An open letter to Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge

Posted April 2,2014

April 2, 2014

Dear Madame Mayor:

As a follower of your administration for more than seven years, I am appalled over the latest legal set-back by your administration. A judge is holding the city responsible in a $19 million lawsuit brought on by city hall contractor Urbacon. It brings into play a failure of your administration to act in a responsible manner befitting the Chief Magistrate of the City of Guelph.

We now learn this lawsuit not only upheld the Urbacon claim for damages but also was not insured by the city’s insurers to pay for the impending cost. The judge also dismissed the city’s counter-claim of $5 million.

At this point costs of this defeat are unknown. Just estimating the legal costs of the city’s lawyer, Derek Schmuck from Hamilton, will stagger the imagination of most Guelph citizens.

It’s pure fiction to even suggest that your administration’s firing the contractor because he was behind schedule was done on behalf of the taxpayers. In fact, most of the work of your council is performed behind closed doors denying the public the right to even observe, let alone participate.

You have operated chiefly in secret, making deals and approving projects without proper public scrutiny or knowledge.

Accordingly, with respect, the time has come for you to withdraw your nomination and complete your term with dignity, truthfulness and some sense of accomplishment.

The alternative is to face certain defeat at the polls next October.

I want to emphasize that we are only speaking as citizens. My colleagues at GrassRoots Guelph will undoubtedly be commenting on this and other issues in the future.

Madame Mayor, do the right thing for Guelph. Withdraw your name for Mayor.

Do not make another mistake by underestimating the publics’ mood in our city.


Gerry and Barbara Barker




Filed under Between the Lines

12 responses to “An open letter to Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge

  1. paul

    A great letter!!!!!!

  2. Marg

    This loss is a huge blow to city taxpayers, and ,so far, they’ve heard little from the mayor other than a comment on her blog which lays blame on the former mayor and council. Since Mayor Farbridge wants to project a transparent and accountable image, she would be wise to address the citizens of Guelph on this subject, in a more public forum. If this were good news instead, would there have been a press conference at city hall?

  3. Debbie Vitez

    I still want write just like you.. lol Great Letter.. Please let me know when we can get together. I so need to meet for that coffee.

    Debbie Vitez

    Cambridge Ontario

  4. Len H.

    Here here.

  5. Mary Heyens

    Thank you Gerry, Barbara and GrassRoots Guelph. See you at the April 16th Breakfast Meeting.

  6. geo

    Every dime of Municipal tax money that is supposed to be given to Downtown developers should instead be used to settle this lawsuit!
    If that’s not enough then they better start canning useless staff and eliminating pet projects because I and I’ll bet all the other taxpayers in the Royal City are NOT going to give these morons another dime!

  7. joe Black

    If she doesn’t hopefully we will at the ballot box.

    • Glen N. Tolhurst

      There is a place and time for everything and everyone. The mayor has run out of time and there is no longer a place for her in an elected office in Guelph. The tax & spend practices of her & her 7 council followers have been abject failures.Get out!! Begone!!! The rallying cry for the fall civic elections will be ANYBODY BUT FARBRIDGE & FRIENDS!! (A B F& F.)

  8. Greg Morrow

    Regardless if Farbridge runs again …who is footing the bill for this..oh I know the Gueplh tax payer,,.when it is not their personal money they will always spend recklessly and make stupid decisions fearing no accountability…voting Farbridge out only opens the door for the next scandolous politician..answer flood the council chambers with every possible Guelph citizen demanding to know immediatley who is paying for this fiasco

  9. Taxpayer Ann

    Thank you Mr, AND Mrs. Barker you have certainly hit the nail on the head. Farbridge I believe knew all along she and city coucil were part of the decision on Firing of Urbacon, just trying to pass the buck. Also these high projects do not need monies from city hall if they cannot afford to build with their own funds DO NOT BUILD. Awaste of funds with these bicycle lanes rarely used but a causing much more congestion of traffic flow. If you need to build them place up beside exsisting sidewalks. Or yes and yet another lawsuit arises Guelph must be the laughing stock of the Province.

  10. paul

    Translation please….

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