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Sarah, the cost of the mandatory UG undergraduate bus pass is actually $93.15/term, and with over 18,000 students required to pay that, that's a revenue source for the City of almost $1.7M per Fall and Winter term or around $3.4M in total. (Summer term is not mandatory and few students buy the pass at that same rate.) Whether you have sympathy for students or not isn't the point. That a majority pay for it but don't even use it isn't the point either. The point is that the City receives a tremendous revenue stream from the University for a service that it may not provide. I would assume the University would withhold that payment in September, placing even greater financial pressure on the City to resolve the issue quickly.
I wonder what sort of compensation the University would ask for if this lockout extends into the school year. It's a service that it has already paid for, and would be expected to pay for again in September, no?
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Spotted in #Guelph: hitchhikers at 59 Carden St.
Fred, I can assure you, my thoughts on this matter are not talking points fed to me by Cam Guthrie. Indeed, I find him and his character lacking in integrity and honesty. That my opinion on this specific issue may align with his does not mean solidarity in whole, and it's ridiculous for you to suggest that. Steve, with all due respect, there is no misunderstanding of the role of the Mayor here. There has been ample evidence presented that the Mayor did know, or ought to have known, about Loewig's intention to fire Urbacon. For her to now scapegoat the man she personally lauded back then for his leadership is disingenuous and hypocritical. Politically, the Mayor is indeed 100% responsible for this. While someone else may have signed this or that sheet of paper, the buck stops at the Mayor's desk and thus far, she seems wholly incapable of accepting responsibility for allowing this to happen. The Mayor had the power to stop Loewig from firing Urbacon but she chose not to do so. And if she claims he went renegade and fired the contractor without her full consent, then she should have fired him immediately. Im sorry, but she cannot have it both ways. This is now about character, and the Mayor's lack thereof.
You don't think that Farbridge's inability to be forthright and effectively lead is worthy of her resignation? This City Hall fiasco is but one example of her lack of integrity and leadership. Indeed, it is the single most costly mistake ... likely in excess of $25,000,000 when all is said and done. Yes, it is the last straw and one most definately worthy of immediate resignation now that the wrongful dismissal of Urbacon ruling has been released. But I can also list the wet-dry plant as another failure to serve the needs and financial interests of the people of Guelph: we paid tens of millions of dollars more than necessary to build a garbage plant for our neighbours, all the while trucking our own waste to a questionable incinerator in Michigan. The new downtown museum was millions of dollars over budget. The Hanlon Creek Business Park is, by any objective standard, a costly and under-performing project that will never achieve the Places to Grow density objectives. The downtown rail bridge is a laughable embarrassment. Continued delay on the southend community / recreation centre is another utter failure of Farbridge as is the fact that there are fewer parking spots downtown now than there were before she took office. And get ready for one you may not have even heard about ... a COMPLETE LACK OF FORESIGHT on wastewater management in Guelph. Idealistic focus on conservation measures, while largely successful in lowering demand and achieving continued supply sources, has resulted in an emerging crisis regarding treatment. We have more than enough water here, but we are over capacity in treating our wastewater and there are NO viable solutions in the offing. This is a dirty little secret that Farbridge doesn't want anyone to know. So much for open and transparent government, eh? Bottom line, Karen Farbridge has been the worst Mayor in the history of this city. And I voted for her in the past. But not this time, that's for sure.
Interesting point, bill. Does anyone know how Farbridge's pension would be affected were she to do the honourable thing and resign?
Let's just hope that common sense and respect for taxpayers outweighs arrogance and hubris tonight when deciding whether to accept responsibility for the costly mistakes involved in this case or to continue to piss away more of our money on an un-winnable appeal. At the very least, I have faith in Cam Guthrie and Gloria Kovach being able to see right thru whatever lies and deceptions that Mayor Farbridge, her willingly blind cabal of councillors, and senior administrative and legal staff will attempt to bring to the table tonight.
stephen, are you suggesting that in addition to having wrongly fired urbacon someone has actually broken the law and should be prosecuted?
If Farbridge was genuine in her promise of transparent government, she should be the first person to fight for this. Let's see exactly who is bending whose ear at City Hall. I think a lot of people would probably be surprised. But given the Places to Grow mandate, the eagerness of certain local developers to undertake questionable practices, and the City's tendency to either look the other way or negotiate meaningless fines for admitted infractions, I cannot help but think Farbridge won't lift a finger. It's too comfortable in that bamboo office.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2014 on Lobbying for the lobbying lobby at 59 Carden St.
Thanks very much, Joanne.
Does anyone know if new home developers are obliged to kick in something towards the cost of building new schools? How does that work? Are they obliged to provide the land? Does part of their development charge get automatically contributed to a fund for schools? Thanks for any info.
"...given the strength of the City's case" ... what do you mean, Craig? Could you clarify please? As far as the decision goes ... a lot of people called this right out of the gate ... the City (ie., Murray McCrae) dropped the ball and allowed the whole process to spin out of control. Industry insiders spoke of the unprecedented nature of the firing at the time and wondered aloud if the City had mismanaged the project. We now have a ruling that this was indeed the situation. This raises a much greater issue in my mind ... what sort of (mis)management of capital projects should we continue to expect from the City? Will the south-end recreation centre now budgeted for over $50M also spiral out of control and end up costing $80M ... or will it be delayed AGAIN because those in charge irresponsibly waste millions on other projects (just like City Hall) and use up the money intended for the rec centre project? Let's see what response we get from Carden Street. If it's a "we learned our lesson, we need to do things better from now on", then great. If it's a defensive, "we disagree with the judge and will appeal" then we need a wholesale change on Carden Street and it's not just council. Senior staff have shown their incompetence. Indeed, that CAO Ann Pappert felt it appropriate to comment on this case clearly indicates that she lacks any objectivity and should probably be let go immediately.
