March 22, 2014
Not content to bleed the taxpayer’s ability to pay, our Mayor now wants to force property taxpayers to pay special levies to redevelop the Baker Street parking lot and stimulate commercial/industrial development.
Seems the administration has finally awakened to find the cupboard bare and is now looking for ways to increase revenue to meet its array of dodgy projects and surrealistic long range planning. The level of debt has maxed out that option because the city has to cough up $34 million for a new police headquarters.
The Farbridge green team is strong on long range planning but fails in the ability to pay for its cock-eyed dreams of a social state nirvana.
The litany of broken dreams and promises smothers the city like hot fudge on a birthday cake. Trouble is, the administration is the fudge, and citizens are the cake.
Using the levers of power, the Mayor and her team have by-passed real public input and comment. Instead their staged events are either loaded with supporters, staff or consultants but rarely elected officials.
This is how we get a multi-million dollar waste centre, the thing we used to call the dump that fails to meet the needs of the city but whose services are offered to other municipalities. Your tax dollars went into this project without your say or input or knowing to this day how much it costs to operate it.
A $15 million cart-based waste collection system was arbitrarily imposed on all city residences and businesses and fails to service more than 6,400 households.
While this and other projects may please some, there are a lot of residents who feel too much of the city’s business is conducted behind closed doors. To say that the public is fully informed of the administration’s decisions is a charade.
The city’s communications are carefully composed to lull you to sleep. The two local newspapers are complicit at times with the city message and often fail to offer both sides of the story.
This results in a situation of controlling the message at will with no ability to question or be informed of those decisions that affect all citizens.
In the past few months, the administration hired a Toronto consultant to advise them on how to operate an open and transparent government in Guelph. The cost of this exercise was $100,000
After almost eight years in office, the Far bridge-dominated administration seeks professional advice on how to run an open and transparent government.
The odd part of this decision is why now and what will change?
Is this not an admission that for all that time, the administration did not operate in and open and transparent fashion? That was a key platform issue that Karen Farbridge promised on the eve of her election in 2006.
This is classic Farbridge tactics, to use the people’s money to reinforce her message image and track record.
Remember when she promised to “put Guelph back on track?”
That is some record and some track.