Posted March 27, 2013
Number Ten: Spending $25,000 on a Terry Bradshaw video to which nobody responded or cared.
Number Nine: Spending $25,000 to retain a Caledon lawyer to act as Integrity Commissioner to monitor elected councillors’ service.
Number Eight: $5 million to buy three Wyndham street properties for a parking lot on the pretext that the proposed new Downtown Library should have Wyndham street exposure.
Number Seven: Paying Chief Administration Officer Ann Pappert $20,000 to move to Guelph. The question arises, what other senior staffers have received moving and travel bonuses since 2007?
Number Six: Cashing $30 million note owed by Guelph Hydro to help pay for stimulus and other projects. The most curious was spending $750,000 on a new time clock at the Sleeman Centre. That’s infrastructure?
Number Five: Spending $2 million of stimulus money to build special bicycle lanes on Stone Road.
Number Four: Without public consent or participation, spending $52 million on a new wet-waste processing plant and collection system. The irony is that the city has never revealed the operating cost of the plant. Maybe they don’t know? But its agents are selling capacity at $141 a tonne to the Region of Waterloo. Guelph builds a $37 million plant to service other municipalities? What are we? Environmental Mother Teresa’s?
Number Three: Spending some $7 million to narrow Norfolk Street from four lanes to two lanes north of Paisley. Traffic starting north from Waterloo to Woolwich run a gauntlet of which lane to use. Result, vehicles cutting in and out when they discover they are in the wrong lane. Now that’s 2013 transit engineering!
Number Two: Spending $15 million to renovate a derelict convent into a civic museum. If only the 2007 Council had used its noodle and merged the civic museum with the proposed new downtown library, the citizens would have been better served and for a lot less money. And we don’t even own the building.
Number One: To date the costs of the new City Hall and old city hall restoration into a provincial courthouse have not been revealed. The original contractor, Urbacon Building Group was fired, resulting in massive lawsuits involving millions of dollars and five different participants. The trial is now underway and concludes March 28. Judgment will no doubt take time to determine. A clue may lie in a cost- hearing scheduled to be held in October.
The dismal record of the six years of the Mayor Farbridge’s administration is the utter failure to stay on capital budget and manage costs. The city engineer testified during the trial that at a meeting between the city and the contractor, he attempted to cool relations by starting the meeting with a prayer. You get the idea that this was such a colossal blunder that not even God could fix.
As usual, the overburdened taxpayers get to pay the bills, regardless of the outcome and beseeching the Almighty.