Posted April 1, 2015
Is it any wonder that people have lost faith in the political process when a group of citizens are criticized for attempting to influence the outcome of an election?
Former city councillor, Ian Findlay, is concerned that the established citizen’s group GrassRoots Guelph (GRG) was not playing fair by opposing some candidates and supporting others. And, horrors! They donated money to candidates.
There is no municipal legislation limiting spending or disclosure by “third parties” the article in the Tribune stated.
So what’s Findlay’s beef?
During his eight years in office he was party to some of the costliest mistakes any council has made in the history of the city. Think Urbacon and the $8.90 million that was spent by the city to Urbacon Buildings System Corp. in its lawsuit loss.
CAO Ann Pappert said that the settlement would not impact property taxes. Instead the money would come from three unrelated reserve funds and be repaid within five years from operating funds.
Well, that has now become an undefined target thanks to the motion March 25 by Coun. Karl Wettstein. It will to reduce the 2015 payment of $900,000 in 2015 to $500,000. Further, council will turn the matter over to the staff to reschedule the payment process. That friends, looks like a ten-year repayment plan. Or it could quietly be written off.
Regardless, the taxpayers end up paying for this multi-million dollar mistake.
So the people voted, aided and abetted by GRG and other organizations. Findlay not only declined to run but also lost his leader and two other fellow travelers on the Farbridge team.
The people voted for change and what did they get in the 2015-operating budget? Dominance by the Farbridge rump on council resulted in approving the biggest tax increase, 3.55 per cent, in four years. That does not include the Municipal Assessment Corporation’s scheduled increase in all property assessment in Guelph this year. So your taxes will be increased even more.
It was as if nothing has changed. Only four councillors voted against this budget, Mayor Cam Guthrie, Dan Gibson, Christine Billings, and Andy Van Hellemond.
So Mr. Findlay, you are in no position to complain about the influence of an incorporated non-profit entity legally contributing to the political process.
It is just another attempt to muzzle any opposition to the Farbridge field of dreams.
Between you and Coun. Mike Salisbury, the “pissoir project” twins, you are always ready to broadcast your opinions in the public prints.
Aside from your friends down at the sausage party factory, who’s listening?