Monday, July 21, 2014

Is City Hall Trustworthy In Dam Decisions?

A Vote of Non-confidence Warranted?

Trustworthy by definition is worthy of confidence, as an adjective it means being able to be relied on to do or provide what is needed or right: deserving of trust.

One definition of confidence is faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way (have confidence in a leader).

The Dams Will Fail In A Seismic Event - 150 Deaths Possible

That was the official mantra coming from city hall last year in their efforts to remove the dams in Colliery Dams Park by convincing the public how dangerous they were. There was a very concerted, and costly exercise undertaken by city hall under Al Kenning's guidance to get the dams removed in spite of strong opposition. One could be forgiven for thinking the motive to get them ripped out, would be to destroy the evidence that they were not as vulnerable as we were being led to believe.

In the beginning it appeared that all of council supported this decision, but as public pressure mounted councillors Pattje, McKay, Kipp and Bestwick seemed willing to look at what might be considerably less costly options than they had first been presented with. However, Mayor Ruttan, Councillors Brennan, Greves, Johnston and Anderson held steadfast to the need to remove the dams since they presented such a high level of threat to Harewood. These five never seemed to be willing to accept any other opinion, other than that coming from the city manager who was leading the charge in concert with Mr. Simms, Ms Clift and Mr. Hickey. In spite of the lack of qualifications of these managers in the field of dams and dam safety, the majority of council seemed unwilling to listen to any other opinions.

Had it not been for the intervention of Chief Douglas White, city staff would have gotten their way, and the evidence would have been forever destroyed as the contract for removal was mere minutes away from council approval.

At that point we are now told we had spent $1,000,000 on what was a completely flawed process based on incomplete data and far too much speculation to base such serious decisions upon. This calls into question the ability of city staff and this city council to exercise trustworthy judgment in which we can put our confidence. If that judgment is so flawed in this instance, what does it say for other decisions that have been made in recent years?



  1. The majority of Council (the usual suspects (Brennan, Greves, Ruttan and Johnstone (Anderson was absent) appear to just follow Staff along going bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! No leadership or common sense at all. How can 8 million dollars be better than 2 million for remediation of the Dams? How is their decision least costly and least invasive? It isn't!

  2. When you look at bad decisions made by our elected Councilors you have to always remember the five worst offenders: Ruttan, Greves, Brennan, Johnstone, and Anderson. It is up to the voters on election day to send these five to the Unemployment Office. Only by kicking people out of elected office when they govern poorly do we send a message that we are in charge.

    By the way, don't call Mr. Ruttan "his worship." He's Mr. Ruttan. He hasn't earned an respect from the voters.

    Devon Kruggel
    A Nanaimo Ratepayer


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