The Farbridge Definition Of Leadership

Leadership – the Farbridge definition according to her brochure

Start by re-working an old campaign slogan – “Putting Guelph back on Track” (2006) to “Let’s keep Guelph on Track!” (2010). If it worked before, let’s try it again.

How does the Mayor’s leadership work when the city’s 2008 debt was $59,579,510.97? In 2009, the debt soared to $85,626,995.70. That’s an increase of $26,047,485. Source: Audited statement of the 2009 City of Guelph Finances.

How did her track work for creating jobs? There was a net loss of jobs in Guelph during the past four years due mainly to the recession that council failed to recognize or understand. Only the city and the University added jobs charged to the public purse.

How many of those 237 additional city jobs went to Farbridge supporters?

How much industrial/ commercial development occurred in the past four years? Drive around the industrial areas of the city and see the number of plants that empty for sale or lease.

Ask the people in the east end of the city what happened to the promised commercial development.

Aside from defeating the sale of Guelph Hydro council stripped a $30 million Hydro loan to spend on city projects, what did the city do to create renewable energy, as the Mayor, er the on track engineer claims?

Where was the Mayor’s leadership when a small group of extremists occupied the Hanlon Business Park in 2009 halting construction and causing a $1.5 million additional cost to taxpayers?

Remember what happened in November 2008? It was the beginning of the worst recession in the last 72 years. Yet Engineer Farbridge claims in her brochure “sound financial management … maintained Guelph’s credit rating.”

It gets better; the Mayor’s brochure stated that her leadership developed a “realistic long term financial plan for capital spending.”

Let’s see: She promised a new downtown library; the $50 million project was never built. Her plan to build a $16 million parking garage next to city hall was dumped. The promised south end $37 million recreation centre was shelved.

How long is she going to fool the taxpayers by keeping tax increases artificially low by raiding reserve funds that have been accumulating in recent years? That cupboard is almost bare, friends.

Finally, the audited city financial statements reflect there is no reserve set aside to cover any potential liability of the three lawsuits against the city totaling some $25,570,000.

Good leadership requires a degree of prudence, a condition of which this council seems totally bereft.

Some track. Some engineer.
Gerry Barker, retired newsman and Guelph taxpayer

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