Ages ago it would seem that city staff had tired of their shabby office in spite of several millions spent acquiring it and fixing the old girl up. Likely a poor use of tax dollars at the time, but after all, it is only tax dollars.
The problem of course was how to get a new building without appearing to just be soothing their own egos? Well, should the building be found unsafe, then of course that would give all the reason needed to abandon the old digs and move into a shiny new office overlooking their servants at city hall.
A problem did seem to exist given that a local engineer had already given the building his stamp of approval some years earlier, but if some 'new' information could be found and if the scope of the study were limited enough, it should be possible to get a report that would justify building a new shiny office.
To solve the problem asking the question if the old annex could suffer damage if there was a seismic event should be broad enough to insure the desired answer. So a study was commissioned by the city and budda bing, there is all the justification to build a new office wrapped up in the vague study, which of course does not reveal any reference to probabilities of such a disaster occurring, just the simple statement that the building could suffer damage in a seismic event.
The 'how to' accomplish this little plan was all neatly tied up in a bow, decided behind closed doors, and the decision only made public at the last possible moment, get the press on side and problem solved. Except for that pesky Nanaimo website, Nanaimo-Info-blog and yours truly this whole little scheme would have slid by and it would have been business as usual.
Contradictions - Flawed Logic - In-secret Decisions
This building that the city declared as such a hazard as to require demolition has apparently not been of such a hazard as to require staff to immediately move out once the severe risk had been identified. Surely the staff deserves an award for bravery akin to those brave souls who used to toil in the mines, having to endure the angst and stress that working under such hazardous conditions must have caused.
This building was so hazardous that it was rendered worthless (in contravention of the Canadian Building Code) so that unsuspecting citizens would not be put at risk by unscrupulous employers.
Of course this same building which poses such a hazard, is an acceptable place for staff to have worked these past years, and is now OK for the Mayor and Legislative Services to move into during renovations at city hall.
Why Encumber Building With Condition?
Last April in a 4/5 council decision it was decided to try and dispose of this $4 million asset all the while making sure that no embarrassment would befall city hall, should a potential purchaser not agree with the earlier findings of our city staff.
Instead of applying the requirements of the Canadian Building Code, which would require no such upgrades and leaving the decision to the market place, by adding a condition of sale this city council ensured that this $4,000,000 asset would become worthless.
Why?? Perhaps it is far too easy to spend other people's money, when the real objective was a shiny new office, with shiny new furniture for city staff?