Posted October 23, 2014
Mayor Karen Farbridge and the Mercury use the word “toxic” when referring to this election campaign. It’s a word carrying a negative connotation, like it shouldn’t be like this. This isn’t the Guelph way, or so the Mayor and Mercury would like you to believe.
The truth is that there has been constant and accurate exposure of the Mayor’s record. Cumulatively, the details have been highly critical of the city operations led by the Mayor, including the Urbacon financial fiasco that has cost citizens, year to date, $15 million.
What has now come to light is the professional relationship between the city’s $213,000 Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert, and Mayor Farbridge. According to information recently received, the city staff is demoralized because every report, recommendation and even planning proposals sent to the CAO are immediately referred to the Mayor for approval.
This would indicate that the mayor personally decides the outcome of all city business. The members of council are not always consulted. An example was the firing of Urbacon that all members of council say they were not consulted nor asked to ratify the decision.
The committees of elected councillors and council itself eventually are presented with the Farbridge approved version. The mayor has complete control of the council in which her supporters are the majority and are dominating the committees.
It is now apparent that one person made the decision to fire Urbacon. It was not former CAO Hans Loewig as CAO Ann Pappert now claims. He was only following orders when he fired Urbacon off the job in September 2008. It was Mayor Karen Farbridge. For the mayor to now say that “we fixed the problem” is simply an indictment of her leadership.
There is another choice
GrassRoots Guelph has aimed its efforts toward returning power to the city council. That’s why it has recommended 12 candidates who, after researching backgrounds and experience, were selected and announced four weeks ago.
GRG’s focus is to elect those who act as the people’s representatives and not just the mayor. There is ample evidence now that the public trust in the Farbridge administration has been lost. A newly elected council, dedicated to change, can only regain it
In a four-part series published in the Guelph Tribune. GrassRoots Guelph has published a plan for change called “New Directions Guelph.” The series identifies the serious problems facing the city today and in the next four years. It offers a plan to identify the true financial position of the city through an independent audit before launching its plans for change.
More importantly, the new council will open the process to the public and operate a truly open and transparent government. The New Directions Guelph guidelines will not embark on a slash and burn destruction of services but rationalize spending with revenues.
Proposed plans involving capital spending announced by the Farbridge administration will be considered. Again, this will be a case of priorities to be monitored during the first year of operations, and pendingnthe outcome of the financial audit.
The Farbridge campaign has mounted a furious campaign to discredit not only GRG but many more anti-Farbridge groups who have grasped the reasons why change must come to city hal The people’s right to demand democracy must be restored.
Already, as of last Monday morning, more than 10,000 citizens have voted through the Internet and advance polls. That’s 28 per cent of the total civic vote in 2010.
Monday, October 27, is the last chance to express your view as to who should act on your behalf at 1 Carden Street for the next four years.
GRG and guelphspeaks.ca urge voters to exercise your right and vote. The polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Be sure and bring photo ID and proof of residence.
Remember, if you don’t vote, you don’t count.
You do have a choice.