Posted January 24, 2013
The Oliver Twist argument -More power please
Mayor Farbridge says her 2007 Community Energy Initiative will solve Guelph’s looming power shortage. It included electricity supplied by renewable energy sources including local power plants.
Nostradamus wistfully asks: How much new power has been generated in Guelph from these sources since 2007?
Chickens come home to roost
Two years ago when Carden Street in front of City Hall was laid waste, businesses fronting the Market Square suffered mightily as customers stayed away. Now one owner is calling it quits saying he won’t recover what he lost during that construction. Is he only the first to throw in the towel?
Nostradamus says: The downtown Business Improvement Area group paying $400,000 toward the city hall water feature and skating rink, created unintended consequences including clogging up the parking spaces.
Why are the people whining?
In a recent column in the Mercury, their freelance writer criticized taxpayers who complain about the way the city is being run. It went on to say that people who object are whiners. The writer is obviously a Farbridge troll trying to defend the indefensible. The last six years has resulted in wasreful and expensive decisions placing the debt load on future generations of taxpayers. We whiners wear our accusations proudly. Guelph’s civic spending is clearly out of control and the scramble is on at City Hall to drive up revenues. Did anyone at city hall consider that first, you raise revenue then decide how to spend it? It’s called living within your means.
Nostradamus says: The price we are forced to pay is chump change considering what is coming as employee costs soar.
Lost in a time warp
Council last met in mid December 2012. Its next meeting is February 24, 2013. Does the world of Garp, oops! Guelph, stop for more than two months? While staff must manage the store, there is little possibility that real business such as accommodating application to create jobs, will be dealt with until council reviews and ratifies the proposals.
Nostradamus says: Council can stop wondering why developers and businesses steer clear of our city when the administration closes down for two months.
Win a few lose a bunch
It should be known that the huge new Maple Leaf Foods plant being built south of Aberfoyle was originally discussed to be built in Guelph. What happened? What other enterprises have taken a pass on the city when faced with bureaucratic red tape and delays? Remember the letter sent to council by a planning manager who resigned a couple of years ago? He said that Guelph was not an easy place to establish a business, due to staff confusion and administrative delays. He echoed two city-commissioned independent studies saying Guelph did a lousy job of expediting and attracting new industrial and commercial assessment.
Nostradamus predicts: Has anything really changed?
More stupid Council tricks
Besides getting sucked into paying $24,000 for a city infomercial hosted by footballer Terry Bradshaw and netting zero. Then hiring a Caledon Lawyer to mediate a minor dispute that cost taxpayers $10,400.
We have others. Remember the $230,000 spent on outside legal costs to resolve a three-year dispute over the ownership of the LCol John McRae medals?
Or fruitlessly fighting the never-ending legal costs between the city and our partner and neighbour, Wellington County.
Never explaining why former Chief Financial Officer Margaret Neubaur was fired after three years on the job. Answer, she warned the administration they were mismanaging the city finances.
Ordering special paving bricks for the Market Square from a New York manufacturer that failed to deliver on schedule.
Spending taxpayer money on consultants with the doozie being the remake of Guelph Transit. The result pleased no one and another redesign is underway.
Accepting a proposal ordering staff to save $500,000 in the 2013 budget this year. The idea being to keep the proposed 2.97 per cent property tax increase under 3 per cent. That’s like Jesse James being told to stop robbing banks.
Allowing a third party, Aim Environmental, to sell wet waste from the Region of Waterloo for $141 a tonne for processing when it costs more than $300 a tonne. In its wisdom, the administration has never disputed the unofficial estimates that have ranged to more than $400 a tonne. It’s always better to ‘fess up to the taxpayers.
Nostradamus quotes the words of General Custer prior to the battle of the Little Big Horn: “We gotta get organized”