Saturday, July 09, 2011

Diane Brennan Supports Tax Increases ?

Brennan Seems To Think Spending
$16,000,000.00 On New Office
Better Than No Tax Increases
For 4 - 5 Years

Ms. Brennan using the soap box of her weekly column in the NDN takes aim at the accuracy of some of the information presented on this blog. Claiming that this blog is not a good source of information.

She then goes on to explain why, in her learned opinion the city of Nanaimo has made the right choice in spending $16 million on a new staff office rather than spending $4.2 million upgrading their existing building. She also fails to explain why city staff are valued above all other Nanaimo residents forced to work and live in buildings not meeting this seismic code standard.

In her piece she fails to quote any credible source for coming to this opinion, other than to say it was city staff's idea. Interesting conclusion, and since I have been unable to get either city council or city staff to discuss any of the details surrounding this deal, I wonder who she was speaking with? Any time I have asked for specific details I am always told the matter was dealt with 'in camera' and they won't even say which councilors voted for it. So, how she is privy to all these secret details, for the moment is a mystery.

Where is the credible study showing the cost benefit of putting $4.2 million into the existing building as opposed to spending at least $12 million to build a new office and another $4 million to furnish it? For that matter where is the study which would some how indicate that city staff are to be valued above all other Nanaimo residents? What do I mean? Well, there is no requirement in the city bylaws which require building owners to upgrade their buildings to the seismic standard, that somehow is required for this building. So, is the safety of city staff the only persons in all of Nanaimo this council and staff put a premium on? Or, is the reality that the likelihood of a catastrophic quake is so remote that it is only being used as an excuse for city staff to get a new office??

Have you ever wondered why city staff are now asking taxpayers to vote on the borrowing of $22.5 million for a questionable water treatment plant instead of using the $16 million to fund the plant, and ask the taxpayer if they can borrow the $16 million to build their new office. Do you think they are afraid that if given the opportunity to be asked, the taxpayer might say NO to the new office. Is that the reason this whole deal was done with so much secrecy??

Another question Brenna fails to address is the idea that it is acceptable to award a $12 million building contract without having gone to tender. Without comparative quotes, how do you know someone couldn't build the same thing for $10 million?? She seems to embrace the same tax and spend mentality that runs rampant at city hall with little regard for getting maximum value for the city taxpayer. How could you claim you have done due diligence when you award a contract for $12 million without a comparative bid??

To sum up, it would seem that Ms Brennan would fit right in with the current council and city staff who have decided that Nanaimo taxpayers should not have their tax increases held to zero for the next 4 - 5 years in favour of building a shiny new office for city staff.

I wonder if she plans on running for council again this year??

allvoices

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