Letter to the Editors, Mayor and Council and the Public

On Aug 13, 2015, at 9:42 PM, Ron Bolin <rlbolin@telus.net<mailto:rlbolin@telus.net>> wrote:

At Monday Night’s COW meeting Council voted (Fuller and Kipp excepted) to forego the rules of money management which are meant to ensure public and transparent use of City funds. Accordingly, in the spillway debacle we will not have a public bidding process; we will pick the “qualified contractors” (apparently we know that there are four – all local); and we will enter into a “Cost Plus” contract which places the full onus of all project costs on the City and its taxpayers. The reasons for such precipitous and fiscally risky actions are laid at the feet of Comptroller of Water and “according to councillors Wendy Pratt and Diane Brennan, council…”

This is to an extent true. However, if it is to be laid at the feet of Council, a collection of well-meaning amateurs in the City management business, how much more should it be set on the doorstep of our very well paid and professional senior Staff? In an in-Camera meeting on October 22, 2012, a report, anchored more in supposition than in fact about the “Chase River Dams”, Council was presented with three recommendations: 1) Rebuilding the Dams (not recommended); 2) Rehabilitating the Dams (not recommended); and 3) Removing the Dams (recommended). It will be noticed that none of these recommendations included gathering evidence of the true structure of the dam and how it might react in an earthquake, the devil of that day, let alone, that cause lost, the hydrologic stress which might someday impinge upon it.

This entire exercise in costly futility rests on the City Administration’s failure to study before acting and the Comptroller’s determination to see the City brought to heel. And now our financial protections are removed as well. This has been, and continues to be, a shameful stain on Nanaimo.

Ron Bolin