Guthrie 36%, Farbridge 21%: Forum poll echoes several other polls reporting similar results

Posted September 2, 2014

The mayor is in trouble in her re-election bid. The Forum poll reported in the Mercury has revealed the voting trends in the October 27 election. If nothing changes, Cameron Guthrie will be the next Mayor of Guelph.

The obvious reaction to the poll by the Mayor’s supporters says: It’s just not true, its fails basic scientific polling criteria and the real poll is on Election Day. Isn’t that like whistling past the graveyard?

When the poll states that out of 891 respondents, Cam Guthrie was supported by 36 per cent or 320, and the Mayor receive positive responses of 21 per cent or just 187, that’s a margin of 133 supporting Mr. Guthrie.

The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus three per cent 19 times out of 20.

The Guthrie margin of support would be insurmountable if the poll asks the same questions a week before the election. As Forum pollster Lorne Bozinoff put it: “A poll taken two months before an election is forever in politics”.

The response of the Mayor attending the Labour Day Picnic is classic Farbridge-speak.

“I’ll be running this campaign with the same values as my last campaign and that is commitment to the community and a sense of responsibility.”

Willikers! Please articulate your values in a language we all understand. It’s worrisome when you refer to responsibility as a “sense” rather than admitting that you made a terrible mistake kicking Urbacon Buildings Group Corp. off the new city hall work site in 2008.

Your apology on “behalf of the City of Guelph for cost overruns” does not exonerate you from your responsibility as the chief magistrate of the city. The buck stops at your desk.

Then you are quoted: “It’s unfortunate that Urbacon is still before the courts so I can’t say any more about it. There’s lots I’d love to say about it but I can’t put politics ahead of the city.”

What has politics have to do with your council’s responsibility to oversee such a major capital project? That’s your job and you muffed it. The fall-out will have major impact on the city finances and ability to move forward.

Further, the judgment for this lawsuit has been completed. Guelph lost. Hiding behind that old saw of not commenting when the case is before the courts is a cop-out.

Was it desperation that drove you back to another court after Justice Donald MacKenzie delivered his judgment to stay the damages portion of the trial until after the October 27 election? You lost that motion too.

Your own lawyer agreed at the beginning of the Urbacon trial that the trial would be conducted in two parts: The liability portion and the damages portion. The trial Judge ordered that the damages trial must begin within four months of delivering his judgment. That meant that trial must begin October 14 and it has been confirmed.

Were you acting on behalf of the citizen’s of Guelph making that delaying tactic or was it just politics?

Your Labour Day picnic comment stated: “I hope to have conversations with people on the tough issues. A lot of voters don’t understand the full story and I’m proud to defend my record.”

Well, Mayor, you’ll need a lot of conversation to overcome the growing tide of citizens who just don’t believe you. This poll and others that have been conducted, reveal that the majority of people don’t approve of your leadership and the manner in which you conduct the people’s business.

This does not mean that Cam Guthrie is on a one-way ticket to the Mayor’s office at city hall. There is much work to do by the Guthrie team. GrassRoots Guelph believes that new faces on city council are needed to effect the change that is needed to bring common sense and business principles to the table.

Already there are a number of qualified candidates in the wards that deserve the support of voters. They do not all think the same but will bring experience and responsibility to the job if elected. With the nomination deadline September 12, GRG will have more to say on this.

One of the greatest challenges voters face is whether to support the incumbent Farbridge councilors who have blindly followed the Mayor’s agenda this past eight years.

Real change can only come with a purge of those who supported the Farbridge agenda. They include: Maggie Laidlaw, June Hofland, (ward three), Leanne Piper, (ward five), Todd Dennis, Karl Wettstein, (ward six) and former councilor Mike Salisbury, running again in ward four, who was on the 2008 council that dumped Urbacon. Throw in Kathy Downer, (running in ward five), the Mayor’s campaign manager in 2010. With the exception of Ms. Downer, those are the candidates who are part of the Urbacon decision and don’t deserve re-election.

This is the most important election in Guelph’s history. It is a clear choice for voters.

A vote for Mayor Farbridge and her council supporters October 27 will mean another four years of high property taxes and user fees, secrecy of conducting the public’s business, exploding debt and a civic staff that is too expensive for the citizens.

