Monday, April 30, 2012

Annex 'Spin' Keeps Gearing Up

'Brittle' Walls Won't Stand......

After deciding last year to spend $16,000,000.00 in secret, behind closed doors, city hall is now stepping up the 'sales' pitch to make sure Nanaimo taxpayers feel they are getting a good bang for their buck.

Reference to 'brittle' walls and the 'slightest' shake suggesting the annex is not able to withstand even a mild tremor are touted as the reason for spending $16 million rather than $4 million to make the building 'life safe'. They keep talking about the seriously dangerous state of this building, yet had no problem subjecting staff to this extreme danger since 2008 when an engineers report pointed out the dire condition of this building.

There also seems to be little will to examine all other buildings in town, both civic and private to protect the rest of the citizenry from this clear and present danger. Wonder why???

The local Daily (that Bastion of defending democracy) is doing it's bit, making sure taxpayers believe their money is being well spent with yet another front page story supporting this $16 million expense that never did go to public tender.

They also don't seem to question how this extremely dangerous building withstood the largest onshore earthquake to ever occur in Canada with it's centre, not 200 miles offshore, but in the Forbidden Plateau region of Vancouver Island. That quake was 7.3 on the Richter scale by the way.

Has anyone ever stopped to ask just what level of 'shake' this shiny new building is engineered to withstand? Remember the 'big one' is not the same as the 4.4 over the past few days or even the 6.3 of last Sept.(which incidentally did not cause those Brittle walls to crumble). The 'BIG ONE' everyone lives in fear of would be in the magntiude of 8 or 9 on the Richter scale.

Just call me a skeptic, but in my humble opinion, city staff and city council simply wanted a shiny new office, and I must agree the 'basement' of the old Annex could stand improving. To that end they 'discovered' the extremely dangerous state of the existing Annex which has only stood since 1937.

The fact it would have cost $4 million to make the building 'life safe' (if safety is the issue) simply would not provide staff with a shiny new office and so they went behind closed doors and engaged a very questionable purchasing practice to ensure they would end up with a new $16 million facility.

Austerity be damned..............Live within the taxpayers means, be damned........ We want a shiny new office and by golly we're going to get one.

Now the Daily is making sure YOU think you are getting good value for spending $16,000,000.00 instead of $4,000,000.00. Oh, and did I mention they spent that without going to a public tender??


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