Wagging the dog in Guelph

A spiteful refusal by a city staff member denied a councilor’s request for a report on air quality at the $33 million compost plant.

Chief Administration Officer, (CAO), Ann Pappert, wrote in an email that the request was denied because “it would cause the relocation of staff resources away from existing priorities.

Huh?

So if I got this straight, staff work trumps that of members of council who were elected as stewards of the people’s trust.

Pappert went on to sat that “individual members of council do not have the authority to direct staff work.”

Again, Huh?

Now that tail is really wagging the dog.

Using the city’s governance manual dealing with “new projects and initiatives” the CAO harrumphed that the report request should be brought up in an open and transparent forum such as a standing committee or a council meeting. Is it merely coincidence that Mayor Farbridge chairs the governance committee?

Veteran Coun. Gloria Kovach said she had “never experienced anything like this.” She went on to say “this information should be easy to get.”

If one looks back for the past five and one half years of the Farbridge administration, it is easy to understand that information is often impossible to get. If staff stonewalls a member of council what chance do the citizens have?

Far too much city business is conducted behind closed doors or off site.

Perhaps because Coun. Cam Guthrie has announced he is running for Mayor, the staff saw an opportunity to embarrass him.

It is apparent that certain members of the staff have been politicized by the Farbridge administration to the point where it is a civic embarrassment. Along the line, some staff members forgot they are civil servants.

It’s no wonder that the city has six senior managerial positions open and no takers.

Change at 1 Carden Street cannot come soon enough.

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