While keeping Guelph on track, Mayor has a Lac Megantic moment

Posted September 9, 2014

Late breaking news: The Mayor has admitted that in addition to the $6.635 million settlement with Urbacon, the city must pay $2.3 million for its legal and other costs. One outstanding issue remaining is the Aviva  lawsuit that is not part of the Urbacon settlement.

What started out as spending $42 million on a new city hall, ended up costing more than $6.635 million, and that’s just for starters. The city’s press release crows that the settlement won’t cost the taxpayers any increases to pay for it.

The money will come from the reserves. Is that why the city has reserves? To pay for the administration’s multi-million dollar mistakes? Further, what is the source of funds for those reserves?

Why, it’s us, the taxpayers.

Then it says the reserves will be paid back within five years from, you guessed it, your taxes. If Mayor Farbridge and her coalition of councilors are re-elected, don’t expect your taxes to go down. Remember what happened after her election victory in 2010.

The mayor fluffs off the tawdry episode by stating: “As we move on from litigation, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that today, Guelph has a well-functioning, award- winning City Hall and Market Square that will serve our community well for decades to come.”

Mayor, mayor, tell us what the end cost is.

Chief Financial Officer, Al Horsman, joins the apologetic discourse saying the settlement can be accommodated within the city’s current financial means.

The city press release fails to mention the costs of the trial, legal fees paid to Derek Schmuck, the hired gun from Hamilton, who represented the city in its two trials.

Two you say? Yes, there is the Urbacon two-part lawsuit plus the city’s abortive trial to have the damages portion of the Urbacon trial postponed until after the civic election. That was denied.

Then, what were the costs of hiring two construction companies to complete the city hall and renovate the old city hall into a provincial offenses court? Both these projects were part of the original $42 million contract.

The city also coughed up some $4 million to pay off the city hall subcontractors who placed a lien on the new building after Urbacon was thrown off the job.

There is the untold cost of city staff working on behalf of the Urbacon lawsuit to prepare the legal arguments. Just how many lawyers, inside and outside the city staff, who were paid to support the city’s failed contention that it had the right to fire Urbacon?

With the tab now at $8,935 million, this remains an epic error in judgment for which the Farbridge Administration must take responsibility.

How can they say, with a straight face, that the costs are covered and there will be no impact on taxpayers?

They’re manipulating your money to suit their agenda and again avoiding taking responsibility.

It is this degree of arrogance and disdain for the public trust that is the hallmark of a failed administration unable to run the public’s business.

When you go to vote, keep this in mind because re-electing this bunch will only make the pain of mismanagement, misinformation and mistakes get worse.

When the mayor declared the other day that she had “put Guelph back on track”, it became her Lac Megantic moment, (the greatest rail disaster in Canada’s history).
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9 Comments

Filed under Between the Lines

9 responses to “While keeping Guelph on track, Mayor has a Lac Megantic moment

  1. fairpensions09

    You mean 66 Mill?

    Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

  2. Glen N. Tolhurst

    The only course for her is to RESIGN & not run again. Simply BEGONE!

  3. Paul I

    As Alice would say “curiouser and curiouser”!
    It is apparent from the above article that the Mayor and her support group have erred tremendously! On Oct 27 the voters need to vote a slate that will show more concern for the Taxpayer. That means getting rid of Farbrigge, Wettstein, Dennis, Hofland, Laidlaw, Piper, and Downer. Along with Burcher and Finlay who are not seeking re-election again this provided Farbridge with her control of Council.
    Keep in mind and vote for the following – Mayor Guthrie,
    Ward 1 – Bell
    Ward 2 – Ferraro and Van Hellemond
    Ward 3 – Chamberlain and Dodge or Moore
    Ward 4 – Briestensky and Roffey
    Ward 5 – Galatianos and Senechal
    Ward 6 – Tolhurst and MacKinnon
    Election of these candidates should result in a refreshing change on Council and a healthy respect for taxpayers dollars.
    I cannot believe that Farbridge would dismiss the more than 8.6 million dollars this error has cost the taxpayers and claim that there will be no impact on taxes over the next 5 years. Sort of reminds me of Alfred E Neuman – “What Me worry”??
    Time to send the lady on to her next challenge – Poverty??

    • Boomer

      If the electorate is looking for change it’s a must changes are made around the horseshoe. If Farbridge’s little clan remains and we have a new mayor…that’s not good.

    • Boomer: It appears the Farbridge trolls are fabricating information again. GrassRoots Guelph has not published any list of preferred candidates. The fact that the Karenistas have boycotted the GRG neutral ward debates to be held in the individual ward areas, is telling of their fear of losing. These debates are being conducted by a neutral moderator and all council candidates will have the opportunity to state their case and answer questiones. The moderator will have control so that every candidate is treated fairly. This is in contrast to the Chamber of Commerce Debates in which the questions to the candidates are loaded with pro Farbridge policies. Let the games begin!

  4. Are you really telling people how to vote? Are you assuming they can’t make decisions on their own? Do they really need you to tell them who to vote for? Keep democracy on the forefront. List all the candidates in those wards.

    • Maria Pezzano: You got that right. I’m pointing out the performance of those Farbridge candidates who sat on their hands when the dumb mistake was made to dump contractor Urbacon off the new city hall worksite. The judge agreed the city wrongfully dismissed Urbacon. The fall-out is the cost of the new city hall and provincial courthouse zoomed from $42 million to $57 million. Somehow, Maria, I think that is really important for voters to try and understand the lame excuses currently emanating from city hall that the judgment will not result in additional taxes. That’s another misrepresentation by the Farbridge administration. Maybe it’s not important for you but there are thousands out there who believe its a massive bungling of responsibility. In order to make decisions, voters need information, not the handouts from the city communications department but the truth. By the way, this is a free country and I have the right to express my opinion.

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