So do you think the Urbacon trial was a waste of time and money?

Posted March 31, 2014

GrassRoots Guelph (GRG) received a letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently, stating she was not going to proceed with a request to conduct an audit of the City of Guelph’s finances and operations.

The four-page petition requesting this audit was backed-up with figures and facts gleaned from the city’s Financial Information Reports to the province mandated to file annually. Further, her representatives agreed the figures and facts were accurate.

The Minister gave no reasons why she made the decision.

But Chief Administration Officer (CAO), Ann Pappert, and her Mayor Karen Farbridge, stated they were vindicated and the taxpayers’ request was “ A waste of time.”

How’s that looking today, folks?

Now here’s the CAO’s response to the judge’s statement as posted on the city website:

“Today’s court decision is disappointing. The city decided on its course of action because construction delays were costing the city – and Guelph taxpayers –thousands of dollars. Based on the contractor’s performance, there were deep concerns about Urbacon’s ability and commitment to complete the second part of the project, the renovation of Guelph’s Provincial Offences Court.”

Seems the judge didn’t see it that way.

It appears a plausible excuse why the city has, in its judgment, gambled with your money. It is an attempt to win a complex and intricate case in which it was obviously vulnerable.

Was this a “waste of money?”

See second post analyzing the city hall construction case. Entitled “Guelph’s Titanic has already hit the iceberg.”


Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “So do you think the Urbacon trial was a waste of time and money?

  1. Jerry

    Another lawsuit loss for the city.
    First one the Health dept building.(costs 10 million)plus lawyer fees.
    Second the new city hall(costs 19 million)plus lawyer fees.

    Any other corporation would have either folded or ran the c e o out of
    How much more can the taxpayers of Guelph take?.
    I know i have had enough.Bring on the election.
    (I noticed the Farbridge supporters are all silent on this story).
    No surprise there?

  2. Glen N. Tolhurst

    Well, well, the “ship has hit the sand”, or something like that. The turkeys are coming home to roost. Now, in a open and transparent administration, which players amongst those whose fingerprints are all over this file will be held responsible for this boondoggle? Let’s see where the buck stops and will it be extracted from the tax payers pocket in an all too familiar gambit?

  3. Brent Beam

    Once again our richly compensated senior teflon staff have invited, through their arrogance, inability to work through problems cooperatively with contractors, and contempt for tax payer’s money, another unnecessary multimillion dollar lawsuit by a premature termination of contractor Urbacon.. I suppose they have become overly confident having won the 2007 , $32 million SUBBOR challenge on the grounds that SUBBOR which also curiously developed a dysfunctional relationship with the CITY of GUELPH, could not prove that they could reliably process waste at some minimum rate in accordance with the terms of the contract. That outcome was a bit ironic since the new organic waste plant was subsequently built with the support of the Farbridge administration at a capacity about 3 times the ability of Guelph residents to supply it, all at tax payer’s excessive expense. Nonetheless, there has been a pattern of casino-like risk taking on the backs of Guelph tax payers by the Farbridge administration supported by staff which has now led to a potentially multimillion dollar settlement to successful litigant Urbacon , builder of the new city hall replete with its money- sucking living wall and green roof. None of this paradigm of management makes our citizens more prosperous as suggested by our Farbridge- preferred new $200,000+ CAO, Ann Pappert, except for city lawyers. It’s time for all Guelph tax payers, who are been financially sold down the river in the name of idealism, to realize their last choice of Mayor who is a marine biologist by trade, along with current councillors from Wards 3, 5 and 6 were bad ones and need special attention with a view to change this coming October before they empty our bank accounts in pursuits that defy basic principles of successful business.

  4. geo

    When the time comes to start pointing fingers you know they’re gonna blame Kate Quarrie

  5. Paul

    If the voters in Guelph are daft enough to re-elect Farbridge and her core group of supporting Councillors then there is no hope for this City, In addition to a legacy of waste and overspending including that this gang has added over 400 jobs to the City payroll! The approved complement for City staff is around 1400 positions and yet there are over 2000 staff on the city payroll! Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? How many more camels can Farbridge crowd into the staff tent at City Hall
    It will take two or three terms for a reform Council to clean up the mess that has been created.? THAT IS LIKE 12 YEARS PEOPLE!.

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