To the editor:
An engineer on council?! Someone who truly understands numbers? I’m all for it.
Kevin Fetterly thinks quantitatively, so a red flag went up last year when Island Power said a city-run electric utility would require 35 new employees. Kevin calculated a probable project price tag north of $100 million.
Kevin asked how council, in good faith, could waste $100,000 taxpayer dollars on a feasibility study when the proposal’s fiscal downside was so obvious? How do such projects that can’t possibly pencil out “even get a perch before the council?”
The core issue, Kevin commented, is that council is not following a “critical thinking” decision process. To be collegial, too many tend to follow, rather than lead and debate an issue’s pros and cons. Thus, we end up with:
• A $3 million bridge across the highway;
• A four-fold increase in potential police station costs; and
• $100,000 taxpayer dollars spent to study the Island Power boondoggle.
And next year — plans afoot to build a $20 million to $30 million parking garage.
Something is seriously broken in a city that allows projects to get so out of control.
Kevin says, “It’s time for council to shift its viewpoint and get back to basics.” “Stop wasting time on outlawing kiddie balloons while our police station is rotting.”
Nor is excessive, frivolous spending the solution. Rather than dropping $100,000 contracts like Halloween candy, council needs to roll up their sleeves and strip out every piece of nonessential spending. “Skip the symbolism and make police, water, stormwater treatment, and electricity work.”