Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nanaimo Tax Dollars At Work Or WTF

Tax Dollars Cleaning Private Property Downtown
WTF ......... means WHAT THE FLIP!

This morning just before 7:00 am I took a drive downtown to take a picture of the now closed Dancing Goat Coffee after which I took a quick spin down Commercial Street and was gobsmacked to see City of Nanaimo employees and equipment washing windows and storefronts of private property along Commercial Street.

The amount of money the taxpayer keeps pouring into downtown, particularly in the form of subsidies for private business is a real bone of contention in my books. But when you see three city employees and city equipment engaged in cleaning windows and storefronts of private business I could hardly believe my eyes.

I would have thought that keeping up the appearance of your storefront would just be considered part of the cost of doing business. Do you think that McDonalds waits for a city crew to show up and clean their storefront? Then why in blazes should Nanaimo taxpayers be paying to have windows cleaned on downtown businesses?

It was apparent that this cleaning crew had started with the Painted Turtle at least and were have way down Commercial Street when I came by, I presume they will be assigned to cleaning all of the downtown area at tax payer expense.

Good Example Of Need For Core Services Review
Three Men Doing The Work Of One Or Perhaps Two

Aside from the outrage of seeing tax dollars paying to clean private buildings observing the waste of dollars spent by over-staffing is equally as infuriating. Two guys watching as one guy works.......pretty good sign you are watching a city 'work' crew.

In the private (real) world one guy could drive the street cleaner, get out scrub down a window, power wash it off and then move to the next one, just about as fast as these three guys do.

However in the public ( la la) world one guy has to drive the truck and supervise the other two as one guy hoses the window, steps back and takes a rest while the other guy gently and ever so slowly runs a scrub brush over the window, needing a break from 30 or 40 seconds hard work he then stands aside so the now, well-rested hose operator can hose off the window.

This little comedy repeats itself over and over as they meander down Commercial Street.

I will be asking City Council to explain this blatant misuse of tax dollars and I bet they are wishing by now they had that new Spin Doctor hired to handle this one! You might also want to give your Councilor a call or email and let them know what you think about this use of YOUR tax dollars!



  1. At my old office here in Victoria, we used to hire a local man to clean the windows. He came once every two weeks and charged five dollars for two large windows (outside only) and one glass front door (inside and out). I'm sure there must be someone like this in Nanaimo that would be willing to offer this service to the businesses at their expense. I'm sure you can guess how much it must cost for three city crew members to clean windows (hint: It's not $5). Huge waste of tax dollars!!

  2. The sidewalks I could possibly understand, but washing the windows? And three guys "working". Would love an explanation of this.

  3. Why are things getting more ridicules ? Even the sidewalks in front of each building should be the business owner's responsibility. Council members, please explain this.

  4. This is likely because of fall out from the BBQ Fest downtown on the weekend. Sidewalks and windows were filthy due to no fault of the businesses. They do pay people to clean windows etc, or do it themselves then an event is held and all is filthy.

  5. There was no fall out from the BBQ festival, so quit making excuses. This is Thursday, the BBQ Festival was last Sunday. That has nothing to do with it. When I ran a retail store the windows had to be done at least once a day, and the glass doors every hour. Sidewalks and windows will get dirty all the time, good business people don't expect the city to clean it up! What nonsense.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. And there is some swampland for sale just up the road.....

  8. Peee'd Off Taxpayer19 July 2012 at 17:43

    Presuming this explanation is accurate, it does nothing to explain why it takes 3 able bodied men to do the work of one able bodied man. The guy that usually can be seen cleaning windows downtown used to clean windows by himself without any fancy equipment just as fast as these guys. But hey, that is what you expect from our underpaid city staff.

  9. I was waiting for Mr. Kenning's permission to quote his response explaining the reason city crews were washing commercial buildings.
    I am waiting to hear how many store fronts were affected by this malfunction, as honestly when I was walking along Commercial Street there was nothing any grubbier about the street than usual. The usual pizza boxes tossed here and there, cigarette butts, urine in store doorways, and the occasional vomit.
    I have often wondered why downtown seems to get such preferential treatment which other commercial areas do not. When was the last time you saw a city sidewalk sweeper cleaning the sidewalks at Terminal Park Mall?

  10. The City's response reminds me of a line from an old song I remember......"that's my story and I'm sticking to it".
    Good one.......the operator must be very attentive to be spraying all the stores with gritty, dirty water and not be aware of it.
    Again........ that's their story and they're sticking to it.

  11. The comment posted by Councillor Pattje has been removed as Mr. Kenning would not grant his permission to quote him and the explanation for this crew cleaning commercial property.

  12. You don't require his permission if Mr. Kenning posted himself on the blog (unable to see the source of his comments now). He falls under google's TOA and tough nuggets if he wants to retract.

    If he provided you an email or by phone to you, under law, what he says is fair game.

    If he wrote to a newspaper, then you would require the newspapers permission to quote.

    Can I say things and then just have the ability to recant by saying "you don't have my permission"?

    And why the inability to stand behind what he says?


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