LOL @ stephen ... YOU are the blowhard, not Steve.
Other than calling out stephen as a blowhard, I haven't called anyone evil, Doug. But please, do feel free to continue to misrepresent what other folks post here. :)
Impressive, stephen. I'm surprised the City hasn't personally consulted you on this issue.
I wonder if you can explain the difference between the recent Liberal platform versus the Conservative, NDP and Green platforms for job creation, stephen. Moreover, can you tell us what Liz Sandals had to offer for education and healthcare as opposed to the other candidates. Quick, without looking, what was the name of the conservative candidate? I would bet you are not as informed as you might think you are, stephen. So, do not pretend that everyone else needs to be. Besides, allowing online voting has NOTHING to do with voters being informed or not. In fact, I would suggest that most of your own information came from online sources not from face-to-face meetings with candidates, neighbours, polling clerks or the kid who put a sign on your lawn. So why not use that same medium to facilitate the actual vote?
Where in earth did you get this silly idea that the electorate must be informed, Fred? Besides, if any voter, online or traditional, isn't informed then that's the fault of the candidate, not the method by which folks can vote. My point is simple. Times have changed. We no longer live in Mayberry as much as many folks here seem to think we should. An intelligent candidate today will create a twitter account and a facebook page (and even that is now considered old). Tweets are the new lawn signs. Do not lament the passing of the old ... embrace the coming of the new. The world is different now. Accept that.
There seems to be an implicit presumption here that the vote of a 20yo cast via their iphone in between ordering his soy frappuccino and an online underwear purchase is somehow less valid than that of a 60yo who walks to her polling station and chats with her neighbours about their latest peony acquisitions while she graces society by marking a pencil X and fulfilling her civic duty to elect her representatives. Hogwash. Every vote is just as valid as another and as a democracy, we have a responsibility to make voting easy and accessible. And if that means now beginning to take advantage of modern technologies and allow online voting, then let's just get to it. That some here have focused on security issues (relatively simple fixes) and want to throw the baby out with the bathwater might seem to suggest they simply don't want to make it more accessible for others, who are unlike them, to vote. Perhaps some folks are simply afraid of the potential rise of new alternative parties and candidates that might appeal to the sort of voter who would prefer to vote online.
What did you do, Fred? A passport alone is indeed insufficient ID because while it does contain your name and photo, it does not contain your address. But your passport along with any other document that includes your name and address, even a phone bill, would have been sufficient.
I have no idea what level of government or exactly who will be ultimately administering the process, but I do know that the City Clerk's Office has been working cooperatively with various parties at security firms and universities on the design and roll-out of the online voting process. I share folks' concerns over the suitability and expertise of City employees running the show, but thankfully, they are not working in isolation at this time. Outside experts have been brought in and have been assisting since last year. I agree with others here. Let's give it a try and see what happens. And if it increases voter participation then that's positive.
I think online voting is a great idea. It's the way things work now. Of course security is a concern, and steps will surely be taken to ensure that security but I guess we will see. Personally, I do not share the pessimistic, doomsday view of Susan Watson.
ekos survey ... uneducated folks vote conservative. http://www.ekospolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/20140609_slide4.jpg discuss. :)
Let me guess, Ruby ... you also think the earth is 6000 years old?
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2014 on Mayor receives city builder award at 59 Carden St.
That the earth's atmosphere contains much greater levels of CO2 than it did 100, even 50, years ago is beyond debate, Doug. The earth IS gradually warming because of the greenhouse effect resulting from greater levels of CO2 well beyond any normal cyclical pattern. Polar ice caps are melting. Frozen tundra is thawing. Ocean currents are shifting. People aren't debating that. What people are debating is the source of that CO2 and whether it is from the burning of fossil fuels or from other natural sources. It's well understood that the potential of solar sources of energy far surpasses that of fossil fuels. Again, that's not up for debate. The sun can provide to us in one hour the energy we need to power the entire planet for a year. The real debate there is about the cost-effectiveness and profitability of these different energy sources. Oil is relatively cheap and very profitable for those who control its access and promote its reliance. Solar and wind are not as cost-effective and those currently in positions of political and financial power are less inclined to invest in the infrastructure necessary to ramp up solar and wind power and phase out oil ... primarily because they are said to profit in some way from oil. It's not a difficult argument to understand. It is a difficult argument for some to accept, though. And it's an even more difficult challenge to get off oil.
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2014 on Mayor receives city builder award at 59 Carden St.
Why doesn't it surprise me that you feel the need to take yet another presumptive, personal shot at me, grumpy? That I did not support the large dual-tower student residence project by Abode does not mean the advantages escaped me. I decided that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages, and indeed so too did the developer and the design was greatly modified. Perhaps you didn't learn it all that well in faux military school, grumpy, but a decision for A does not negate nor ignore the arguments in favour of B. Things in the real world are not always as black and white as you seem to think.