Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Nanaimo Movement

 $12,000,000 Building Contract --- No Tender!
$4,000,000 To Upgrade Existing Office Or Tear It Down
Should They Protest The
Corporation Of The City Of Nanaimo?

Is This Corporation Similar To Others . . .

One of the common themes resonating through the Occupy movement is the inequality between the haves and the have nots in our society and how that gap is growing all the time.

While most protestors take aim at big banks, and big retail corporations it could be they are overlooking an iconic symbol of all they are protesting right under their noses. Their very own Corporation of the City of Nanaimo, responsible for spending over $150 million every year, with over 60% of all taxes collected going to pay city hall management and staff.

No Property Tax Increases For 4 - 5 Years
or a Shiny New Staff Office 
Which Did They Choose?

You might think that given the current economic climate which is highlighted by the double digit unemployment rate in Nanaimo, that city council and city staff would get serious about not increasing taxes anymore than they have to. Given the choice of not increasing property taxes for the next 4 - 5 years or building a shiny new office to house 160 staff at city hall, you might have thought they would choose to not keep taking money out of taxpayers pockets for awhile.

You would be wrong. They also will not release the reports that led to this decision, which was made in secret, behind closed doors last March, and even though there is no legitimate reason for keeping this information secret they will still not say how council voted on this issue. Are they afraid to stand behind their decision, before the next election??

For The Good Of All
Or For The Benefit of The Few?

No doubt, city hall senior managers must feel hard done by, having to make do with the office they bought in 1999, complete with outdoor deck overlooking the harbour. Who wouldn't want a shiny new $16 million office to hang out in, complete with new furniture and equipment.

This is an amount equal to the budgeted tax increase of 21% over the next 5 years, in other words if staff had decided to 'tough it out' they could have given all Nanaimo taxpayers a tax increase holiday for five years! Did they?

Builder Did Not Have To Submit Tender
Awarded $12+ Million Contract

The builder who was able to get a contract worth more than $12 million without having to compete with other builders certainly benefited from this generous decision made by city hall senior managers. There has never been a sound reason forthcoming from city hall managers as to why they felt this was a demonstration of due diligence in the spending of such a substantial number of YOUR tax dollars.

Yes, maybe the 'Occupy Nanaimo' movement, needs to move the occupation from Diana Krall Plaza over to the seat of local political power at City Hall and at the City Hall Annex. That is where the biggest corporation in Nanaimo is located, and that is the single corporation that directly affects the day to day lives of local residents more than any other level of government.


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