By Gerry Barker
Posted April 13, 2016
Oh My! The Mercury is gone. The Trib ad rates are too high so, two councillors invite citizens to “shoot the breeze” about the way their city is being run.
What a breezy suggestion. Offering citizens to tell them how the city should be doing to lower taxes, stop the excessive spending, and forgive the millions of dollars lost spent because they were “investments” in the future of Guelph.
Those cheery members of council, Phil Allt, and James Gordon, are two defeated New Democratic Party candidates to represent the City of Guelph in the Provincial Legislature. They are inviting citizens to have a coffee or beer with them to “shoot the breeze.”
This method of communications may work in the union hall with members of the trade unions in the process of negotiating a new contract. But this is a different world.
Let’s look at the 15-month record of these two “breezy” councillors who want your input as how the city should be managed.
These are the same two who voted, in closed session, for the secret salary increases awarded in the 2015 budget to the three senior managers of the staff. That decision, made in closed session, was not revealed to the public until the provincial Sunshine list was published more than a year later well after the fact. It showed the stunning increase awarded to CAO Ann Pappert of a 17.11 per cent or more than $37,000.
When you think about it, that increase was more than each of the 12 ward councillors make in a year as so-called part-timers. Yet the Breeze Brothers voted for it, but didn’t tell anyone.
They also voted to increase your property taxes by 3.98 per cent in the 2015 budget. Before the 2016 budget discussions began, voted to take a staff recommendation to implement a two per cent, ten-year special assessment on property owners off the table. The money collected was to pay more than $250 million to rebuild the aging Guelph infrastructure. Their action pushed the issue to the 2017 budget discussions in November.
They also twice supported increases in the staff and walked out of a closed session of council in the name of “maintaining the integrity of the corporation and the staff.”
These are the same guys who vote in lock step with the bloc of seven majority of council. They obstructed any attempt to reform the administration that was the main reason the people rejected continuation of the Farbridge agenda.
And you really want to talk to them?
This is nothing but a silly public relations attempt to change the spots on the leopard. They will not change. They will not work with council to achieve curbing costs. These are doctrinaire social democrats that couldn’t manage a two-car funeral.
You don’t have to look any further when Farbridge loyalist Alan Pickersgill, wrote in the Tribune, “Guelph doesn’t have a spending problem it has a revenue problem.”
Really? With more than 50 per cent of city revenue coming from property taxes, Pickersgill has declared open season by his leftist friends to milk the taxpayers, again and again and again.
Alan, Guelph has a spending problem when it blows $23 million failing to control or manage the new city hall project. It has a spending problem when it loses $2.6 million in a crazy garbage exchange deal with a Detroit company.
But friends, look what occurred in Calgary last weekend to see the leadership demolition of the New Democratic Party. National Leader Thomas Mulcair suffered a humiliating defeat.
It only goes to show that the NDP is not the only political party to eat its young.
Mr. Allt and Mr. Gordon, is there a lesson here?
Your closed-door colleagues have to realize that the people are reacting.
No amount of coffee and beer will change that, until you recognize your responsibility to serve all the people, not just your political friends.
Being breezy with the facts won’t cut it.