Remove the Quarrie council from the Farbridge ‘blame list’
July 24, 2014
Re: Mayor apologizes for city hall cost — July 15
As a citizen and former Ward 2 councillor (from 2003-2006), I am disgusted by part of the public City of Guelph apology approved by nine current city councillors at the July 14 council meeting regarding the costs of the new city hall.
To state that this multimillion-dollar disaster was partly caused by the Kate Quarrie council (2003-2006) is untrue and a feeble attempt to divert blame and responsibility.
Upon the project’s approval in 2005, the Quarrie council appointed a building committee of six people consisting of two public members, the city manager, Mayor Quarrie and two councillors, Kathy Downer and myself.
Our recommendations were reported to the full council on a regular basis. The building contract was awarded to Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. upon approval by council, legal and building consultants. It was not a “flawed contract,” as suggested by current city administrators. The contract contained a standard mediation clause that detailed a dispute process to resolve possible problems between the parties during construction.
If this clause had been invoked, we may have averted this litigation. Justice Donald McKenzie noted in his March ruling that this “dispute mechanism” was totally disregarded by the city.
A question that is being evaded is whether the council of the day was advised or made aware — by staff — of the action to terminate the building contract.
There are many other unanswered questions remaining about this issue.
By removing the Quarrie council from the “blame list” we may get closer to the truth.