Posted February 21, 2014
In that famous television debate between Brian Mulroney and John Turner, Mulroney told the new Prime Minister that he had a choice to deny previous appointments by former PM Pierre Trudeau.
Turner lost the election to Mulroney.
It seems that the same argument applies to the inadequate clearance of the Wyndham Street underpass.
It now appears the city did have choices.
Guelph’s Chief Administration Officer, Ann Pappert, writes in the local daily that the city was unable to redesign a two-year renovation of lower Wyndham Street. This included sufficient clearance for all vehicles to pass safely under the rebuilt CNR bridge.
Instead, large commercial vehicles are hitting the new bridge complete with crash bars apparently installed by the city under direction of CN Rail infrastructure engineers.
The stunning admission reveals that the city engineers knew for two years that the clearance for all Wyndham traffic under the overpass was inadequate.
In view of this revelation, don’t you think the city should have asked for a second opinion before proceeding? In fairness Chief, you may not have been CAO when these decisions were made.
So the CAO explains that they dug down as far as they could go and replaced the underground sewers, water mains and various other cables and pipes. It still was not deep enough.
Oh well, she goes on, the project resulted in a renewed roadway, bike lanes, sidewalks and improved lighting and a “modernized bridge that will serve us well for decades to come.”
Sorry chief, the underpass still doesn’t handle large commercial truck traffic. There have been regular collisions with the bridge despite billboard-sized signs warning the underpass will not accept large trucks.
Your explanation that the bridge/Wyndham project was “expertly designed and executed,” still fails the smell test of your elaborate explanation of a job well done.
You have to wonder why the underpass on Norfolk Street allows large commercial vehicles to pass safely under it. It’s the same railroad line and the grades are very similar.
Your essay explaining all this segues into praising the job Guelph has done in rebuilding its infrastructure since 2006.
Also you congratulate the Mayor for being named vice-chair of the Association of Ontario Municipalities Large Urban Mayors Caucus. In two years, she should become the chair provided she is re-elected in October.
Chief, why are you promoting the Mayor’s political ambitions?
While this city has been over-taxing its citizens for three years 2010 to 2012 by $86,841,000, why would you tie yourself to an elected official in such a manner? Your job is to manage the staff, not be a cheerleader for Mayor Farbridge. These excessive tax figures come from the annual city report sent to the province that must be filed annually.
It is another example of callous disregard for the interests of the community in an explanation that falls flat explaining a job not properly done.
And why didn’t you explain what all this expert work cost?
To read more details of the $86.8 million overtaxing scandal sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, check out grassrootsguelph.com.