Posted June 7, 2013
You have to wonder who is running the store at city hall these days.
In a column in the local daily, the city hall reporter stated that the recent granting of a flooring contract for renovation of the Farmer’s Market, without tendering, was okay, but okay for whom?
The arbitrary decision by the city’s manager of corporate building management was sloughed off by the writer and echoed by Coun. Jim Furfaro, who said he was satisfied the staff made the right decision.
Really? Is this the same staff who ordered special bricks from the U.S. for paving the Market Square, that failed to meet delivery on time? It caused well-publicized grief to businesses on that section of Carden Street for more than three months because the street was closed waiting for the bricks to be installed.
Is this the same staff that obtained approval in the 2013 budget to spend $170,000 to renovate the Farmer’s Market, only to come back and say the renovation will cost $500,000? Council went along with it.
Is this the civic staff that cut a deal with Maple Reinders to build a $34 million compost plant and gave a subsidiary company, Aim Environmental, exclusive rights to run the plant and sell the finished compost? After two years this plant has failed to reach its forecast capacity of composting 30,000 tonnes of feedstock and taxpayers don’t have a clue of the operating costs.
How much feedstock treated in the plant does it take to meet operating costs? Outwardly it appears the cost of operation depends on volume. In 2012, only some 17,000 tonnes was processed of which 15,000 tonnes was usable for composting.
Is this the same staff that recommended paying $15 million to convert waste pick-up in the city to bins and automated trucks that empty the bins into the vehicle?
Is this staff responsible for recommending paying $25,000 to a U.S. video company to promote Guelph with NFL all-star quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, as host and starring Mayor Karen Farbridge? How much city staff rime was spent in the making of this turkey? There is no tangible evidence that this project delivered one tourist or business enquiry to the city.
Is this the same staff that proposed to Council that property taxes in 2013 should be hiked by 8.5 per cent?
When it comes to city management it is apparent today that there is no system of checks and balances to protect your investment. Many decisions are based on self-serving whimsy, many of which come back to bite the taxpayers.