Where’s the Beef? Here’s the Beef!

Ron Bolin:  May 7, 2011

Re: “Politicians explain decision on annex”, by Derek Spalding, Daily News, on May 06.

I am puzzled by the city’s ability to leap from a call for expressions of interest based, as I recall, on some vague parameters, to an apparently signed contract, in a single bound.  Normally, as I understand business practices, a selection of the most suitable expressions would be made and their proponents would then be invited to respond in a public tendering process to a detailed set of requirements.

While I do not purport to know at this time whether spending an additional $9.7 million dollars (162%) more than it would cost to bring the existing building up to standard is a good deal, I do know that neither I nor the citizens of Nanaimo have been presented with an adequate business case to justify this extra expense.  Nor have all the costs been identified.  Given the statements concerning the fragility of the existing building it would be unconscionable to sell it for use as it is apparently a death trap.  We would thus, in order to sell or rebuild on the existing annex property, be forced to cover demolition expenses as well.  The mayor has indicated that these costs would be considerable.

Citizens are not mushrooms and deserve the courtesy not to be treated as such by their representatives.  We deserve a justifiable business case for this expensive option.