A Letter to our Mayor and Council

Ron Bolin: Nov. 12, 2012
Mayor Ruttan and Councillors:

Nanaimo City Staff, with your sanction, recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for what is in effect an audit of our City’s Governance with a closing date later this month and a project start date of January 1, 2013.

It is striking that Jan. 1, 2013, is also the date on which our recently appointed provincial auditor for municipalities is to start her work. It would seem to this taxpayer to be prudent to attempt to acquire these new services for our municipality rather than paying twice for the same type of advice. Is there some reason that we are in such a hurry to send this contract to a “private” consultant?

From the new municipal auditor’s point of view Nanaimo would make an excellent choice as it presents the opportunity to examine a middle size city facing hundreds of millions of dollars in upcoming infrastructure costs and which has already for some years raised costs to its taxpayers at rates well above the cost of living index. At the same time, it is not the worst actor in either situation. Nanaimo also has a capable and well paid management staff to provide the necessary materials for the audit, to assist the auditor and to see that our interests are promoted.

Rather than paying twice for this service, once for our audit, as well as over and over for the audits of others, why do we not avail ourselves of this unique opportunity to utilize available municipal audit services and at the same time set an example to the province for their use? Please advise of your reasoning in this matter.

Thanking you for your prompt consideration, I remain,

Ron Bolin