Interpreting the fog of discourse at City Hall


At the August 8 council meeting there were two revelations that demonstrate how your city is managed.

Item one: When Coun. Gloria Kovach asked Chief Administration Officer Hans Loewig if there had been any net reductions of staff following service reviews, his answer was clear and concise. In his four years as CAO he could not recall a single service review conducted by staff that recommended the number of employees be reduced.

Instead, during that period, more than 250 new full time employees (FTE) had been added to the city staff. With a city growing its assessed properties at an average rate of 1.3 per cent per year that would total a four-year growth rate of 5.2 per cent.

Doing the math, the growth in full time city employees during the same period was 20 per cent.

Guelph’s mayor is obsessed with using convoluted policies that mask the relevance of the decision making process. It’s not rocket science to run a city. The fog of crafty obtuse policies confuses not only the electorate but also members of council.

Item two: It costs taxpayers some $625 per parking space to clean city-owned paid-parking facilities. Here’s the kicker, the revenue earned by each space is more than $800. Not included are costs of maintenance, repairs, gate staff, insurance and enforcement.

It’s worth mentioning that civic staff receives free parking as part of their 24-benefit employment package.

By granting free parking in the downtown area four years ago, council gave up some $600,000 in annual revenue. Doing this, it went into competition with its own paid-parking operations. Who wants to pay if it’s free?

Now that’s not complicated.

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