Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Annex Furniture To Cost $550,000.00

Furnishing 'Shiny New Office' ... $550,000
Boost To Staff Ego ------ Priceless

Staff wisely chose to ask council to approve an RFP for the purchase of new office furniture at a non-regular city council meeting. Wisely? Well, there is less chance of public scrutiny if these matters are dealt with at a COW meeting away from the glare of Shaw TV broadcasts and meetings often not attended by the local mainstream media.

Not wishing to draw too much public scrutiny is consistent with the methods employed by city staff and approved by our complacent council in all matters relating to the expending of nearly $16 million to provide themselves with a shiny new office. Remember it would have cost less than $4 million to upgrade the existing annex, but then of course staff would have had to endure another decade or so of operating out of the old annex. That just wouldn't do.

Remember, the public still has no idea what the alternate costs would have been to provide staff a new office (providing upgrading the existing was rejected) as they refuse to make those alternate costs public. A quick comparison however, is the fact they are building a new office for $13 million for 45,000 square feet, and the nearby Dunsmuir building with over 70,000 square feet, on three city lots, recently sold for around $7,000,000.00.

Staff would have us believe the taxpayer is getting good value for the money, but given the fear of public scrutiny demonstrated by city staff and city council, one has to wonder.

It will be interesting to see if city staff will release the results of the furniture RFP or will we be asked to 'just trust them' as we are being asked to trust them when they say spending $13 million on a shiny new office without going to public tender is sound fiscal management.


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