Letter to the Editors, Mayor and Council and the Public
On Aug 13, 2015, at 9:42 PM, Ron Bolin <firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>> 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.
Why is everybody ignoring or invalidating the Golder Report which said that the dams are structurally sound and the only risk, albeit highly unlikely, would be a once in 25,000 years overflowing of the dams and eroding of the face(s). Building an auxiliary spillway which will likely never be used, should be confined to a run of large prefabricated FRP pipe from the lake to the Chase River below which could be built into the dam(s) without the removal of trees or any major disruption of the park or existing structures.
Why this project is proceeding without the normal tender bidding process and on a cost plus basis speaks volumes about the City Staff, Mayor and Council who are all showing complete regard and respect for the tax-paying pubic. Once again, the City is prepared to squander a fortune and expose us to excessive over-charging for making this project much larger and disruptive that is really necessary. When is the next election?