GrassRoots Guelph responds to Minister’s letter regarding the petition requesting an audit of the city’s finances

The following press release was sent out today to the media in response to statements by the Chief Administration Officer of Guelph. In disputing the facts, the CAO attacked the integrity of GRG members and accused the organization of ” blatant misinformation” to attack the city’s reputation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This administration has abused it power and misled the public in carrying out the people’s work. GRG is pledged to keep exposing the attempts to cover up mismanagement and dysfunctional operation of the people’s administration.
Press release to all media
GrassRoots Guelph, a non-partisan, non-profit citizens organization today defended its petition sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing requesting an audit of the City of Guelph’s finances and operations.

“The provincial authorities stated in a November meeting with GRG representatives that the numbers contained in the four-page petition are accurate, ” said Gerry Barker, executive director of GRG. He went on to say that those numbers were generated from the city’s financial statements sent to the Ministry.

“The same day we met with Ministry officials, they went to city hall to discuss our issues with city officials,” Barker said. “To this day we have not received copies of the notes of the city meeting.”

“The Minister is saying that this is a local matter to be dealt with by City Council,” Barker went on. “These are the very people who generated the numbers we used in our petition!  What is even more mystifying is why does the province, through the Revised Statutes of Ontario, provide an avenue for municipal taxpayers to protest the administration of their municipality, then turn it around and tell them they have to deal with the very people who created the problems, perceived or real.”

Barker then pointed out that, in an apparent victory lap, the City’s Chief Administration Officer, issued a press release that said that “GrassRoots Guelph chose to ignore financial facts and used blatant misinformation to attack the organization’s reputation.”

Barker’s response to that is “This ridiculous statement is indicative of the callous disregard the City of Guelph’s administration has for the qualified opinions of its citizens.”

“This is entirely about facts, “Barker said. “We carefully examined the public statements put out by this administration and were appalled at the financial methods and statements the city was publishing. Our sources included the ongoing overview of an experienced financial analyst.”
GRG is not giving up. In fact, it is pressing forward to inform citizens of the administration’s mismanagement of public money and the public trust.
At this time, GRG is considering whether or not  to meet with city officials. In the meantime, we encourage all citizens to follow GRG presentations of relevant facts about the way their city is being run. Contact grassrootsguelph.com and join the hundreds of fellow citizens who believe there must be change at City Hall in October.
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