The Farbridge administration, to carry out its agenda, has created a city staff that is dysfunctional in the lower ranks. Its costs have placed tremendous pressure on taxpayers and the fall-out, even today will take years to bring under control.

These are serious issues that the Mayor must defend when she speaks of commitment to the community.

The Urbacon decision is the tip of the impenetrable glacial agenda that Mayor Karen Farbridge has foisted on the citizens of Guelph.

Perhaps that’s what the Forum poll reveals.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.



Filed under Between the Lines

8 responses to “Guthrie 36%, Farbridge 21%: Forum poll echoes several other polls reporting similar results

  1. pegy powell

    I read the article in the Mercury last evening and was affended. It made it seem as though anyone voting for Guthrie is either old, uneducated or poor. Although, I don’t discriminate against anyone I feel that this was an insult to us all. I would also like to say that I am female and I will NOT vote for Farbridge or any of her supporters.

  2. Will

    The Guthrie name is a well respected one in the city. The name Farbridge has become stale and boring . We need good leadership with fresh new affordable ideas which Karen and company can no longer provide.(Sorry for the error. Karen and company never provided) I was born and raised here and can count on one hand how many times I have seen our mayor in the public eye. Reading the stories how Farbridge has and will promote an open and accountable government make me laugh. Have we ever experienced this? Look around the city and witness first hand the major screw ups that have cost us dearly. It is time for change Guelph and I sincerely hope it happens. What really worries me is the university vote our mayor relies on. These students and casual residents at best and should NOT vote in Guelph.

  3. Essie

    21% of 891 = 87???

  4. Buzzy Krumhunger

    Normally I’d say the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day…welcome to Cliche City, population — me.
    My main concern is with the polling company, Forum Research, a company with not exactly the most stellar reputation. They were probably behind that “Dewey Wins” headline in 1948…
    Anecdotally, speaking with neighbours and friends, yes a Guthrie win is in the cards. But keep in mind that it’s the councillors around the horseshoe that vote as well. Too bad the city bureaucrats can’t be held up to the same standards. And let’s not forget the non-stop sniping from the sidelines, the same seen during the Kate Quarrie administration.
    Once these vermin are out of power, that only makes them madder. And the ink flowing into the Letters To The Editor at the Merc and Trib will fill the pages.

    • Buzzy Krumhunger: Your point is well taken. Forum Research is the polling firm that the Toronto Star uses. The immediate response by many is the relationship between the Mercury and The Star provoked the poll. Managing Editor Phil Andrews denies the Mercury commissioned the poll. So who did?
      GRG is working hard to attract council candidates who share the views of the majority of Guelph citizens that change must come to City Hall. Until nominations close September 12 at 2 pm, GRG is not stating who it will support in the October 27 election. The Farbridge NDP/Labour coalition has several candidates in place. These include six incumbents and Mike Salisbury in W4 who was on council when the Urbacon decision was made September 19, 2008 to throw the contractor off the job. We now know what the city is facing millions in damages as a result of the court ruling the city wrongfully dismissed Urbacon whose lawsuit is for $19.2 million.

      What is needed is a clean sweep of the Farbridge councillors. That can only be accomplished with a greater turnout of electors to make it happen. GRG is dedicated to informing people of the reasons that change must occur. It is the only opportunity citizens will have for four years. Now is the time to make it happen.

  5. anne

    just read in the Tribune Farbridge is so proud of aaplus rating for the city showing what an excellent job they are doing, If it wasnt for the overgauging of citizens in property taxes they sure wouldnt have the funding, Such cover up in the Mercury Sep4/14 the apt.complex that the city recommended on Wellington st found barrels of who knows what , the city stated there were 2 barrels the Enviromental compnay said 4 barrels now what is the city covering up once again transparency what a lot of bull.

    • Anne: The Standard and Poors AA+ plus rating only offers a rating to prospective lenders to the city. It’s meaningless when it comes to how the city has dug itself into such a deep financial hole including the p34 million Police headquarters commitment and the pending damages over the Urbacon city hall contract lawsuit that the city lost. The Mercury, unfortunately, is the extension of the Farbridge administration’s communication department. The paper does not have the resources to get both sides of the story and accepts the city handouts as gospel.Pity.

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