Posted March 27, 2014
This week, the City of Guelph took out a half-page ad proclaiming it is now operating an open government.
All it took was paying a Toronto consultant $100,000 of your money. To tell them, wait for it, after more than seven years they had not been running the city in an open and transparent manner.
Again, this Farbridge administration is using your money to establish a personal political position in a crucial election year.
Add in the cost of staff to pull this ad together and the time spent with the consultant and the cost of a half-page ad in the Mercury and we citizens are being used to support an administration’s political agenda with our our money.
But let’s roll back to election night 2006 as the Farbridge crew were savoring the taste of victory and the Mayor elect was promising to run an open and transparent government.
She also promised during the campaign to “Put Guelph back on Track.”
Well, how’s that working for you?
* Must tell you, that train went off the rails seven years ago.
* Property taxes on average have increased exponentially by more than 32 per cent in eight years.
* User fees in most cases have more than doubled.
* Speaking of trains wrecks, Guelph Transit was revealed by the city’s own internal auditor as spending more than $1 million in overtime in 2013.
* Water bills have increased by more than 77 per cent, yet usage has dropped significantly.
* Same with Hydro bills. That’s going to be a hot issue in the election campaign because the Mayor, through her Guelph Municipal Holding Corporation, controls Guelph Hydro.
* Get ready for Guelph Hydro, with a $130 million book value, to be sold into a larger distribution network. The Mayor is already on record saying it will happen.
* Millions have been spent on a waste management system that fails to service 6,400 residences.
* Now our Mayor is talking about charging you with special levies to pay for her downtown agenda.
* She promised a new downtown library eight years ago. Another broken promise.
* In her first three-year term of office, she promised to build a South End recreation centre. Another broken promise.
* Her administration has failed to increase the city’s commercial/industrial assessment of 16 per cent in all her years in office. Impact? It places more and more burden on residential property owners.
* Her grandiose plans to transform downtown Guelph into a family-oriented people place have already cost millions. Apparently, the administration is still unable to prevent humans from relieving themselves on the streets on weekends.
* The city then spent $33 million to lure condo developers to build hi-rises in the downtown area. That’s like transforming a chicken coop into a birdcage.
* No thanks, I wouldn’t spend $400 grand to live in that area of town.
* What ever happened to the downtown men-only pissoirs program? Nothing, although the six-week experiment collected 2,400 liters of urine.
* Was it good judgment to spend at least $16 million on renovating an abandoned convent on someone else’s property for a new civic museum? Trouble is it’s only open part of the day and most people are unaware of its location. Because the city does not own the property, it is more troubling that it cannot be recorded as a city asset.
* Remember spending $25,000 on the Terry Bradshaw promotional video that co-starred our Mayor? It never returned one dime.
* Do we really need 2,063 employees of whom 199 are earning more than $100,000 a year?
So when you add it all up, do you believe that Mayor Farbridge and her seven supportive councillors deserve re-election?
Four more years of this administration will destroy a fine city and its ability to financially function for years to come. Those who will be forced to pay are our children, their children and their children.