Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is Mayor John Ruttan Clairvoyant?

John Ruttan Spends $87.5 Million Questionably

Current Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan will have headed the council which has chosen to spend at least $87,500,000.00 on three main projects that are meant to solve problems that are neither imminent nor likely to ever happen.

By The Numbers!

$6.5 Million for Emergency Water Supply! In the event that for some reason Nanaimo's water plant is disabled due to some catastrophe, which doesn't impact either our aging piping system or the alternate supply coming from Harmac, Mayor Ruttan thinks it is a 'no-brainer' to spend millions of dollars to install the piping, a pump house and a huge pump, capable of pumping untreated water from Harmac back to Nanaimo should we ever need it. We are told this is strictly to be used in the case of an emergency and would never be used to supply city water to new housing developments in the Cedar area. (Wink, Wink).

$16 Million For New Staff Office! Quoted in the local paper as saying "if we had the luxury of time, we might have done it differently" Mayor John Ruttan explained there was no other choice to ensure the safety of city staff and city taxpayers in the dangerous city annex. He could not explain why spending $4 million to upgrade the office staff is currently in was not an option instead of spending $16 million on a brand new office and new furniture for city staff. He also never explained why city staff chose to buy and already renovate such a 'dangerous' building. He also never explained why we don't have the luxury of time, hence the question about whether he is clairvoyant or not.

$65 Million To Improve Already Perfect Drinking Water. In spite of over 100 years of history which demonstrates Nanaimo has some of the best drinking water on the planet, Mayor Ruttan has chosen to simply bow to the wishes of VIHA and accept the advice of city staff, that we simply MUST spend this money to improve already perfect drinking water! He has demonstrated no appetite for standing up to VIHA who are supposedly insisting on this massive expense, explaining that the plant is simply not needed and certainly can not be afforded by the already over burdened Nanaimo taxpayer. The increased operating costs of this plant will result in another $2 million per year to supply the water we are already getting! The city is in possession of a letter in which VIHA states there is no imminent danger to Nanaimo's drinking water. The plant they are proposing to build is simply over kill designed to protect our water from some event that has never occured in over 100 years! In the meantime the existing water and sewer and roads in Nanaimo are being seriously underfunded.

You will note that all of these massive expenditures are based on the possibility that perhaps, one dark day in the distant future, if all the forces of the universe conspire against Nanaimo we may be happy we have spent the equivalent of 100% of our taxes for one year on these three projects.  Put another way, if this council, led by Mayor John Ruttan had chosen not to spend money on these three projects, Nanaimo taxpayers could have a holiday from municipal taxes for one year! Imagine, no municipal taxes at all for one year, if these three projects had not been done!

If council had chosen to leave the city staff offices as they are, we would have had NO tax increases for the next 5 years, if they chose to upgrade the existing we would have had NO tax increases for the next 4 years, instead Mayor Ruttan has chosen to build a brand new office and give Nanaimo taxpayers a 21% tax increase over the next five years.

I wonder what Mayor Ruttans crystal ball predicts as the outcome of the next civic election??

PS I just had a thought about what the 'luxury of time' comment might have been referring to, he could mean that this council has to hurry up and spend as much as they can before the taxpayers wake up and boot them out next election, choosing to elect a council dedicated to holding the line on spending the taxpayers money.



  1. I wish the City would buy me a new guitar. The one I have is fine. Works well. No issues whatsoever.

    So I think I have covered the necessary criteria to spend taxpayer money...

  2. Hey, I like what you are doing and am glad you update this site fairly regularly.

    I just feel that your articles are very biased and almost propaganda like.. with all of the '!'s and completely one-sided stories.

    Again, I like your blog and am definitely on your side when it comes to shifty decisions on our tax dollars, and I do realize that this is YOUR vent and your website, etc... I just think it would be more easily read if you included both sides of the stories and gave THEIR reasons for making these decisions as well.

    IE: "Mayor Ruttan has chosen to simply bow to the wishes of VIHA and accept the advice of city staff, that we simply MUST spend this money to improve already perfect drinking water!"

    What 'wishes' of VIHA's has he simply "bowed down" to?

    and what "advice of the city staff" has he been given?

    Things like this would shed more light on the issue, and answer (important) questions that your articles evoke.

    Thanks and please keep up the good work,


  3. Hi Jesse:

    Thanks for the input, I presume you are not a regular reader by your comment that the blog is updated fairly regularly when in fact it is updated daily.
    I also assume you are not a regular reader as the questions you feel that are not answered in this particular article are well addressed in previous articles on this blog, posted this week.
    As for your comment about bias, I think that is fair as this blog is not intended to lull the reader to sleep in the usual mainstream fashion of news reporting. While I admit that my bias is reflected, the simple facts I believe to be fairly represented. It is meant to hopefully provoke the reader to actually get involved with the whole process. The comment about propaganda I don't accept, at least not as I understand propaganda. The front page story on the local daily, saying how unsafe our drinking water is,that is what I would call propaganda.
    I would far sooner the average reader were provoked enough to actually attend some council meetings, become informed as to what your elected and non elected officials are doing with YOUR tax dollars, rather than simply forming your opinion from what you read ANYWHERE, this blog included.
    There is lots of information elsewhere on this blog better explaining the 'wishes' of VIHA and the recommendation of staff. A good place to start is the video I prepared explaining that borrowing $22.5 million is not our only option.

    Again, thanks for the input, and I hope you keep on reading, and better yet, keep on commenting.

    Jim Taylor


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