What’s behind the Wellbeing initiative that the Mayor keeps praising?

Posted January 9, 2014

When Mayor Farbridge was delivering her announcement seeking re-election in the foyer of city Hall, her husband was passing out “Re-elect Farbridge” pins to the small gathering of media and curious bystanders.

It’s good to know that if you are running for office your mate is behind you. His action was self-serving, distasteful and disrespectful of the people’s house. What an arrogant performance compared to her opponent Cam Guthrie’s announcement to take over her job outside in the numbing cold and with 70 supporters.


When Cam Guthrie requested the use of the West End Recreational Centre to make his announcement to run for mayor, the city turned him down. They added that he could not use any part of city hall to announce but had to do it outside the building. Now we know why. Is there nothing that this incumbent Mayor will stoop to do?

It is a harbinger of the looming battle between the incumbent mayor and her young challenger. Plus others who may yet step up to challenge the lady seeking a fourth term as our Mayor.

Who does she think she is? Hazel McCallion?

Her pitch about “doing more with less” fell flat when she brought up an alleged abuse by a citizen calling the police to the residence 500 times in 2012.

Seeing that there are 365 days in a year, that meant the cops attended the residence frequently some 135 times more. By leaving out the pertinent details, the impression remains that the cops may be either incapable of solving the abuse of the system, or the resident was incompetent for a variety of reasons. The answer my friends is blowing in the wind. But it gives our mayor an opening to tout her pet pony, the Willbring program, er, Wellbeing program.

She explained that one of the goals of the Community Wellbeing initiative was to avoid situations where repetitive use of existing city services aren’t solving problems, faced by certain residents. She suggests this will result in a reduction of costs and wear and tear on staff.

Yeah, like the reduction of staff overtime in 2013. Remember the internal auditor said the city’s overtime bill soared to $5,067,000, or double that of 2012?

Tell us Mayor, does that include the 6,400 residents whose garbage your administration refuses to collect? That doesn’t sound anything like your Wellbeing catch-all program to do more with less.

But the 500 house calls to police by one resident sure makes a good story, despite the audacity to even bring it up.

Then there is her lame excuse about the proposed spending of $34 million on a new police headquarters. Remember, she has been a member of the Police Services Board for the past seven years. She knew for a long time that the building badly needed renovation.

She also knew that the city spent a bundle on her organic waste processing facility and the entire waste treatment centre on Dunlop Road.

The Police HQ project received council’s approval a year ago to spend $13.3 million, as requested by the Police Services Board. Then, last summer, the cost ballooned to $34 million. Under the Mayor’s explicit direction, city council approved an additional $20 million with the proviso that the police and city officials try to work out a solution and reduce the cost.

This project will go ahead with the $34 million price tag. Bet the ranch on it.

In the past few months the police have announced they are pulling out of the Clair Road emergency services complex.  This only demonstrates the lack of direction and management skills of the administration.

And the buck stops at the desk of Mayor Farbridge.

Why was the veiled threat of legislative action by police explicit? Because the Mayor told council the police could force approval through provincial legislation that requires the municipality to provide adequate facilities for the police to carry out their duties.

Sad to say, not one councillor challenged the Mayor’s ultimatum. The legislation does not demand the city must build a Taj Mahal for the cops. The word reasonable comes into play here. Besides the shaky provincial government wouldn’t want that hot potato landing in its legal system with a possible spring election looming.

It’s just another example of the Mayor’s take-no-prisoners ego in play. The bottom line is her administration has demonstrated time and time again bad judgment, a failure to manage key projects and events and a record of wasteful spending that is unparalleled in the history of the city.

The Farbridge problem is a lack of management skills, required to run a $400 million corporation.

She may have fooled us once and then fooled us again, but we aren’t going to be fooled again.

Check out the GrassRootsGuelph.com website and join citizens who realize that change must come to stop the excessive taxes, user fees and halt the out-of -control spending,

Soon we will have a choice.



Filed under Between the Lines

7 responses to “What’s behind the Wellbeing initiative that the Mayor keeps praising?

  1. Marg

    Cam Guthrie’s campaign manager commented (in the Mercury I believe) on the subject of where the announcements were made. I got the impression that it was a decision to not hold the announcement in a public building. No mention was made of a request being turned down by the city. If Cam did request permission to hold his announcement at city hall or the West End Rec centre, and was turned down by the city, then, there is a problem.

  2. Glen N. Tolhurst

    She is the poster child for 2 term limits at all levels of politics. She is a one-trick-pony,(and not a good one at that) pushing a hippie “feel good” personal vision.Considering the outrageous tax increases foisted upon Guelph citizens during the reign of her regime, one would be hard pressed to find any real world successes attributable to her. The 2014 civic elections will be the opportunity to clean city hall of her ilk.

    • Glen N. Tolhurst: Any politician who claims they are running on their record, better examine history for the graveyard of those politicos who tried it and failed. The Mayor’s base is so shaky that she will face a tougher battle than she thinks. Even the union members, her power base, are ticked off over the internal unit report of overtime abuse in 2013. By pandering to the 80 per cent of union employees employed by the city, she has alienated many of them. That report will have a long-term effect on the 2014 election outcome.It will ignite the great silent majority who will vote with a vengeance.

    • rena

      Glen I agree with you, however her reign of her regime, should be ‘her reign of terror’. Looking forward to seeing her back-side out of City Hall.

  3. Joe Black

    Maybe Cam should have made his announcement on the snow and ice covered roads ? But there’re both not getting my vote. Still waiting for another person to put their name in.

  4. geo

    Remember, if your a hard working citizen of the Royal City and property taxes are only one of your financial responsibilities “Her Royal Highness” does not want to get things done for you, she wants to get things done in spite of you.

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