Pathetic Chatelaine statistics

Posted on January 26, 2008
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            “Chatelaine” magazine’s February issue contains the results of their first sex survey ever. Almost 4,000 women responded. 53% of them said they want more sex. 5% have at least tried group sex. 20% of them have enjoyed a purely sexual relationship. 69% would rather spend the day at a nude beach than have a root canal dental procedure.

            Winston Churchill said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

            J J Walker, the skinny “Dyn-O-Mite” character from the TV show “Good Times,” 35 years ago pointed out a much larger problem with such statistics.

            “What good are they?” he demanded. “I don’t need numbers. I need names!”

            As fate would have it, there was a home show in Toronto last weekend while we were there. I pointed out this pathetic failure in the “Chatelaine” survey to a woman in the magazine’s booth.

            To her credit, she, being a marketing type, saw the potential right away. “Sounds like a high power follow up for the March issue!” she exclaimed.

            Shall we hold our breath?

Ahead to the past?

            The first Miramichi city council under Mayor Janice Morrison did something innovative. They hired a city manager. His name was Vachon and his job was to be like the president and general manager of a company.      Council, like a corporate board of directors, would determine policy and initiatives, and consider and approve budgets proposed for the execution of those policies and initiatives.

            The manager would run the show.

            It didn’t last. Councilors didn’t like that they met resistance when they tried to micromanage. Mr. Vachon had signed a personal contract with the city rather than becoming an employee. Somehow this became a scandalous issue as if he could not do his job if he were not personally on the payroll.

            That is extremely odd when you consider that cities hire lawyers, labour negotiators, accounting firms and construction firms to provide professional and specialized services and no on seems to have a problem with that. It seems to work all right for professional sports franchises.

            Well, except for the Toronto Maple Leafs, of course, but they are more a Shakespearian tragedy or a Mel Brooks farce than a sports franchise.

            Managers often set up their own companies to streamline their tax, pension, and benefit management, expenses and incidental income over a career. It has no relevance whatsoever to commitment to the job.

            If there is one dissatisfaction that surfaces over and over in discussions of City of Miramichi council, it is that they can’t resist micromanaging and can’t keep their noses out of any part of any department.

            Council has managers but they don’t really have the authority they should have and, frankly, some of them do not have recognized qualifications to do their jobs. It pains me to say this because I like the ones I know.

            Unfortunately, the city needs fewer department heads we like and more that actually know how to do their jobs and have the clout to fend off unwarranted interference.

            Surely it is time for Miramichi to move ahead to the past and hire a well-qualified, professional, city manager and turn city council into a board of directors rather than a high-school fundraiser carwash committee.

            Candidates are about to come out for the May elections. I’d be curious to know their ideas on the proper role of council.

                                                DAC

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