Posted March 20, 2015
Now that Ms. Maggie Laidlaw is no longer a member of Guelph council after her defeat at the polls last October, should we trust her current judgment that the people did not vote for tax cuts?
After reading her latest column in the Mercury, it’s easy to understand why she was not re-elected. The barrage of negative blog comments in the Laidlaw column , echo why she was not re-elected.
She still sticks to the myth that the Urbacon firing was caused by then-acting CAO Hans Loewig. She went on to write that only he had the authority to do so, not council. This myth is perpetuated by the current CAO, Ann Pappert, who stated he had the right to dump the city hall general contractor under “the CAO bylaw”.
And that says a lot about these ladies who are still operating as if there wasn’t an electionUrban myths are easy to propagate when you hold tight control of the city’s business, as was the case for the past eight years under former Mayor Karen Farbridge. And Maggie Laidlaw remains chief cheerleader for the tawdry operations of the city from 2007 to 2014.
The choice of accepting Ms. Laidlaw on the Community Editorial Board lies with the Mercury management. The selection methodology is unclear. The supporters of the previous administration are in a firm position to maintain the myth, you know, the one about blaming Hans Loewig for firing Urbacon.
Myth and the man was rewarded six weeks after the firing with the CAO getting a juicy four-year contract starting at $195,000 a year plus benefits. For the record, the current holder of that office, Ms. Pappert, earns $234,000 and that doesn’t include the $20,000 she was paid to move from Waterloo to Guelph. The Canada Revenue Agency allows a moving expense deduction if moving more than 20 kilometer for a job. In Pappert’s case it was a bonus.
And Maggie Laidlaw wonders why she and her pal, the former mayor, were not re-elected. People! You got it all wrong on October 2014!
It’s the classic “you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
Not far behind, is the Community Editorial Board’s, Yvette Tendick. She opines in the paper that because the previous council agreed to spend $300,000 last year for a “multi-use path” on Woodlawn Road, it should be spent this year along with a similar amount in the 2015 budget. Adding that she is proposing that $300,000 be spent every year for the next ten years. That’s a total of $3,600,000 to support that minority of “active transportation” adherents.
Wisely, the proposal was axed from the 2015 budget as was the previous $300,000 contained in the 2014 budget created by the previous administration. That money was promised but never spent. It was an election year remember?
The writer should understand that unspent city budget allocations in a calendar year cannot be rolled over to the next year’s budget. This is what Ms. Tendick is proposing. It was a practice of the previous administration to do just that. The administration declared in the official Financial Information Report, filed annually with the province, the closing figure was frequently altered in the folowing year’s budget.
This was documented in the petition to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by GrassRoots Guelph. It challenged the accounting of public funds, and the charges are as true today as they were three years ago.
To read the actual petition, please go to guelphspeaks.ca and click on the post: “Petition by citizens in 2013..”. In the event you are unable to access, send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just how many persistently active “active transportation” enthusiasts are using Guelph’s sidewalks and streets? This is another hangover from the previous administration that used public funds to create social change for a minority of citizens.
It was a basic war on cars advocated by members of yesterday’s council, regularly addressed by Maggie Laidlaw, a durable cyclist. She predicted some years ago that cars would not exist downtown in Guelph within 20 years. Reckon that prediction still has 14 years to materialize.
Did she seriously believe that seniors and the disabled could get to doctor’s appointments and grocery shop on bicycles or by walking?
The exact opposite has occurred with the narrowing vehicle lanes on major roads to allow wider bicycle lanes, creating growing traffic congestion.
This is yet another example of the huge job facing the new council to correct the mistakes, misrepresentations, excessive taxation, and voodoo financials imposed on the city for the past eight years.
They face daunting tasks ahead and we wish them well.