The Cooper Site's End Game

It is finally nice to see things moving in regards to the Cooper Site. We might finally see a day where something comes to fruition on this important piece of property in the community. Congratulations to the members of council who have pushed this process along. The expropriation process is stacked in favour of the municipality – the property will become the city’s, there’s no question on that outcome. The only thing left to decide is how much Lawrence Ryan and his mortgagee will get paid for the property – they could be arguing about this for years, long after a development takes place. Just ask the property owners in Toronto who saw their buildings expropriated for Yonge and Dundas Square, some of which have yet to settle on a price.

However, things are never clean-cut in Stratford, and Lawrence never ceases to amaze and humour me. While there’s no doubt he’s unhappy with the city’s expert’s appraisal of $500,000 as is, his recent suggestion (September 19th, 2009 Letter to the Editor), that he and the city convene a meeting of Stratford residents to decide a fair price is, quite frankly, priceless.

I do think this is a good idea though, as I’m sure locals would show up in droves to tell him how much money he’s worth. We all know citizens love to vote in favour of higher taxes and paying more for things than they’re really worth, and I’m sure as any politician who has ever run on getting more money out of taxpayers will tell you, Lawrence would surely be disappointed by the result of his public form to bilk taxpayers out of even more money.

So, while I will miss Lawrence’s humour, his abrasiveness and his Country Market, I look forward to the day when the burnt out building we all know as the Cooper Site is once again restored to a place of community pride, as opposed to an albatross used to blackmail city residents.