Was this Mercury editorial ghost written by Carden Street?

Was this Mercury editorial ghost written by Carden Street?

An editorial in the Guelph Mercury advocates a council in which its work can be “better spread out files on elective issues over the course of the year.”

Further the piece, unsigned, continues “It might be the municipality would be far better off to have council coping with an optimal and steady volume of reports and issues whenever it does gather to review city business.”

So that justifies a reason to ask that councillors be paid full-time and then suggest that council and committee meetings not be held in January, July and August.

That’s like saying Canadian banks can take three months off to “smooth out their business.”

The newspaper attempts to compare the Federal and Provincial governments who have elected bodies take extended times off from their duties. To suggest that municipal elected officials can do the same exposes a dreadful misunderstanding of the way the city functions.

Cities and towns are the infantry of Canadian politics. Their elected officials must deal with local problems on a daily basis. In the background are the multiple decisions regarding planning and engineering, development, maintaining municipal services, social programs, infrastructure, waste management, water and electric supply.

In the case of Guelph, for the past six years one faction, led by Mayor Karen Farbridge, has tightly controlled council. As a councillor, if you are not playing on her team, you don’t count.

This administration has conducted too much public business in private and behind closed doors. The Mercury is suggesting that this management of events should be expanded by not meeting for three months of the year. The editorial mentioned only council meetings. The staff proposal included committee meetings as well.

You might as well close down the city for those non-performing months.

To suggest that this hiatus would allow the staff more time to better analyze and prepare reports is ludicrous and somewhat self-serving.

One of the reasons that Guelph’s commercial and Industrial ratio of property taxes has not budged from 16 per cent, (84 per cent for residential), is the city administration’s failure to expedite new proposals. Since 2007, its own staff and two outside consultants have identified how development proposals are delayed and withdrawn because of poor internal management.

Guelph has earned the reputation of being a bad place to do business. That undesirable characterization extends to Queen’s Park where the city’s reputation is held in low regard.

This is just another grab by the Farbridge administration to hold onto power at any cost.

It’s a dumb idea and will backfire big time if implemented.

Personally, councillors should be paid full-time for full-time service. Just reduce the number to nine with one per ward and one elected at-large along with the mayor. That way the at-large councillor can fill in for a councillor taking a vacation.

Guelph is no longer a small town but a growing and potentially great place to work and play. It’s time to grow up.

The reference in the editorial to the City Hall watchdogs able to bark and woof is noted. At least whoever wrote the piece, has a sense of humour.

The editorial’s intent is not funny.

Posted November 20, 2012

A recent editorial in the Guelph Mercury advocates a council in which its work can “better spread out files on elective issues over the course of the year.”

Further the piece, unsigned, continues “It might be the municipality would be far better off to have council coping with an optimal and steady volume of reports and issues whenever it does gather to review city business.”

So that justifies a reason to ask that councillors be paid full-time and then suggest that council and committee meetings not be held in January, July and August.

That’s like saying Canadian banks can take three months off to “smooth out their business.”

The newspaper attempts to compare the Federal and Provincial governments who have elected bodies take extended times off from their duties. To suggest that municipal elected officials can do the same exposes a dreadful misunderstanding of the way the city functions.

Cities and towns are the infantry of Canadian politics. Their elected officials must deal with local problems on a daily basis. In the background are the multiple decisions regarding planning and engineering, development, maintaining municipal services, social programs, infrastructure, waste management, water and electric supply.

In the case of Guelph, for the past six years one faction, led by Mayor Karen Farbridge, has tightly controlled council. As a councillor, if you are not playing on her team, you don’t count.

This administration has conducted too much public business in private and behind closed doors. The Mercury is suggesting that this management of events should be expanded by not meeting for three months of the year. That will only expand this council’s majority to do more business behind closed doors.

The editorial mentioned only council meetings. The staff proposal included committee meetings as well.

You might as well close down the city for those non-performing months.

To suggest that this hiatus would allow the staff more time to better analyze and prepare reports is ludicrous and somewhat self-serving.

One of the reasons that Guelph’s commercial and Industrial ratio of property taxes has not budged from 16 per cent, (84 per cent for residential), is the city administration’s failure to expedite new proposals. Since 2007, its own staff and two outside consultants have identified how development proposals are delayed and withdrawn because of poor internal management.

Guelph has earned the reputation of being a bad place to do business. That undesirable characterization extends to Queen’s Park where the city’s reputation is held in low regard.

This is just another grab by the Farbridge administration to hold onto power at any cost.

It’s a dumb idea and will backfire big time if implemented.

Personally, councillors should be paid full-time for full-time service. Just reduce the number to nine with one per ward and one elected at-large along with the mayor. That way the at-large councillor can fill in for a councillor taking a vacation.

Guelph is no longer a small town but a growing and potentially great place to work and play. It’s time to grow up.

The reference in the editorial to the City Hall watchdogs able to bark and woof is noted. At least whoever wrote the piece, has a sense of humour.

The editorial’s intent is not funny.

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2 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “Was this Mercury editorial ghost written by Carden Street?

  1. Jerry

    Sounds like a Cathy Downer statement to me.
    The mayor and councillors can not say this but the loud mouth puppet
    for the mayor can and then go back and hide in the closet until she is
    summoned again,
    This is what the mayor calls transparency….know wander we are sitting in
    the big white bowl waiting for the swirl to start.

  2. geo

    Out of sight out of mind.

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