Like most people I find Wasim Jarrah very personable.

With his easy manner and flashing smile and obvious interest in what is happening in our town, he should be a serious contender for the Ward 5 vacancy. He lives outside the ward but this should not be a disqualification.

Unfortunately, he believes in “sensible solutions” (unlike, I suppose, the whacky ones his opponents are drawn to) and this slogan is now plastered all over his new website, crafted for the campaign.

As it happens, the Triscuits in my pantry (seasoned with black pepper and olive oil) come in a box that tells me they are the “sensible solution” because they are a source of fibre, have zero trans fat and are low in saturated fat. What you get is on the box.

So, with Triscuits, at least I know what I am buying, but with Wasim I haven’t the faintest idea what his sensible solutions may mean in practice. He tells us he is going to fill in the blanks as the campaign progresses.

Wasim tantalizes:

“I will have more to say about the sensible solutions I want to discuss with you in the coming weeks.”

However, we already know he is in favour of Bob Forrest’s controversial Clock Tower development because he told us.

But with all the vocal opposition, would a sensible solution try to modify Bob’s project in some way. Perhaps Bob should reinstate the condo and forget rental? Perhaps 7 storeys is too intrusive and Bob should go for 3, 4, 5 or even 6 storeys (according to the most sensible preference).

But, hey, not so fast!

The Council has in front of it now, a planning application for a seven storey rental apartment block.

Bob’s heritage wrecking project can only be tweaked so far. It is not infinitely elastic. If Bob tries to satisfy every Tom, Dick and Harriett, there will come a point when the new amended proposal is so distant from the original that it is deemed to be a new application.

Think of the delays! The extra costs! All the additional one-to-one meetings with councillors and other important opinion formers. All those coffees at Tim Hortons! That would destroy completely Bob’s chances of redeveloping the Clock Tower and walking away with millions.

Which brings me back to where I started…

So, Wasim, what is your sensible solution for the Clock Tower?

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