst thing to do! A company must be able to make money for mandatory investments and research.
I never had experienced such bad relationships as here in Germany! How many jobs did unions create and how many were destroyed by the stupid acting of both sides?
The workforce should be paid properly with comparable rates to other industrialized western countries. Presently I see very often an unacceptable wage gap. To learn something and bring proof for a good performance must be honored. We all must realize new jobs are created by investors and related companies - not by unions. However, they are required to give the workforce also adequate power. If this cannot be achieved alternative matters must be introduced which have already been proven being successful in other countries.
Canada and our province cannot rely only on the highest paid teachers, police officers or fire fighters in the world. They all deserve a good pay but going overboard makes other people suffer because of financial restrictions.
I also disagree to overpaid CEO's which get unbelievable severance pays instead of being made responsible for their lousy performance.
Our city administrators should stop to tell us tax payers what we can afford. I am already on my limit. People without any spending money left cannot support all the local business! Who got all the "earnings" from all the successful sport events? A few local hotels and restaurants, the city? I know at least one restaurant who claimed that is already gone!
I recommend that those administrators learn how to take better care of the finances of our city instead of mine.
Vote only for honest people with a good track record if you can find them. Polemic is not a proof of qualification nor is stubbornness and not recognizing own mistakes. Nobody is perfect but stopping to learn must have consequences for the political future or leadership.
Nothing is wrong for a political leader to show things which must be changed. But announcing to fire thousands of administrators is dumb and not successful as we learned. There are better and more human ways to solve such problems. I have used some of them in Germany to become more efficient with our work. Very often it is better to think first before opening your mouth or listening to the wrong advisors.
Not everything what the Americans do such as "fire and hire" should be used as a general guide line.
Leaders must not be afraid to have highly qualified people working for them. A good leader can still control them and create a beneficial teamwork.
Welland is not yet a tourist town. We have to find market niches instead trying to compete against already established places. The city should support good ideas by supporting them by creating the required environment.
However, the risk should be with the business involved and not with the tax payer. Again, we should mainly use what we already have to do this. Our new major has some good ideas, but more inputs are needed. The following are some of the known and new suggestions.
it is essential to be attract visitors all year long. The false promises which were spread for our region through the Internet cause only disappointment and anger. We had numerous guests from Europe who found locked doors on major attractions. Add some unique things to them that help to attract more visitors. Show business the possibilities. Ask me by e-mail!
some of the underused sport facilities should not be kept alive by tax payers. Solutions have to be found to convert them to something which is really needed and may offer a foreseeable profit. However, the young people should have some affordable places to go to. The arena could be one of those places.
stop or reduce dramatically spending tax payers money for all these sport facilities. We have a YMCA and also facilities for kids. An aging population does not need all that and I doubt that the already spent money will ever be recovered.
attract shops and restaurants with a nice view along the old canal or the Welland River with enough parking space provided.
artists and crafts people can be a permanent attraction. Years ago when we still had visitors from Europe many of them were interested. Not only to purchase things but also in events related to North American culture and clean entertainment. I believe that giving artists a chance to present themselves as it was done in the "Old Church" would attract many people not only from our area. Unfortunately the owner became very ill and could not do it any longer.
an European style Christmas market should be tried. Churches should be involved to prevent excessive commercialization. Learn how it is done in Europe. Restrict it as much as possible to local business and organizations. Don't repeat the mistakes which many organizers made with Oktoberfest or wine festivals. Learn from the originals. I know how much the international visitors loved such events in Europe. Do not "Canadianized" them! Ask our ethnic people and business to participate.
the pretty large French community should add more flavor to our town and use the existing facilities. I love France and Quebec!
try to minimize the commercial traffic through downtown. Use Woodlawn Road as much as possible.
Business should help to keep downtown cleaner.
Make it attractive for seniors by offering accommodations, safety and all basic shopping. A new BIA could be helpful to achieve that!
The idiotic slalom markings on East Main Street are hazardous and must be removed. So far I still see bicycles on the sidewalks which are much saver for the cyclists.
make it mandatory that restaurants display their menus and prices outside their premises. Not everybody wants to take a chance!
certain local hotels need to be improved or must lower their prices. This statement is based on reviews from one of our visitors.
allow 2 hours free parking with a parking disk. That is enough time for a lunch and some shopping. Very common in Europe!
events such as "The battle of Cooks Mills" can attract more visitors to stay in Welland over night. However, certain improvements should be discussed. Just contact me by e-mail! Please not by phone - my hearing is almost gone!
so far the new Welland Canal has been completely forgotten as a tourist attraction for Welland. I am aware that Port Robinson is not part of Welland but I think it is a nice attractive community which would attract visitors of Welland if better known
promote our local airport better. Offer sightseeing flights, add a coffee shop etc.
an increasing and aging population needs a local hospital. We all must support that! I am still searching for information what would be needed to keep our hospital. Did anybody ask the doctors, nurses and al the other staff working there? The long waiting time in the emergency department can not be blamed on the building.
The new hospital in St, Catharines looks great and everybody is very friendly - you feel just like in a hotel, but parking is a problem.
as a thank you especially to Canada we created Internet travel guides for parts of Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador. Both my wife and I are survivors of cancer and we cannot effort any longer any travels out of our province or country.
A regulations which covers medical expenses for a time limited stay out of province could help to increase tourism in our nation. Naturally, no foreseeable fraud should be possible.
to create more jobs it is mandatory to find investors and companies willing to move to Welland. Wind power could be one major player if investors are not scared away with political uncertainty, ongoing mistakes and the professional protesters. High shipping costs of the heavy components will help to create manufacturing jobs here.
other new technologies such as related to hydrogen could provide challenging jobs. Storage of electrical power will have a future. Some Canadian companies are already involved in this environmental friendly technology. Oil prices will not stay low and fighting wars to secure the required supply costs not only money but also the lives of many good young people.
if enough heavy industry can be attracted which settles down close to the new canal building a harbor should be investigated.
to attract industry sound presentations with all required information must be prepared by knowledgeable experts.
Nobody will come because of the false statement that a qualified workforce is just waiting for them. Many qualified people have already left Ontario and many new jobs may need extensive training. That is what we had to do and it worked! Every company wants to make money and extends its sales. We have to stop to blame them for that!
North Korea may be an alternative for people who do not accept that.
A trustful marketing study must demonstrate that and all benefits when investing here must be shown. If there are none - forget all that and proceed dreaming. A free dinner with the major will not do the job as I have learned!
it must be achieved that more companies are Canadian owned or at least will have after a certain period a good Canadian management. To be only an extended work bench is better than no jobs but that should be changed if possible.
Unfortunately I missed the following surprise presented by "Alphabet® Photography" in the Seaway Mall in Welland.
Preserve memories of loved ones - for Lizzie and her mom with love
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Advertise in our Internet travel guides! Excellent for all business involved in tourism!
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Crafts and art work of the native people from North America
Once upon a time Fort Erie was host to many exciting events such as "Edinburgh 1745", the battle of the Jakobites against the English.