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.