This is what the lady said but this is what she meant, I think

Posted December 13, 2013

We all fall into it. Misspeak and misconstrue the words that come back to haunt us.

During a meeting of the Planning, Building and Environment committee,  Mayor Karen Farbridge told fellow councillors  why she was not in favour of appointing a condominium advisory committee: “ It’s always difficult to say no, but I do think we have a fulsome process.” As recommended by staff, the committee majority voted to deny appointing a condominium advisory board composed of citizens .

This came as some 6,400 condominium residents continue to be denied garbage collection by the city. They are joined by the downtown businesses who don’t want to be part of the cart/bin collection system.

Executive Director of planning, building and environment, Janet Laird, told the committee the proposed citizen advisory committee was unnecessary. She said the proposed update of the solid waste management study would address the collection of waste from multi-residential developments.

But let’s get back to the mayor’s comment about a “fulsome process.”

The editor of the local daily, spotted the apparent aberration of language pointing out in his blog that “fulsome” is described in the dictionary as something foul or disgusting because it’s so excessive.

This caught our eye. So we consulted Webster’s New World Dictionary and the following is the definition of the adjective: “disgusting or offensive, especially because of excess or insincerity.”

These are two slightly different definitions but essentially meaning the same thing. Obviously our Mayor is not calling the solid waste master plan as something that is offensive, especially because of excess or insincerity.

We certainly hope not. That’s her baby we’re talking about.

We know the mayor didn’t mean that but the inadvertent use of the word “fulsome” seems appropriate when referring to the failed city’s waste management system and the millions that have been spent on trying to divert waste from the landfill.

The legacy of this misguided and over-hyped system will haunt the taxpayers of Guelph for the next 20 years.

Now, the people in charge are spending more money to update a plan that doesn’t meet the needs of the city and saddles taxpayers with huge costs well into the future.

We’ve already spent a stated $53 million and untold money employing consultants and additional staff. The organic processing plant that was overbuilt and is still not operating at full capacity, is cloaked in secrecy when it comes to reporting its operating costs per tonne.

The city has foisted a $15 million cart collection system that can’t be used by thousands of households and businesses. There appears to be no public input into why the collection system doesn’t work throughout the city. The level of planning, at the execute level, is close to seditious and the taxpayers are the fall guys.

This was a gigantic ego trip by Mayor Farbridge and her associates on council to brand Guelph as a world-class leader in waste diversion from the landfill.

Fulsome indeed. Maybe the Mayor meant what she actually said.




Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “This is what the lady said but this is what she meant, I think

  1. Tony

    “I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
    John Robert McCloskey.

  2. Paul:

    Maybe it is “What She Meant”!
    The complete lack of transparency on the City agenda is due to a fulsome process, excessive in its complexity.
    For example the Mayor is supposed to serve on the Guelph Hydro Boards. At least that was the case a decade or so ago by a resolution of Council. If that resolution was changed it was not done so openly and transparently. It could have been done at an “in-camera” meeting, but then where and when was the motion approved in an Open Council meeting? You cannot find this on the City Website, or at least I couldn’t – due to “excessive complexity”.
    Further more there is another resolution of Council that members of the General Public are limited on to TEN Years on a particular Board or Commission. However there are instances of this direction being ignored particularly in the case of Guelph Hydro. For example the Chair of the Distribution Company(GHESI) has served for more than ten years on ALL 3 Boards and of course the annual meeting at which the annual dividend to the City is “declared” seems to have disappeared. The Chair is not the only Director serving past the ten year limit! It is too bad that we have a bunch of Journalists who do not have a curious bone in their bodies. Or does the threat of a Quarterly Report to the taxpayer/voter by the City silence the attempt at “ethical” journalism?
    I could go on about the Mayor’s excessive focus on being a pioneer in Waste Management which too is tied up with “excessive complexity” and waste of megabucks on this eco-dream. Gerry you have written a lot on this in your blogs and your columns can only be a complete embarrassment to your former employer – The Daily Mockery(sic)!
    But suffice it to say “Pioneers get the first arrows”!!

    • Paul: That was thud as the arrow embedded itself in the door jamb! Followers like Jeff can attack me personally and distort what I say but they can’t dispute the colossal mess that the Farbridge administration has inflicted on the taxpayers. I see that fellow traveller Susan Ratcliffe, writing in the daily newspaper, takes issue with we peasants who lack the vision of the Mayor. Sometimes When I read Susan’s stuff I think I’m on the yellow brick road, looking for Toto.

    • paul

      Well said Gerry.

  3. paul

    The mayor described it accuraetly despite the fact she didn’t have a clue what that big word meant…or any words longer than 4 letters for a matter of fact…………

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