Posted July 13, 2013
There were some interesting developments this week at one Carden Street and up the road in the local daily’s newsroom.
The first was the announcement that after almost a year in planning, the city had finally found a contractor to renovate the downtown Farmer’s Market. Huzzah! As my mother used to say as she found a five-dollar bill on the street.
Refreshing your memory, last fall city staff persuaded council to approve spending $170,000 renovating the Farmers Market in the 2013 budget. Step one was to relocate the market to Exhibition Park from June 15 to August 31, 2013. Choosing one “favoured” contractor to bid on the project followed that step. Oops! He wanted $500,000.
Staff informed council, not to worry, the additional funding would come from other lifestyle projects in separate “envelopes.” That’s like paying Peter with Paul’s money. Astonishingly, council went along with it but insisted on re-tendering the project. That was unsuccessful as contractors bid the job up as high as $750,000.
Let’s try that again and this time they trimmed the project back and found a contractor to finish the job on schedule, it is alleged.
So a project that was planned in 2012 exceeded its approved budget line item and during the following seven months failed to engage a contractor to complete the job.
It’s magic! The day has been saved. The question remains, whose loopy idea was this in the first place?
One has to chuckle over headlines. Often they create more trouble that the underlying story. It happened this week in the local daily’s six-part series on waste management.
On page one Thursday, the series’ page one headline was “Switch to cart system smooth so far.” That was followed the next day on page one with a news story heading: “New waste carts a disaster for condominium owners.”
Another magical moment.
The third magical moment was the announcement of ardent cyclist Coun. Maggie Laidlaw that she would not run in 2014. A long-time member of council, Maggi made her mark and spoke her mind. My favourite was her statement predicting there would be no cars on Guelph’s Streets within 20 years. I think that was made six years ago so we have only 14 years left in that Nostradamus moment. We’ll miss you Maggi.