When it smells like a fish, it’s probably a fish

Posted September 11, 2014

Between the Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert, the city’s spin on the Urbacon disaster grows at warp speed.

Only, according to a report in the Guelph Tribune, the numbers don’t seem to add up. Quel surprise!

The Urbacon settlement is $6.635 million. The city then announced its legal and other costs came to $2.3 million. That totals $8.935 million.

The Trib quotes Pappert as saying “the full deficit to build a new city hall and convert the old one into a courthouse adds up to $8.35 million.” She goes on to say that when legal and settlement costs are added in, the whole project deficit is $8.4 million on a $57 million project.

Seems those numbers don’t add up. If the original contract price signed between the city and Urbacon in 2006 was $42 million, how did Pappert arrive at $57 million?

That represents a real deficit of $15 million, not $8.4 million.

Did something slip out that shouldn’t have made the public prints? Maybe the cost of hiring two construction companies to finish Urbacon’s contract has something to do with it.

When the mayor piously states what great interest she has informing the public of the settlement details, she said, “by releasing more information on the settlement than would typically be provided”.

“We are releasing the amount of the settlement, which is $6.635 million,” she states. “The specific language and details of the settlement remain confidential.”

Who is the mayor protecting? The people who have a right to know or her assumed pristine reputation? Reading the mayor’s mealy-mouthed explanation that the settlement will not cost the citizens any tax increases, is an affront to every citizen in the City of Guelph.

And her sidekick, Ann Pappert, is no better and seems to have trouble adding and subtracting.

What is astonishing to most people is the spinning of the truth coming from the two chief administrators at One Carden Street.

It is shameful that Mayor Farbridge chooses to whitewash this serious multi-million mistake by her council and senior staff. To suggest that it will not impact on property taxpayers because the money will come from reserves, is a specious argument. Of all people, Karen Farbridge should know where the money comes from; it’s from the citizens through taxes and user fees.

What is even more galling is that she is running for office regardless of this costly error in judgment and a host of other mistakes made in the past eight years of her regime.

Her supporters keep talking about all the great things the Mayor has accomplished.

At least there is one outstanding example. She knows how to waste our money.

And yet, she still refuses to accept responsibility for the Urbacon lawsuit outcome.

Does this a person, along with her sycophantic supporters on council deserve re-election?

She is grossly underestimating the people she represents.

They’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.


Filed under Between the Lines

2 responses to “When it smells like a fish, it’s probably a fish

  1. Glen N. Tolhurst

    The number of players in the city hall sand box who appear to be financially illiterate is appalling. The new mayor and council need to create the position of Auditor General (being an experienced forensic accountant), reporting directly to council to unmask the financial shell games being played with costs of the Urbacon fiasco, and the pillaging of various reserves, amongst other capital projects.

    • Glen N. Tolhurst: Amen to that! While they’re at it, appoint an ombudsman that can open up city hall for the people that own it. Doing business with this city administration borders on the catastrophic and the Farbridge bunch continue their arrogant and self serving ways. Remember the Urbacon!

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