Selected items from the Go Figure department

Posted August 13, 2013

The following is a collection of items that cause one to scratch their head in perplexity. Herewith, the Go Figure series, a collection of city administration gaffs, dropped punts, twisted fixers and one or two for the record books. Go Figure!

The city of rivers, parks and floral clock can’t manage to trim 4-foot weeds from floral boxes along some of the entrances to the city due to Parks Department budget cuts. But they did set aside $100,000 to hire a consultant to create an “Open Government” plan. Go figure.

By some weird assumption, the city hired a video company to promote the beauty and wonders of Guelph featuring former NFL quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, and our Mayor. This $25,000 bomb fell with a dead thud despite the silly justification of the project by the Chief Administration Officer, Ann Pappert. As the late P.T. Barnum would say: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Go figure.

When the waste management team decided to force property owners to use a cart system for their waste, no one figured out there was a key problem. Some 6,400 condo owners must pay to have their trash hauled away by private contractors because the city refuses to pick up their garbage. That’s 13.6 per cent of all Guelph property owners. On top of paying the private contractor, the owners also pay for city pick-up through their taxes. The city waste management costs are $465.97 per household. Holy Mackinaw! That’s a $2,982,208 revenue bonanza. The irony is the condo folks pay more for waste collection, of which they get no benefit, than the total property taxes paid by the university. Go figure.

The word is out that the Mayor has donned the war paint and is already soliciting support for a re-election bid next year. Apparently the response has not been as positive as the Mayor would like. Does she really believe she deserves re-election? Go figure.

If you ever wondered what happened to the new downtown library project promised by the Farbridge administration in the 2006 campaign, look up on Catholic Hill where the $16 million civic museum is located. The pet project of Coun. Leanne Piper, the museum was the reincarnation of the Loretto convent that was crumbling. Brilliant move to spend taxpayer’s money on a building located on someone else’s property. Go Figure.

Then there is the case of selling the former civic museum to a couple that promised to turn the old building into an arts centre. There were two bids but taxpayers were never told the prices offered. But Farbridge pal and supporter, James Gordon, pitched the arts centre deal and the museum was sold for some $600,000. Shortly after, James Stokes, head of the city’s realty services, retired. The public will never know the price offered by the second bidder. Go figure.

What happened to Michael Anders, head of Guelph Transit who was be-headed by the city recently and shown the door? As one wag put it: “Guess he got thrown under one of his own buses.” He was hired three years ago to revamp the transit system and ran afoul of the union over changes and performance issues. The Farbridge crowd who are so dependent on the union brothers and sisters for support, didn’t tolerate that. Go figure.

When the 2013 budget was approved last fall, it contained an unusual challenge. Coun. Gloria Kovach moved that the staff find $500,000 reduction of costs to maintain the announced property tax increase of 2.96 per cent. Eight months later the staff came up with $126,000 in savings, much of which were revenue enhancements not operational cuts. It was later revealed that the real tax increase was 3.74 per cent following certain “adjustments.” Go figure.

Is our Mayor so insecure in the job and fearful of the madding crowd that she insists on locking the doors to her city hall suite of offices? Go figure.

Quiz: Are you really better off today than you were six years ago? If you answered “no” then Go figure. If you answered “yes”, better check your pulse.


1 Comment

Filed under Between the Lines

One response to “Selected items from the Go Figure department

  1. paul

    No surprises to the endless bunglings of a woman who pretends to be a mayor…….

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